Carolyn has a plan to find out who killed Father, the god-like man who adopted her and eleven other children after a traumatic event occurred in their neighborhood. She must rely on her catalogue, languages, of Father’s expanse library and the skills of her siblings and their respective catalogues. She even must involve an American who is not a part of the Library, Father’s name for their home and expansive book-collection. What unravels is a mystery that involves everyone from local neighbors to the president. And it all works.
Father exists in The Library at Mount Char in flashbacks and thank the heavens for it. Father is terrifying. Father is a god. His power is seemingly endless. He demands that each of children (all adopted around age 11) become masters of specific catalogues of books that he has collected or written throughout his life. Mastery of catalogue, both in abstract and practical, is each child’s only focus, and the cost of mastery is high. Murder and torture are commonplace at the Library. As terrible as his methods are, they work. Carolyn knows every language, dead and alive, human and otherwise. Her siblings are equally prodigious in each of their own catalogues.
In order to solve the mystery of who killed Father, Carolyn enlists the help of Steve, a local American who serves as nice foil to the other-world-ness of Carolyn and her siblings. He keeps the story grounded and reminds the reader of the stakes.
Overall, Hawkins has crafted a nice mix of fantasy and horror. And there are some horrifying portions (as I said before, murder and torture are common in the Library, and Hawkins has no issue describing just how horrible they are). The lore is doled out slowly throughout the novel, but just enough is always revealed to keep the reader interested without becoming overwhelmed.
I’m very happy that @andtheIToldYouSos recommended this book for me to pick up.
BINGO – Cannonballer Says