The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Curing Death. Lions. Explosions. Oh Wow!

Librarians rule – literally. The 12 children who were raised by the Head Librarian have mastered various catalogs of wisdom, from math to war to language to animals to healing. How thorough is mastery? Very – healing death is only difficult if you wait too long. Now think how thoroughly David has mastered war. (Don’t bother running, don’t bother hiding) Apparently, the Head Librarian is basically a god, and his adopted children are demi-gods.

The book opens with Caroline coming home from killing a policeman, with no explanation for why she did. She’s not going home to the Library, she’s going to a house down the road, because someone took over the Library. And stole or killed Father. Very scary! Someone has to be the new all-powerful Head Librarian, will it be David the Warrior or Carolyn the Linguist? The others don’t have enough page-time to be candidates, unless the author is a complete jerk. But how can mousy Caroline possibly win against David? This David trained against multiple Goliaths, and there’s no way he can lose. Also, he has to wear some kind of clothing since they’re not in the Library, and he chooses a military jacket with a tutu. It goes rather badly with all the blood in his hair. The image is jarring, and the running gag never stops being funny.

Caroline recruits Steve to steal something – something ordinary. She has a sack full of money, a few thousand dollars, sort of. Librarians don’t need to count money. Later its revealed how she GOT the money and good grief. No wonder she doesn’t worry about money. Things go disastrously wrong, Steve ends up in jail, bad Caroline, you lose. David rescues Steve from jail in an awesome jail break. That scene also introduces Erwin, military hero.

David and Caroline need Steve to steal something at the center of the danger field around the Library, which he can get to because it doesn’t affect normal people, only Librarians. Some kind of ray? Caroline calls it some kind of microwave, Steve calls BS, Caroline says just know it won’t hurt you. And the lions are your backup.

This is so awesome. It is even better than the military going berserk at the librarians.

Eventually, someone wins and becomes god. Might the new god destroy the world… by accident? A character who seemed to be ineffective until now suddenly becomes intensely important… and don’t discount anyone just because they died earlier in the book, because death can be healed.

Bechdel test: pass
Johnson test: pass

I can’t belive this is a debut novel. Gimme more. Now.


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