I usually write my book reviews for Sundays but since I already have another post planned for that day I thought I’ll do this review today. Plus I’m off for the day as comp time for working this past weekend.
Back in June of last year I wrote about not being about to finish a book, Faerie Wars Chronicles by James Herbert Brennan. Today I’m going to be doing the same thing except for a whole series. Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians series by Brandon Sanderson was on my to read list for about a year. I remember seeing the first book while working as a Page before going to grad school. I checked it out and never got around to reading it. Then I found a copy for next to nothing at a Border’s. It took me another year before I would actually read it.
I remember tweeting about the weirdness of reading a book about evil librarians while in school to become a librarian. It messed with my mind. The first book was lacking to say it nicely. I don’t hate it but I don’t love it. The story sets up with Alcatraz inheriting special sand that a cult of evil librarians are willing to kill to get. The characters are great and the plot is interesting. What ruined the book for me was the gimmick the author employed over and over. He goes off on supposedly fun tangents and at first I thought these tangents were suppose to be weird forms of foreshadowing. And some are, but mostly they are distracting.
It is a juvenile series so I thought I’m over thinking it. It was a fun story and even though the book ends terribly in the regards of a cliff hanger, I kinda wanted to know what happened next. So I waited some months to find the second book and again I was let down. I was hoping for more of the characters and plot development and instead I got even more gimmicky writing. The second book picks up right where the first book ended and ends no better. It’s a decent size book for a youth series but the plot didn’t really advance much. I remember feeling this way when I read books 5 and 6 of the Harry Potter series, they really could have been one book in regards to plot advancement.
So another few months went by and I was on the fence on reading book three, but here’s the thing I really wanted to like this series. So last weekend I read book three…and again a book full of gimmicky writing. But worst, because the main characters went all angsty on me and I felt lost their charm. The plot dragged along and in the end once again there was no real rhyme or reason for it. Honestly the book could have been much shorter and gotten the same bang for my buck.
Will I read book four? I highly doubt it, at this point it would be just to finish out a series and plus they are short reads. I think a lot of people who like this series and would like this series. I’m not one of them, maybe it’s my librarian teaching that has clouded my mind so that I can’t appreciate the genius of this series, but I just kind of like stories that actually have a plot to them. But if you have the time check out book one from your library and give it a go. Let me know how you feel about it.