Mark Lawrence's Reviews > The Library at Mount Char

The Library at Mount Char by Scott  Hawkins
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
4508542
's review

it was amazing

This is a very strange book!

Reading the blurb I thought I was in for some sort of urban fantasy of the angels + demons, werewolves + vampires sort that often has a young woman in leathers on the cover showing an inch of midriff.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

This is a very brutal, rather crazy/flaky book that is so compellingly written it just drags you off on its bizarre journey.

The story opens on the small scale and stays there for a while, all the time stacking up the questions and level of weirdness. It concerns the "children" of a godlike father-figure, each of whom have access to a very specific fraction of his vast knowledge & power. Our main character (one of three points of view) has mastery of ... languages. Which doesn't sound like much, but she works it.

Towards the end of the book the sense of scale accelerates rapidly, zipping through the US president and moving on to issues of planetary significance and beyond to jeopardise the solar system!

The book has been highly successful. Its average rating is good but not sky high, and I suspect that this is to do with the way that the closing sections really don't make a lot of sense unless you are prepared to take a lot of random arm waving on board.

I found I could swallow the end game weakness and thus ended up thinking the book was excellent.

Surprisingly for a book set in the US, lions play a significant role in the story! Given my knowledge of lions (gathered solely by watching David Attenborough etc) I would say that Hawkins doesn't know much about lions (I don't think the male head of the pride goes hunting with his female cub ... I think the males laze around and the females hunt). But this is a minor niggle and I may be wrong! I actually really liked the lion sections.

So yes, a very imaginative, very well written, intriguing, exciting, brutal, funny book that you should definitely give a go.


Join my 3-emails-a-year newsletter #prizes


….
203 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Library at Mount Char.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

August 15, 2018 – Started Reading
August 15, 2018 – Shelved
August 15, 2018 –
page 0
0.0% "Had to take Celyn to a hospital appointment today and needed a hard copy book so grabbed this one. They kept us waiting 2.5 hours so I made a good start. Exciting stuff, very intriguing, and pretty grim!"
August 16, 2018 –
page 110
28.35% "I want to read this rather than write :o"
August 17, 2018 –
page 114
29.38% "Hmmm... I don't think male lions teach their cubs to hunt... Or that tranquilizer darts work that fast."
September 13, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-18 of 18 (18 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

Eric I really liked this one as well. I didn't mind about the lion behavior too much, as I thought (perhaps unreasonably) that they were special. Affected by Father's or the Librarians' abilities, or similar to Nobununga, some kind of ur-Lion.


Belinda Lewis I'm convinced personality wise that Naga is a spot on lion - grouchy,, loyal, snuggly and murderous. As a disclaimer I wouldn't say I have any lion friends, they're really more like acquaintances ;)


Brad Kirk Just finished this one myself. Certainly one of the crazier (and brutal) books I've read in a long while. For sheer weird/awesome imagination, I put this book right up there with Senlin Ascends. My one question is that because I listened to this book on audio, I wasn't able to tell if the character dialogue throughout the book was poorly-written and caricature-like, or if that was just how the narrator made it sound. Your thoughts?


Mark Lawrence Brad wrote: "Just finished this one myself. Certainly one of the crazier (and brutal) books I've read in a long while. For sheer weird/awesome imagination, I put this book right up there with Senlin Ascends. My..."

I didn't notice anything wrong with the dialogue. The librarians are not part of society so their conversation is likely to be ... odd. And when it gets to phoning the president etc ... well, it's hard to know how that would go, so I can't say one way or the other.


Elaine Mark wrote: "Brad wrote: "Just finished this one myself. Certainly one of the crazier (and brutal) books I've read in a long while. For sheer weird/awesome imagination, I put this book right up there with Senli..."

Reading this review and the comments was enough to push me over towards trying out the book. It sounds fascinatingly different.


Brad Kirk Thanks for your input, Mark. I plan to re-read TLAMC in physical format at some point in the near future and will hopefully enjoy it even more the second time around.

Elaine, this book is well worth your time!


Elaine Brad wrote: "Thanks for your input, Mark. I plan to re-read TLAMC in physical format at some point in the near future and will hopefully enjoy it even more the second time around.

Elaine, this book is well wor..."


Thanks Brad. I ordered it from the library and it is #4 in the pile....


Elaine Thank you SO MUCH for recommending this book. I thought it was fantastic. I mentioned in my review that this author made me feel the way I felt when Stephen King showed up on the scene -- as if something brand new, super disturbing and remarkable had just exploded on the scene.


Mark Lawrence Elaine wrote: "Thank you SO MUCH for recommending this book. I thought it was fantastic. I mentioned in my review that this author made me feel the way I felt when Stephen King showed up on the scene -- as if som..."

You're welcome :)


message 10: by A. (new) - added it

A. B. Neilly Sounds great to me.


Thomas Yep, yep, yep. I was surprised with how easy it was to read this book and get caught up in, all while thinking, "None of this should work."


Midge Hey Mark! Check out the trailer of Netflix's upcoming Umbrella Academy, it reminded me so much of this book (but of course they're not quite the same).


Katharina thank you for you review, I just finished it and I am really blown away! Full 5 stars! I started to read some of your reviewed books and so far, I never was „dissappointet“.


message 14: by A. (new) - added it

A. B. Neilly You discovered this book to me. Thank you. It is so good.


Manuel That book was so amazing.


message 16: by Patricia (new) - added it

Patricia Burroughs I think I may have added this book to my TBR when you first posted this review. Now that it has popped up again in my feed, I'm going to see if I can find it in audio. In the meantime, it also reminds me how perilous writing book copy is.


RedJorgAncrath I loved this book. Totally f'd up, but I thought in a good way. And yes, male lions do join especially tough hunts sometimes, depending on how desperate the pride is getting. Definitely not the norm though. They're there for defense mostly.


message 18: by Ronnie (new)

Ronnie Reagan I'm just barely past the part where they discuss an entity called The Duke which, if allowed to assemble, will erase all matter in the universe. Also, the Black Candle?! I really like the ever-increasing levels of mystery! The feeling reminds me of Perdido Street Station, in the sense that the world-building is set to consistently dangle some crazy and imaginative mystery weirdness which gets your imagination engaged.


back to top