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(Libyrinth #1)

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  646 ratings  ·  159 reviews
In her debut novel, Pearl North takes readers centuries into the future, to a forgotten colony of Earth where technology masquerades as magic and wars are fought over books.

Haly is a Libyrarian, one of a group of people dedicated to preserving and protecting the knowledge passed down from the Ancients and stored in the endless maze of books known as the Libyrinth. But Haly
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Tor Teen
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Average rating 3.42  · 
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 ·  646 ratings  ·  159 reviews

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Jul 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommended to Theresa by: Maria V. Snyder
Shelves: fantasy, ya, 2010
First 1/2 of Book: 3 stars
Second 1/2 of Book: 3-1/2 stars

The book has an interesting premise... a giant library that you can get lost in. What lover of books wouldn't love to go to such a place?

For the first portion of this book, my attention waned and I kept forcing myself to read. The story starts right off with the action... there is no build-up to the action and no introduction to the characters involved besides the bare minimum. I really didn't care at all for their trials or survival throu
Jun 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This book dealt with issues of censorship, race and diversity, gender, and destiny. And it didn't follow the beaten path of the usual type of plot. It explored the meaning of music and the written word in a unique way, too. And it moved along nicely. Lately, I've been bored by every YA fantasy novel that I pick up. It was all the same 'ol same 'ol, blah blah, yawn yawn. This one was very very refreshing. It's good YA.
Aug 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Original post at The Little Bookworm

Haly is a clerk to Libyrarian Selene in the Libyrinth, a vast library containing just about every book ever written. Haly is unique though since she can hear the books talk, they read themselves to her. When she is taken by the Eradicants, an illiterate people who believe words are murdered once they are written down, she is thought to be their Redeemer, the one who can unite the Word and the Song. In their city, Haly realizes the truth of her world's history
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Summer
I stumbled across this book while looking for another book in the Just In section of the Young Adult shelves. The title and absolutely gorgeous cover caught my eye, and the summary sold because it sounded like the kind of story a friend of mine would write.

It has a bit of a rough start, and at first glance seems like a cliché censorship-is-evil story, but then it quickly opens up with twists and revelations until even the antagonist are truly sympathetic. I'd compare it to origami, with everythi
(review originally posted on my livejournal account:

I've never heard of Pearl North before, so when Libyrinth was selected as [info]calico_reaction's Dare for the month of October, I was intrigued, but I also had zero expectations; I had no idea what the book was about or even what genre it was (though from the cover, I had initially guessed Fantasy -- I was half right.) It really helped that this book was on sale at work for $7.99 for the hardcover, wit
Emily Michelle
Feb 03, 2011 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this book. No, I wanted to love this book. I mean, it's about people who live in a library so large that some people get lost in the stacks and never come out. Nothing about that is not cool. Unfortunately, the book never really lives up to the coolness of that premise.

Actually, half the book is decent. After about the third chapter, the narrative splits and follows two characters. The first is Haly, the girl on the cover, and her story is all right, as she's captured by her ene
Jul 08, 2009 added it
I bought this book primarily because of the Maria Snyder endorsement--I found Maria's STUDY books to be so addicting that any endorsement by her was enough for me!

It did strike me as perfect, too, as I read and saw just how addicting North's work is. LIBYRINTH had that same unputdownable quality as POISON STUDY had--something unexplainably gripping that made me want to not put the book down until I finished.

North has built a new world here from the ground up--sort of. Clearly the world of LIBYRI
Patrick Burgess
Sep 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
Great Potential... Didn't Live Up To It

I can't tell you how excited I was in the beginning of the book: an enormous library that people can get lost in; a girl who can hear the mutterings of books, as though they are reading themselves to her; an ancient race who used music/song to activate their technology (ancient in terms of the time period in the story, but it's far in our future). They are the makings of a really interesting tale... but they just never took off.

