Wednesday, 27 April 2016

"So now we've got teenage wizards. We've got vampire police."

"We've got a journalist's memoir, a designer'smanifesto, a celebrity chef's graphic novel."

In other words: Clay just started trying the bookshop he works at to get running, having new books attracting real customers, eventually making the shop not only being one of the bases for a secret foundation. Which this book is about.

Nice twist, right?
"Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore" by Robin Sloan is a lot about twists, or rather portioned-out cliffhangers, but they only come in real-time (with a few references to the past) and all the characters introduced are used up cleverly. When Clay needs a hand, his handy house mate comes to mind, after having been presented before; so does a girl who works as a programmer at Google, who gave Clay her number when she popped by the store, and when they have to go to New York to solve a mystery, how convenient that we got to know Neel, a friend from sixth grade that now is a rich CEO. It is a good strategy - we become friends with Clay's friends much easier this way.

This is a modern book. Online pages are bookmarked, he updates with F5, slides od a presentation are present. Clay is unemployed at first, very down to earth, and is looking for a job. The boys do not get the girls, at least not all of them, and there is even room for a breakup. The language is chit-chatty and rich. Maybe this is how a computer game's story could look like in text.

Me recommend. For a daily distraction and recurring suspense, even so between two train stations. Will Clay, Neel, Kat and Mr. Penumbra find the source to eternal life? 

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