The Great Recession has shuffled Clay Jannon away from life as a San Francisco web-design drone and into the aisles of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. But after a few days on the job, Clay discovers that the store is more curious than either its name or its gnomic owner might suggest. The bookstore’s secrets extend far beyond its walls.
When I first saw this book in a bookstore, I immediately made my best friend to buy it for me (since I had already spent my money on other books), so she bought it and gave it to me as a birthday present. She’s the best. Now, my birthday is in January. Now it’s June. Why didn’t I read this book earlier? I have no idea.
The whole premise of this book sounds just awesome. It’s a book about books and every bookworm can enjoy it. Well, that’s at least how it’s advertised and that’s what I expected from it. However, that’s not so true. Yes, it definitely is about books and one very weird bookstore, but it’s much more about technology and how computers and books intertwine, and not so much about books themselves. Still, I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick and fun read, the mystery was very well done, though the final reveal was not as exciting and mindblowing as I hoped it would be. For me, while reading I had a little bit of I am the Messenger and Ready, Player, One vibe. It reminded me of I am the Messneger because of the narrating style, and of Ready, Player, One because of all the geeky stuff.
Throughout the book we follow our main character Clay who is a very funny narrator and I liked that this book is in first person, but Clay didn’t really have very much personality. Also, we met a ton of side characters, but most of them were pretty flat and quite boring. Every single character had something that made them special and they all had a huge potential to become awesome characters, but I guess they were just underdeveloped. I did like Ajax Penumbra a lot, he’s probably the most interesting character in the book. Probably the weirdest as well. All the other characters were just names, without any personality.
It almost feels like author focused all of his attention to the mystery and how to make it even more complicated and at the end he just didn’t want to deal with characters as well so he just made a little bit of background story for each of them so the book can have semi-interesting characters. Aside from that, I did enjoy Robin Sloan‘s writing style. This book was very funny and easy to read and I very much liked all the stuff I learned about computers and books while reading this book. It was both entertaining and educational.
I would definitely recommend this book to you if you’re looking for something light-harded and fun to read over summer. This book is the perfect choice.