Book Review: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, by Robin Sloan

3 Stars

I don’t know what to do with this one. I finished it days ago, and have been ruminating over it ever since, and I still don’t know what I think. So this is probably going to be a very short review.

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So this guy gets screwed over by the economy and ends up working at this weird little bookstore where the customers borrow books instead of buy them. He’s curious, so he noses around and begins uncovering the mystery of the bookstore with the help of his friends. Old and new technology clashing seems to be the point of the entire thing. And I believe Sloan’s thesis is that there will always be room for both the old and the new, and one isn’t necessarily evil compared to the other.

I was intrigued for the first 10 to 15 pages. I was in love with it, actually. It had just the right amount of quirk. And then something happened…but I’m not sure what. The rest of the book went downhill. Something was just off.  I can’t pinpoint it. And that’s why I’ve been thinking about it for days.

I did finish, though. But I was kind of skimming toward the end. My mind would wander, and I would snap back to the story and realize I’d read several pages that way. And no, I didn’t go back to reread them. I was able to keep up without really paying attention.

According to Goodreads, this is the first in a series. I probably won’t be reading any more.

My favorite part was the cover. The first night I read it, I put in on my nightstand, shut out the light, and got a nice surprise. I’m a dork. But try it.

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