The Library at Mount Char is one of the more original books I’ve read. It’s been compared to the works of Joe Hill and Neil Gaiman. Content wise, I would agree. With that being said, it’s nowhere near as well written as Hill’s books, and vastly better written than Gaiman. Love Gaiman, don’t get me wrong, but he’ll be the first to tell you that he takes minimalism to a whole new level. And Hill? Well, Hill is just the man. If you don’t fan-swoon over either of the aforementioned scribes, you’ll likely hate this book like a trip to the dentist. If you don’t like weird shit in general, you’re apt to drain your UTI onto its pages and keep right on steppin’ without a fuck shown or given.
Scott Hawkins has some fantastic ideas showcased herein. Dude has an imagination on par with Gerald Brom (The Child Thief, Krampus). Maybe a little Lovecraft thrown in because reasons. I don’t read Lovecraft but I am familiar with his mythos and there was quite a bit of that on display here. There’s even a mention of The Deep Ones (Lovecraft was… what? The Old Ones?). So, if you like Lovecraft you will probably like this far-out book. (Please don’t try and convince me that Lovecraft is fantabulous and I should consume his literature ASAP. I don’t like the guy or his writing, and that’s all I need say on the subject.)
One major complaint I had was the lack of character development. There is some tacked onto the ass end of the novel, but it felt like an afterthought. It’s as if Hawkins said, “Oh, well, we’ve come this far with these characters, I guess it’s about time to learn something meaningful about them.” What we learn is good. The problem lies in the timing. At the point the character dev drops, it really doesn’t matter if you love or loathe the characters. The meat of the book is gone and all that’s left is the juice. This last-minute character dev seemed to be the optional slice of bread with which to sop up said juice. It’s filling. It’ll hit the spot. But it’s not the same thing asmore steak.
Which brings me to the meat. Hot-fucking-damn is this book gory. If they ever manage to put to film the contents of this story we’re talking a very hard R-rating. Guts on the ceiling, testicles removed, and a metric-fuck-tonne of blood are only a few things you’ll come across. The horror fiend in me was giddier than a redneck at a Larry the Cable Guy show. You will also run into nuclear explosions and time travel. I’m telling you, sports fans, this book is fucking out there.
In summation: I know I haven’t told you shit about the plot, and I’m not going to. If you want a rundown, read the goddamn synopsis. I’m here to tell you what I liked or didn’t like about the book. Will you like and dislike the same things? Fuck if I know. Should you spend your hard-earned coin to buy this book? I don’t know. Can you afford it? Is your rent paid? Are your kids fed? Have you completed all your adult responsibilities for the month? Can you read it and return it within the seven-day grace period? Book buying like every other life choice is your decision to make as a discerning adult. I can hold your hand through the process but I can’t make you like the book. All I know, padawan, is that the force was strong with this one, and I have no idea why I just went all Star Wars on your ass. Until next time, this is Harry Potter coming at you from Narnia with some timey-wimey supernatural bullshit. Holla!
Final Judgment: If I were an adult with an income, I would buy this book.