Michael Patrick Brady

Books

The Library at Mount Char | Scott Hawkins

July 2, 2015

My review of Scott Hawkins’s The Library at Mount Char ran today in the Boston Globe.

This one started out promising, with some creepy H.P. Lovecraft/Stephen King vibes, but when you give your characters magic powers and don’t rein them in, or provide any kind of coherent system of boundaries and consequences, a plot can get real sloppy real fast. And while Scott Hawkins has a knack for creating some very imaginative, very macabre imagery, he has a lot of trouble crafting a solid, logical plot to hold it all together.

About a third of the way through the book, things go haywire, with the protagonist, Carolyn, resorting to increasingly irrational and convoluted means of manipulating those around her. And then two-thirds of the way through the book, Carolyn admits that it was all irrational and convoluted, but tries to convince us that it was actually part of a grander, brilliant plan that those around her were just too simple to comprehend. All in all, a real let down, and the review goes into more specifics on what a missed opportunity it is.

Rating: | Michael Patrick Brady

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