The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

This was one of the best and most messed up books I have ever read.

I can’t go into the plot too much as I think it would give too much away but the main character is Carolyn, a librarian who along with her siblings study just one particular field of study out of twelve. Over all of them is Father, who possesses knowledge of it all, indeed who wrote most of it. There are also a couple more POV’s, Steve, an ex small time criminal who gets drawn into events and an ex army guy who’s looking into some strange occurrences and connecting the dots.

Reading that description above does this book a disservice. The library is not your average library. The knowledge that each of the sibling study gives them power over time/space/death itself. Father is definitely not just a ‘father’. Carolyn almost seems normal as first but most certainly is not.

There is incredible violence perpetrated throughout this book, casual but not without purpose. If you’re squeamish this book is probably not for you. Though it might be. It’s a relatively short book and I think moves fairly quickly. Starts off fairly low key and only slightly weird but that doesn’t last long. There’s a kind of whodunnit plot but that pales beside trying to figure out what’s going on and understanding the world. There’s some sciencey stuff for explanations but nothing too major. 

What really caught me by surprise is how funny it is. I laughed out loud a few times. For such a dark and weird book it was written almost light heartedly. I loved all the characters, even the ones I probably shouldn’t have. It was also rather poignant, especially towards the end. Two of my favourite characters were lions.

This was such an amazing book and I’m already looking forward to reading it again at some stage. Would thoroughly recommend this to anybody looking for something a bit different.

5 stars out of 5

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