There are some cool things th
Flora Smith
Aug 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was an interesting idea about three different societies living at odds in the far future on a different planet. The Libyrarians and the Singers are at odds with each other with the Librarians embracing the written word and the Singers only following the oral traditions with religious zeal. Based on the premises of Fahrenheit 451 with the burning of books and the belief that written words corrupt the people, the Singers (also known as Eradicants by the Libyrarians) go about burning books to ...more
Nov 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really loved this book. Haly is a convincing and compelling character, and her talent to hear books is really fantastic. Great worldbuilding, very satisfying read.
Jul 18, 2009 rated it liked it
Full Review Link

Libyrinth is the story of a clerk named Haly, who has a singular skill that she hides from everyone. While she like all of those in the Libyrinth can read and write, the written word speaks to her and only she can hear it. Afraid she will be seen as a witch or punished for this ability, Haly tells no one except her best friend Clauda, a kitchen servant of the Libyrinth. But Haly’s gift has a higher purpose and will not remain buried forever; when Haly’s assigned Libyrarian, Selen
La Coccinelle
Jan 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
What a lousy synopsis this book has! It leaves out half of the plot and one half of the character action (there are two main characters in this book, not just one). But I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Everything about this book is shoddy. If I wanted to read a grammar-abusing first draft with tons of plot holes, I'd go find some online fan fiction.

First, let me say that the basic premise of the plot (see synopsis) is really not that bad; it's what kept me reading through more than 300 pages
Aug 26, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2011
The premise is fantastic. In fact, when I fully comprehended the protagonist’s power, I swooned. In envy, with lust – just, how amazing would it be to have books speaking to you? To have the knowledge, the words, the ideas flow out of the book into you. To hear the voices of books, the actual voices and not just the ones you dream up in your head.

Pretty amazing, huh? I think so too. Haly has that power. Or should I say, the ability to hear books speaking. In actual voices. Oh my. Okay, fine, I’l
Oct 04, 2009 rated it really liked it
Pearl North is the pseudonym of another author, but this is apparently her first young adult novel. Thought I'd make that distinction since on Amazon it claims its from a debut author, technically true, but not really.

For a book nut like myself Libyrinth was a really fun read--the book has dozens of quotes from all sorts of famous literary works (The Diary of Anne Frank, Tale of Two Cities, Life of Pi) and technical manuals (Glenn's Complete Bicycle Manual). For the most part the quotes correspo
Marthese Formosa
Jul 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book was such an exquisite read! It's for Bibliophiles and very realistic.

It contains a lot of quotes that are very timely and make you want to read the other books- of which there is a list at the end.

It was interesting to read a bout the various cultures- they are so different but also complimentary. There are the people of the Libyrinth with value the written word and are equal in treatment of women and men. There is the Singers who value the song and are mostly patriarchal. And there a
Jul 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is one of those unfortunate cases where I had to give a book two stars because it was so poorly executed, but I was sad to because it held so much promise.

This was a young adult science fiction set in the far future, long after humans have left Earth. Humanity has evolved so much that its most recent history is far more relevant to these cultures' identities than our own modern-day Earth history. These cultures' predecessors, the Ancients, seem to be descendants of modern-day Earth whose te
Books may speak to you sometimes but likely not in the same way they speak to Haly, the protagonist of Libyrinth. In this far future Earth, Haly hears books speaking their stories to her.

Haly works as a Libyrarian clerk in the Libyrinth, a fortress dedicated to preserving books. The books must be preserved against the Eradicants, a powerful group who fear books, forbid their followers from learning to read, and seek to destroy all books save The Book of the Night (a book rumored to hold all of t
May 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book left me so conflicted I almost have no idea what to do with myself.

I personally am in library school, working toward pa my masters degree in order to become a librarian so the Libyrinth was a beautiful and wonderful place for me. The thought of burning those books, that knowledge, was heartbreaking. I hated the Eradicants until the story became more about them, their knowledge and beliefs and I was torn with who to side with. The Singers (Eradicants) who wish to put knowledge into son
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
There was so very much to love about a book that celebrated the power of the written and spoken word. It was also a frightening look into a future where books burned and knowledge is fractured. The opening chapter was as terrifying to me as Farenheit 451.

