Sunday, May 31, 2015

"The Library At Mount Char" by Scott Hawkins

The Library At Mount Char by Scott Hawkins is an odd book. Let me start by allowing you to read the description:

A missing God.
A library with the secrets to the universe. 
A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away.
Carolyn's not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts.  

After all, she was a normal American herself once.   

That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father. 

In the years since then, Carolyn hasn't had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient customs. They've studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.  

Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation. 

As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her, all of them with powers that far exceed her own. 

But Carolyn has accounted for this. 

And Carolyn has a plan. 

The only trouble is that in the war to make a new God, she's forgotten to protect the things that make her human.

Populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and propelled by a plot that will shock you again and again, The Library at Mount Char is at once horrifying and hilarious, mind-blowingly alien and heartbreakingly human, sweepingly visionary and nail-bitingly thrilling—and signals the arrival of a major new voice in fantasy.

Sounds freaking amazing, right!? It sounds like a combination of fantasy, mystery, sci-fi, horror and thriller. It sounds like it will take you into a very dark place and leave you breathless. Plus the cover art is AMAZING! I thought this book would also be amazing but...

This has to be one of the most confusing books I have every read. I don't think I have ever felt so frustrated yet intrigued while reading. I have never in my life had to go back and re-read sections I just finished reading (sometimes I had to re-read it 2 or 3 times). Then, after I read it for the third time I was even more confused than when I read it the first time!

This book is filled with too many characters with too little character development. I can't think of one character I actually liked or had any emotional reading investment in. Too much switching back and forth between past and present. Backstories seemed to cloud the main story and messed up what little reading flow I had. It was a book that crossed many different genres, but so many genres that they seemed mashed together into a giant mess.

 I don't think of myself as a stupid person but I just couldn't wrap my head around this book. I am not even sure who the main character is in this story. The only reason I kept reading is because I made myself believe it would all come to a conclusion that would answer all the questions. That I would suddenly understand and scream "I get it now!" (like I felt at the end of E. Lockhart's We Were Liars) . I thought that if I could just get the the end then I would understand. But for every question I had answered, 10 more reappeared in its place. 

I feel the world that Scott Hawkins set up was primarily in his head. There was no solid explanation of the world in which the characters lived. That lack of world building left me confused from the get-go. Not enough was explained up front and throughout the whole book I was just wondering... I couldn't get past the confusion to really get into the story. 

I have such mixed feelings about this book. While it did leave me thinking about it, the thoughts aren't positive. My brain just keeps mulling around and I am almost in disbelief that a book like this could exist. I love fantasy/horror books but this book took it to a whole new level and I am just not sure I was ready for that ride. It was so deep and dark and at times horrific. Maybe I wasn't in the mindset to read a book like this right now. I might try reading it again someday. Knowing how the story goes I can prepare myself to re-read it and perhaps can try harder to understand it. From other ratings and reviews I have glanced at I see that I am a minority. Most people seemed to really like it. A solid 3 stars is what I give this for originality, creativeness, and intrigue.

I see that quite a few of my Goodreads friends have this on their "to-read" list. I am very interested to hear what they have to say about it. Please let me know your thoughts ya'll!

This digital ARC was provided by Netgalley and Crown Publishing for me to read and review. The opinions expressed are solely my own. This book is set to be released for purchase June 16, 2015.

Happy Reading!

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