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Ratings and Reviews (15 119 star ratings
15 reviews

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Stars
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  • 4 person found this review helpful

    4 people found this review helpful

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    Odd, Unique and Bloody

    “Fate is like a strange, unpopular restaurant filled with odd little waiters who bring you things you never asked for and don't always like.” - ― Lemony Snicket “There will be a few times in your life when all your instincts will tell you to do something, something that defies logic, upsets your plans, and may seem crazy to others. When that happens, you do it. Listen to your instincts and ignore everything else. Ignore logic, ignore the odds, ignore the complications, and just go for it.” - ― Judith McNaught, Remember When Ms. McNaught has it right. Sometimes, you just have to go for it and hope it works. And Scott Hawkins certainly reaches for the stars in The Library at Mount Char. Fantasy, mythology, horror, history, and a crud ton of weird. You can certainly call this book “unique”. And normally ‘unique’ is something I can get into. With this one, however . . . I don’t know. It just didn’t crawl into my mind and make itself at home. Perhaps because the fact that the book opens with a “blood-drenched and barefoot” Carolyn “walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 79.” Segueing from blood to guacamole, an obsidian knife used to murder a detective for no reason that appears any time soon threw me out of being able to settle into the book. Or maybe, honestly, I am simply not the audience for the book – that could certainly be the case. All of the librarians are weirdness incarnate – from Margaret, who you meet as she sprints out from the shadowy shelves of the library, shrieking and blind with terror, only to be pulled back into the stacks by “Father”, flowing tears streaked with blood, urine running warm down her legs, to David, whose catalog is murder and war. Twelve lost, abused children, forced into viciousness almost beyond bearing. Demigods, talking lions and barbarism, oh my. The book has lots of very well-written, very positive reviews, and looking at it from a strictly technical standpoint, I can see why. This is some very unique storytelling. It just didn’t grab me. If you like writers more toward the horror side, well, you would probably love this. Sometimes I like horror, sometimes not – this one, not so much. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a realistic review. The review is, of course, based upon my personal tastes. What I didn’t care for could be exactly what you are looking for in a book! If you like my reviews, I would greatly appreciate it if you would see fit to click "I liked this review" or the equivalent on Amazon, or other book buying sites!
  • 2 person found this review helpful

    2 people found this review helpful

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    Bizarre and Captivating

    Picked this up on the recommendation of a Chapters employee, and very glad I did. Reminds me somewhat of Neil Gaiman's works, but definitely has its own flavor. Delightfully strange, you're constantly going, "ok.. what?!?" And you just have to keep reading so you can figure out what's actually going on. This is not a book that follows a formula, that's for certain. Definitely recommend reading it!
  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

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    Buy It! What Are You Waiting For? Buy It Now!

    The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins, is a fabulous fantasy/science fiction novel I didn't want to put down. Hawkins and I have similar backgrounds (grew up in South Carolina, currently living in Atlanta, roughly same generation), so I'm ridiculously jealous that he knocked it out of the park on his fiction debut. (Of course, my inability to write in anything other than legalese probably has something to do with my comparative lack of success.) I wish I could visit the world of Father's Library, with its twelve "catalogs" on every conceivable subject from cooking to murder, although I would not want to go through the training regimen imposed on his twelve apprentices. I particularly liked how Hawkins waited almost until the end of the book to tell us the true events of Adoption Day, as well as the way he conveyed that information through Carolyn's eyes; no boring exposition here! Hawkins's Goodreads author page indicates that he is currently working on a new novel, the Twitter description of which is "Mike Hammer (or some noir detective) investigates a school shooting that may have been perpetrated by Peter Pan." I'll be the first in line at the bookstore when it comes out. I received a free copy of The Library at Mount Char from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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    I've no words to describe how much I love this book. It's so diffrent and imaginative. I'm only sorry I finished it so fast.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    Unique and brilliant!

    I absolutely loved this book, it has a unique plot and it's really well written. If you enjoy dark fairy tales, it is most definitely the book for you.

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