Thursday, May 30

Book Review: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Title: Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Author: Robin Sloan

Pages: 288

Summary: The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon out of his life as a San Francisco Web-design drone—and serendipity, sheer curiosity, and the ability to climb a ladder like a monkey has landed him a new gig working the night shift at Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after just a few days on the job, Clay begins to realize that this store is even more curious than the name suggests. There are only a few customers, but they come in repeatedly and never seem to actually buy anything, instead “checking out” impossibly obscure volumes from strange corners of the store, all according to some elaborate, long-standing arrangement with the gnomic Mr. Penumbra. The store must be a front for something larger, Clay concludes, and soon he’s embarked on a complex analysis of the customers’ behavior and roped his friends into helping to figure out just what’s going on. But once they bring their findings to Mr. Penumbra, it turns out the secrets extend far outside the walls of the bookstore.

My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I liked aspects of the book, there were parts that were interesting to me, but as a whole it was a bit of a disappointment compared to the amount of hype it's received. It was okay, but not spectacular.

I did enjoy the books eclectic characters, and the main plot was a fun read. A bit odd, but it did make it worth reading. I just found that while the plot was fun and eccentric, it seemed to lack in depth and I found that it didn't come together well. I felt like there was a big piece of the story missing to make everything come together. I also found the book went overboard in mentioning things like, "Google", it began to feel like I was reading something sponsored by the company, rather than a book. And while the character were eccentric and fun to read about at times, they weren't very concrete characters, and where rather one sided - none of them are all to memorable and they were, at times somewhat stereotypical.

The narrative and writing were fine, and overall I did enjoy the book, but it wasn't a spectacular read like I thought it would be.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it wasn't what I was expecting, but a good read, and a good choice for anyone who enjoys books about books.

What to read next: Hmm, I can't pick an actual title out, but more books about books would be a start.

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, New Author Challenge

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