Thinking about The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

Today isn’t Thursday, but this is a bit overdue, so here you are! This is definitely an adult book, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t comfortable with violence or swearing. Beware!

Also, I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Blogging for Books!

Thanks to Google Images!

Thanks to Google Images!

Title || The Library at Mount Char [Goodreads]
Author || Scott Hawkins
Published || June 2015
Form || Hardcover
Genre || Fantasy, Horror
Rating || 2/5
Yay || The worldbuilding
Nay || The writing, the plot, the characters
Summary || God is missing, so his children have to hunt him down–or kill each other trying to take his place.


In the beginning…

I was introduced to characters who had potential. I looked forward to finding out who these people were and how they would impact the story. They were quirky enough to hold my attention, even though I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing.

The worldbuilding quickly blew me away. I wanted to know everything there was to know about the catalogs, and how they came to be, and how they worked. Could just anyone learn them?

And then…

Everything went downhill. The worldbuilding took a back seat to that “plot,” which I put in quotation marks because I didn’t feel as though there was really a common thread throughout the novel. Rather than x leading to y, it felt like x happened, then y happened, and then z happened, the logical connection between them was, to me, a little lost in sense. It was as if any vestiges of a plot appeared to implode, losing track of themselves and squandering any interest in the hopes of… excitement? Were these explosions and fight scenes supposed to impress me?

Nor did I really find much depth to the characters—a shame, really, as there was a lot of potential for interesting things to develop. Unfortunately, it felt very much as though Carolyn (and everybody else, but she mattered the most) was the same person on page 1 as she was on page 388. Even for someone with that magnitude of power, it doesn’t seem right. Worse, it isn’t interesting.

And why did Steve matter so much? There was no emotion to the writing, allowing for little to no sense behind why Carolyn was so obsessed with him. I didn’t feel whatever it was she was supposed to be feeling, which was, honestly, massively frustrating.

It all came to a head when…

It tried to salvage what had crashed and burned merrily for the middle 250-300 pages. On some level, I suppose I was satisfied. But it wasn’t enough to recover the boredom and frustration of that major chunk, and thus I couldn’t rate it any higher. In a sense, this book is a good example of the fact that a wonderful idea can be destroyed with poor execution.

Recommend? Only to very specific people.
Recommended for? Those who like horror novels, explosions, and dark worldbuilding.

Thanks for reading!
Have you read The Library at Mount Char?
What did you think?

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