Few things are worse for readers than being in a reading slump, so thank goodness for Robin Sloan for writing Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore. It pulled me out of a multi-week long reading slump during the holidays as easily if it were literature’s equivalent of a lifeguard. (Also thanks to pal @gbiv for recommending it to me on GoodReads.)
The story and writing are fresh. Magical. Smart. Bookish. Meta. It transports you into an enchanting fictional world while still feeling incredibly like the world we live in. It’s immensely enjoyable.
Clay Jannon is an extremely endearing narrator. Rooting for him feels like rooting for yourself, it’s so easy to relate to him. He’s funny. Honest. Flawed.
If you’re still not convinced that this book is an absolute treat, I’ll leave you with a few quotes:
“Of course we’ll accept it. That’s what you do on a quest. You listen to the old wizard’s problem and then you promise to help him.”
“Neel takes a sharp breath and I know exactly what it means. It means: I have waited my whole life to walk through a secret passage built into a bookshelf.”
“I’ve never listened to an audiobook before, and I have to say, it’s a totally different experience. When you read a book, the story definitely happens inside your head. When you listen, it seems to happen in a little cloud all around it, like a fuzzy knit cap pulled down over your eyes.”