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


Rating: ★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Date read: January 13 to 15, 2013
Read count: 1

* * * spoilers below * * *

Friends and acquaintances who work in IT recommended this book to me with rave reviews–“best book I’ve read in a while” and “you’re got to read THIS.” So naturally I had to take a look to see what all the fuss was about and… I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it’s an IT thing that only people who worship Google understand because I did not get it.

This is the description on the book page:

Global conspiracy, complex code-breaking, young love, and the secret to eternal life

Hyped much? Which makes this book possibly the most hyped up book I’ve read this year.

The writing is similar to that which you’d find in current YA fiction, not contemporary (grown-up) fiction. For the most part, the story is bland and forgettable, like the mystery/conspiracy. Are we to believe that a several-century-old mystery can turn out to be so dull? And it all comes down to fonts? This is what passes for “complex” and “the secret to eternal life” apparently. I don’t buy it, but apparently a lot of people did/do. Maybe it’s a matter of taste. Or maybe it’s a matter of the book being over-hyped.

The Cover glows in the dark. As much as I hate gimmicky novels, I love gimmicky covers. The gimmickier, the better.

Original review to be found here.


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