The Library at Mount Char

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The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount Char

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The Library at Mount Char, by Scott Hawkins really scratched that itch for me. The plot and character arcs are completely unpredictable. From the get-go, you're just really intrigued with what on earth these characters are up to, and what their plans are. The events that occur are really, really wild. The book hits this coveted sweetspot between visceral horror and laugh-out-loud humor. I'm not exactly a prose guy (I like Sanderson, a lot) but I'm pretty sure this book read really well. The most genuinely original fantasy I’ve ever read. Hawkins plays with really, really big ideas and does it with superb invention, deeply affecting characters, and a smashing climax I did not see coming.” —Nancy Kress, Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Beggars in Spain

I cried after Carolyn succeeded in getting her revenge, and I cried again after I realized what she had become by doing so. I don't need a heart coal to see me through to the end, though. I just cried like a little baby when Steve finally succeeded. Carolyn can barely remember being American. When she was eight, on the day her parents died, the nearly omnipotent being she calls Father took her and eleven other children to become Pelapi; that is librarians, to guard The Library which exists outside normal time and space and each master one of the twelve catalogues which contain Father’s vast knowledge. Under Father’s brutal instruction, Carolyn and the other Pelapi have gained fantastic powers, though at costs they cannot fully comprehend. When Father goes missing however, reality hangs in the balance, since cruel though Father could be, there are worse things even than him, dark and hungry beings which have been waiting. Not the least of these are the Pelapi themselves, such is Carolyn’s psychotic brother David, adept in the arts of war and murder, or Margarette who walks the land of the dead. The The Library does none of that. Confusion cannot be productive if you have absolutely no idea what is going on! And, it's not absurdity when everything can happen, because there are no rules, no internal validity. The Library is such a messy hodge-podge, it doesn't really inspire new understanding. Damn, I love this book. It has not lost any of its flavor. I could keep reading this every single year and still love it. It's definitely one of my all-time favorites. :) Though he dresses in a purple tutu, David is anything but a sissy. In fact, he is a ruthless killer, with a helmet made of blood and hair, and a string of intestines slung over his shoulder.Funny, horrifying and original…the kind of story that keeps yanking you off in ridiculous new directions every time you think you know what's coming next." - Jason Pargin What is more, is that while Carolyn and her fellow Pelapi are fairly casual about some aspects of the fantasy world, there are plainly others that terrify them, not the least Father himself. Father" taught each of his librarians, but they were only allowed to study out of the books in their fields. Or they suffered the consequences. Gods walking the earth is one thing, but to actually watch them perform an infinite regression of events to create their own successors in such a way that the poor sap doesn't even realize it until long after the big battle is a scale of craft that ought to be left to actual gods, and not some person named Scott Hawkins, who, out of the blue, blew my mind by actually pulling it off.

I bought this book before leaving for vacation. I had a six hour flight looming before me and I wanted something interesting to read/listen to and to help pass the time. This definitely held my interest and kept me reading/listening throughout the flight. Carolyn jerked her thumb at the couple behind her. "These are Peter and Alicia. They don't speak English. Not much anyway." although the majority of the characters are most unlikeable (which makes this story so engrossing), I did have an affinity for "Steve" and "Erwin"; and, She wasn't clear on what "club sody" was, but she could tell from his tone that this was a joke. Not the laugh-out-loud sort, the commiserating sort. She snorted. "I'll do that." A pyrotechnic debut...The most terrifyingly psychopathic depiction of a family of gods and their abusive fathersince Genesis." - Charles Stross

As many other reviewers have said, this book is a lot of weird and strange and horrifying. And also straight up compulsively readable. I don't generally think I like dark books, but sometimes they pull me in really strongly. This book certainly did. as a lad, I grew up in a household that was just not into the traditional concept of God, or into God at all. my dad was sort of an atheist and my mom was sort of an existentialist (which amounted to basically the same thing, to me at least). like most kids, I rebelled against my parents' rule. I did this by finding God. haha, that really came out of left field for my parents! this included accepting Christ as my personal savior, going to bible study, and a few summers spent at a religious camp. at the end of one such summer, the pastor had a practice of gathering us all together to answer any questions we might have. I had a classic one: "If God truly loves us, why does He allow bad things to happen to us?" She did a good job differentiating character voices. She also did some very good subtle work with tone and inflection when reading the different character's thoughts. I'm staring at a blank screen trying to figure out how to even review this book. Outside the rain has been falling steadily for hours. I don't think it has any plans of slowing down today. The rain is a nice distraction. I can sit and listen to it while I sit inside and wrestle with coherency. I don't even know if that makes sense, but it sounds pretty impressive to me. This is one of those books that you read and then continue to think about long after you have closed the book or shut off the audio. I am still thinking about it and still getting things straight in my head. I enjoyed the book but at the same time, I felt like the first half of the book was totally different from the second half of the book. It almost felt like two authors got together, decided on a concept, each wrote their half of the book and then put them together and called it a novel. The girl we meet at the beginning and then that same girl at the end of the book are light years apart. I must admit that threw me a little as it didn't show her growth and progression as much as just saying this is how it started and is reality now.

A first-rate novel… a sprawling, epic contemporary fantasy about cruelty and the end of the world, compulsively readable, with the deep, resonant magic of a world where reality is up for grabs. Unputdownable." - Cory Doctorow I don't know how to rank it against other amazing fantasy novels I've read this year such as Malazan 1-3, Piranesi and Dark Tower, but I'll say that it's perhaps the most creative one, it has reignited my love for fantasy, and I'll probably consider my fave book read this year. And: this is most decidedly not science fiction, although some praise it as such. As a math teacher and former engineer, I cannot do science-math mumbo-jumbo, like this explanation of a reissak: “Its essence is a mathematical construct, a self-referencing tautology, consecrated in the plane of regret…”. Ummm, no, stop right there. There wasn’t much of this, I’m pretty sure Hawkins knows he’s writing pure fantasy. But still, these quasi-pretend-mathematical descriptions were quite aggravating, especially seeing as they were not mathematically profound in any way- but rather, just random collections of mathy-sounding words. (Aaaarrrr! Math-teacher pet-peeve #1: Don’t BS the math! Of course I can tell! Sigh. The story of my grading-life.) So yes, a very imaginative, very well written, intriguing, exciting, brutal, funny book that you should definitely give a go.Those mythologies were written to explain the unexplainable workings of nature, weather, time, and humanity itself. The Library at Mount Char is a contemporary fantasy/ horror novel written by Scott Hawkins. [1] It is his first novel.

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