Page Count 400
Publication date April 2022
–A mysterious library contains the secrets to the universe in a sweeping visionary fantasy that is at once heartbreaking, horrifying, nail-biting and thrilling. Perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman.
Carolyn’s not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts.
After all, she was a normal American herself once.
That was a long time ago, of course. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father.
In the years since then, Carolyn hasn’t had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they’ve wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.
Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation.
There’s no info dump with this story, and whilst most people hate them, I find them sometimes a necessary and acceptable evil. In the case of The Library At Mount Char I probably would have preferred a little more upfront explanation.
Honestly to begin with I was pretty lost and confused! There are a lot of characters to grasp and with minimal description aside from their names I struggled to keep them in place.
Father is missing. This is where we begin. With Carolyn covered in blood and hiding a knife on her journey to meet the other ‘librarians’ (12 orphaned children adopted to become students of one godly power each) and discuss their search efforts.
A search that explores the present and future, living and dead, human and animal. It seems that Father could be anywhere, anything, anyone. For atleast a third of the book I had absolutely no idea what I was reading.. but I was enjoying it even so!
Hawkins imagination is impressive, I guarantee you’ve never read a tale quite like this before! Once I began to pull the strands together it was refreshing to find such a unique plot.
I especially liked the communication and bond between humans and animals, as ever the found family is also a beloved trope of mine- more so in this case where not all the orphaned ‘librarians-‘ are aligned.
The majority of Mount Char centres on Carolyn’s scheming, a truly strange librarian with unknowable intentions and Steve her unwilling criminal accomplice. We learn of the librarian world through Steve’s experience, I quickly became invested in his character and preferred his timeline, possibly because it was easier to understand!
To enjoy The Library At Mount Char you have to just run with it. Don’t try to figure out the whys or hows. Don’t expect everything to be neatly explained. Definitely don’t expect to make any sense of it until the very end.
I thoroughly enjoyed it, and hope that the ending is cause for a sequel.