Wednesday, September 16, 2015

I'm Not A Buddhist, I'm Just Another Asshole

Scott Hawkins “The Library at Mount Char” (Crown, 2015)

Well this was nothing like I expected.  For some reason I thought it would be more than a bit more Harry Potter/The Magicians.  Kids in a magical library, some conflict, etc. (but it’s really all about the world building).  Imagine my surprise when the books opens with brutal unflinching violence and an amoral protagonist.  I almost quit.  I didn’t, and I am SO GLAD.

So yes, this is a brutal book.  Graphic descriptions of violent actions.  Our protagonist, Carolyn, is not a nice person.

But if you stick with it, it does make sense.  There’s a reason why she’s so immoral.  None of this is gratuitous.

What you end up with is an amazing piece of contemporary fantasy.  Hawkins creates a singular story and world that are absolutely worth experiencing.  

I’ve read lots of comparisons – Gaiman, Hill, etc.  My favorite comparison is Robert Bennett.  It’s a dark fantasy that builds upon modern America.  Highly recommended.

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