The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins will definitely be on my list of favorite books of 2015. Not only does it have a vast fantasy library as the seat of universal power, but it also centers around both a seemingly doomed quest and an epic conflict of good and evil for control of the world in which the two sides keep melting confoundingly into one another. I hope there is a sequel in the works for 2016!
Carolyn, the main character, is a librarian, but not the tea-sipping, cozy mystery-reading stereotype. There is something disturbingly powerful about her that others – “the Americans” – can sense, but can’t concentrate on long enough to figure out. The book is dark and apocalyptically violent, but allows readers (almost always) to keep a tiny, comforting, glimpse of hope for humanity.
If you like dark contemporary fantasy like American Gods by Neil Gaiman and The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman, you definitely want to read The Library at Mount Char. The publisher describes it this way:
Neil Gaiman meets Joe Hill in this astonishingly original, terrifying, and darkly funny contemporary fantasy.
Disclosure: I read an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley. I see the Highbridge audiobook edition is read by Hilary Huber, one of my favorite narrators, so now I may have to listen to the audiobook, too. Listen to an excerpt here.
The Library at Mount Char
Penguin, June 16, 2015