Monday, February 11, 2013

Robin Sloan. MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE **Updated**

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore was just awarded the Alex Award on the freshly released ALA Awards. The Alex Awards is a list of outstanding adult books recommended for teens. It's in the vein of THE WESTING GAME and THE DA VINCI CODE, sort of. It's acutally a pretty unique puzzle/mystery/fantasy book all in its own.

Clay Jannon wanders into Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore because of the "help-wanted" sign. Little does he know that the store will change his life forever. It's no ordinary bookstore. Behind the few shelves with new books are these other mysterious looking, extremely tall shelves filled to the ceiling with one-of-a-kind books. Not simply rare books, but books that are literally the only one with those words.

After getting hired, Mr. Penumbra gives Clay an unusual set of instructions. After each customer transaction, he must write down everything about that customer's actions, clothes, and state of mind in the log book. Although the term "customer" seems to be incorrect, since the customers are merely exchanging their books for other books off the shelves in the back. No one pass any attention to the "regular" shelves in the front.

Mr. Penumbra told Clay not to look inside the books in the back, under any circumstances. But as things get weirder, Clay may not be able to resist any longer. What's in those books, and who are these quirky characters who are reading them? And why is the store open 24-hours, but rarely has any customers?

I loved this unique adventure! It's filled with secret societies, rare books, puzzles and codes, as well as Google headquarters! I'm not sure whether or not the information about what Google is really like, but it sure was fun reading about it. I loved the weaving together of old books and new technology. I also enjoyed the cast of characters, who were charming and fun.

Highly recommended!!

Check out this video of the author. I love when he talks about people asking him to pick between Books or Cool Stuff. I agree with him that we can love both! Click and the link will open up to the video on Amazon.

**NEW** Check this out! Macmillan Audio has graciously allowed me to share the first 13 minutes of the audio book! Click here to listen. The narrater is perfect!