ARC Review: The Library at Mount Char – Scott Hawkins

the library at mount char cover

Shortened Synopsis:

Carolyn’s not so different from the other human beings around her. She’s sure of it. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. She even remembers what clothes are for.

After all, she was a normal American herself, once.

That was a long time ago, of course—before the time she calls “adoption day,” when she and a dozen other children found themselves being raised by a man they learned to call Father.

Father could do strange things. He could call light from darkness. Sometimes he raised the dead. And when he was disobeyed, the consequences were terrible.

In the years since Father took her in, Carolyn hasn’t gotten out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father’s ancient Pelapi customs. They’ve studied the books in his library and learned some of the secrets behind his equally ancient power.

Sometimes, they’ve wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.

Now, Father is missing. And if God truly is dead, the only thing that matters is who will inherit his library—and with it, power over all of creation … (continued on Goodreads)

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Crown Publishing via Blogging for Books (and NetGalley) in exchange for an honest review.


First off, this book has by far been the most peculiar book I have had the chance to read. So much so that it actually came to the point where I chose to restart it at 40% because I literally had no idea what to do with all the information that was fired into my direction. However, I was happy to find that around midway through my second time reading the book, things started to come together.

Despite my confused state of mind, I finished the book in a day’s worth of reading which is really something when it comes to my reading habits, but I guess my attitude towards it was pretty much i have no idea what's going on but i'm excited

 Whilst I didn’t particularly feel any affection towards Carolyn, she grew on me like some type of fungi, especially during the last hundred pages or so of the book when I began to understand her whole motives when it came to what she was doing, because trust me, she was doing A LOT and at first glance none of it made any sense.

When it came to the other characters, I couldn’t actually bring myself to hate any of them. Even David, whose pink tutu just made up for his allegedly missing compassion and his willingness to murder and maim, or Father, whose character really deserved slightly more explanation than it actually got- although it may just be me and my need to know every single little detail about major characters in books I read because in the end, most if not all mysteries surrounding his persona were dispersed. I liked the other characters, with various degrees of attachment to each of them – Steve and Michael (and maybe the lions) being my particular favourites of the lot although I found every characters’ backstory riveting in their own ways.

This book is very much a spoiler minefield, the storyline drifted into so many directions anyone who says they could predict the ending even towards the end of the book, would be lying. There were far too many twists and turns throughout for that to be even partially true. Hence, I have found it harder than usual to review without stepping into dangerous territory – maybe because my brain decided to do this mind blown

somewhere in the process of reading it and has somehow not yet recovered enough to be able to form coherent, non-spoiling thoughts.

One thing I do know though, is that I actually loved the book in all its wonderful darkness and dry humour (which, living in Britain – I personally found quite amusing) and whilst I am aware that it may not be for everyone due to its sinister nature and some of the themes that it covers, I would definitely recommend for people to give it a go as it is a compelling read and presents our seemingly ordinary world in a way which hasn’t been done before.

My Rating: 4.5/5 Stars 

(although this may change as I believe I need slightly more time to process what my brain has been put through before deciding)

“It’s the idea that however deeply you understand the universe, however many mysteries you solve, there will always be another, deeper mystery behind it.”



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