Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mr. Penumbra's 24-hour Bookstore

Any title that has the word "bookstore" in it will always catch my attention. And this one was no different.

Clay Jannon is the night clerk at Mr. Penumbra's bookstore. But, it's a weird bookstore. Sure, there are some recent books at the front but the rear of the store is what fascinates Clay. Stacked from floor to ceiling are old books. He's told never to look in them. When patrons come into the store looking for a certain volume, he's to fetch it but that's all.

Of course his curiosity gets the better of him and he peeks. But he can't make out anything because the books are all in code. With the help of several computer geek friends, he embarks on a mission to decode the books.

Robin Sloane's writing is crisp and fresh. But, I have to admit I did get bogged down for awhile in the middle. Maybe it was me but I just didn't care all that much what happened. I put it down and read another book but then went back to it and managed to finish it. I'm glad I did. I liked it. I didn't love it like I thought I would and I can't really put my finger on why. The characters are interesting but there seemed to be something missing in their development.

Overall, though, the concept is cool and worth the money I spent on it.

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