Cover Illustrator : Christopher Brand
Setting: 1970s, 2010s, USA
Rated : 9 Stars
Carolyn, blood-drenched and barefoot, walked alone down the two-lane stretch of blacktop that the Americans called Highway 78.
–Scott Hawkins - The library at Mount Char - c.2015
Part of my RIP reading
Carolyn is a librarian. Or at least that is word her Father uses. That is the term she uses for herself. But what she does is not what you might think when you hear the word librarian. Most librarians, after all, don’t murder people as part of their work. Maybe CIA librarians? And very very few librarians that I have met also resurrect people. It’s just not that common. Unless you happen to be one of Father’s librarians, or students.
In the 1970s one of Father’s enemies launched an attack on him. He survived, but many did not, so Father took 12 orphans into his house, to raise as his Pelapi, or librarians. Each was given a specific catalogue or area of study and set to learning all they possibly could.
And that is all you need to know about the plot of this book. The less you know going in the better, although I would really recommend that you read it. It is a fantastic book. I pretty much devoured it in two sessions. Nom nom nom.
I decided to read it because Kameron Hurley mentioned it very favourably on her blog and then SF Signal also mentioned it as a book that people needed to pick up so I followed instruction and did so. It is great. And I agree with both of those reviews, you really should read this book.
It covers some weird and nasty things, rape, murder, end of the world, torture. But it also has a lot of compassion in it. It is a disturbing look at how to turn good people into monsters, how revenge can drive people to horrible consequences. It is also full of humour and wonder.
You can read an excerpt from it here and see if it’d suit you. If that opening doesn’t grab you then I don’t know what will.