Friday, March 4, 2016

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians

by Brandon Sanderson

Story summary: Evil librarians plotting to take over the world! An epic search for a bag of sand! Amazing skills gained in tripping and breaking things! 13-year-old warrior girls with grumpy attitudes! And maybe even young adventurers being tied to an altar made from outdated encyclopedias and sacrificed to the dark powers?

Why You Will Like This Book:
  • The humour!
  • The meta!
  • The strange gadgets!
  • The mysterious happenings!

And Why You Might Not:
  • It's definitely for a younger audience than Sanderson's other books I've read. Although it was still very enjoyable, this made it slightly harder to read for me.

Thoughts: I have always loved meta stories, where the book tries all sorts of clever ways to make you think it's real. This is great in that respect, and has several very funny points. And of course Sanderson, as always, makes me fascinated with his world (and this despite the fact that world-building is really not my focus in stories).

Still, this was definitely my least favourite of his so far. It seemed to me that it was a bit too young for me, at least right now. A problem with the character development, perhaps? I'm not sure. Maybe I'll come back to the series in a few years, when I'm older (haha), and when my taste has shifted yet again.

P.S. I'm used the British cover above because I like it WAY MORE. The current US one is so ugly... I usually make it a principle to show the cover I read, but I plan to own this version some day, so I'm using that as an excuse.

Grade: 3 1/2 stars

If You Like This, You Might Also Like:
--The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (or anything else by him, really): because of the meta asides, the similar structure (including plenty of foreshadowing), the sometimes subtle and sophisticated humour. They remind me quite strongly of each other, actually. Not in a bad way, where it seems like one might be copying the other. But they could together start their own genre.
--The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom by Christopher Healy: because it's similarly full of awesome adventure and near escapes, and also a touch of meta.

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