The idea of having the ability to hear books without opening them as well as being able to read them is all kinds of awesome, and I enjoyed how various quotes from different books were interspersed throughout the narrative. I especially loved th
Dec 20, 2009 rated it liked it
I have mixed feelings about this book. I don't know if it was that my expectations were higher then what the book delivered or if it just was that this wasn't what I was expecting.

The story and plot line is great for people who love books and it's fairly easy to follow. However I thought there were a few issues that really prevented me from enjoying it. First, the little nod thing was a little ..... odd. Another odd and completely out there item was the massage segements those were just too lon
Jul 16, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: teen, fantasy, apocalyptic
Summary: In a distant future where Libyrarians preserve and protect the ancient books that are housed in the fortress-like Libyrinth, Haly is imprisoned by Eradicants, who believe that the written word is evil, and she must try to mend the rift between the two groups before their war for knowledge destroys them all.

Although this is marketed as a teen book, it seems it was really written to entice teen librarians to purchase it. The initial idea held some merit - what reader can resist the idea o
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Review published at Bitches With Books. To read, click the link!

My first read in 2013! I’ve craved this book for so long. I have a weakness for something that has a touch of bibliomania, or books about books. In short, I thought this book was good-great, it has the potential to be fully great, to be amazing and stunning, a work of true poetry. Unfortunately, North doesn’t push the limits or boundaries enough, and the book is on the cusp of greatness, the edge of the cliff but, it just fa
Jul 20, 2010 rated it it was ok
A future library set in an enormous Labyrinth (Libyrinth), run by libyrarians? It was screaming to be read. Unfortunately, I had to force myself to finish it. The story was bogged down by too many weird names and situations that I had a hard time wrapping my head around. There were parts throughout the story where I thought things were picking up but then they'd slow right down again. And it's going to be a trilogy? Thanks but I think this is where I'll get off.
Apr 30, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: girls 8th grade and up
Shelves: middle-school, 2009
Literate vs illiterate. Reading vs Memorizing. How vs Why. This book seemed to drag in spots, but I can't think of anything that "could" have been cut out...
LG (A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions)
Anytime I hear about a book that has librarians in it, or one where books are very prominent in some way, I can't help but want to read it. Unfortunately, this one was a bit of a slog for me - the only reason I finished it well before my ILL due date was because I wasn't allowing myself to start reading Moribito until I finished this.

I really like all the book quotes sprinkled throughout the text. The author seemed to have quotes available for all kinds of situations, and, joy of joys, the selec
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
(3.5 stars) This is the first book in the series. Haly lives and works in the Libyrinth, a repository of books from the Ancients. They are under pressure from the Eradicants, who believe that the written word needs to be burned to release its voice, believing in an oral history through song. Haly is different from the others in the Libyrinth in that she can hear books. A quest to find aid, leads Haly to encounter the Eradicants and be captured. She must use her gift to try to mitigate the confli ...more
Samantha Tennant
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book was really interesting and different. I loved the idea of the giant monastary/library, and echoed the horror of the Libyrarians at the idea of destroying all their books. It's been a while since I read it, so I don't remember details, but the fact that I smile every time I see it on my shelf reminds me that it was a great read.
Sep 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
I didn’t care for this book. I found it hard to read and. I didn’t like how it is supposed to be in the future but reads like the past. There’s too many characters to try and keep track of. There were some weird storylines happening. I dont know I wasn’t a fan at all.
Ashley Ferguson
Jul 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
This review and more can be found at The A P Book Club!

Going into this book, I figured we would just get to see a lot of the Libyrinth - a library that is literally a labyrinth. But oh my goodness, this was SO much more than that! A futuristic, fantasy world that still retains information and knowledge of the world we know that is advanced in some ways and yet archaic in others. It's the perfect combination of known and unknown, and everything about it just sings!

The world building in this book
Mar 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
You would think i would love this book, because it's about book devotees, but it was just pretty good. I didn't hate it. I enjoyed it, but i don't know if I'll continue the trilogy. It didn't end on a cliff-hanger, so I think i can get away with not reading the other two books, if I choose not to. The plot revolves around Haly, Clauda, and Selene. These girls live at the Libyrinth, an infamous Library full of books, but the Library is in danger of their enemy the Singers. The Singers are illiter ...more
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