Mr Penumbra’s 24- Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Mr Penumbra

Fascinating book, especially if you like bookstores, computers, and fantasy!  Obviously, I love books, so a book about a bookstore has to be icing on the cake, but this was way different from what I expected.  The main character, Clay, gets a job at the bookstore as a clerk, working the night shift. He has been a computer graphics designer but lost his job as so many do and is desperate to find work.  Clay immediately begins to sense that there are things not quite right about the bookstore. For example, it is very tall (the shelves go way up in the air and the books have to be reached by tall ladders that slide), very few of the books are recognizable, and rarely does any one come in the store.  He soon discovers that there are members to the store with each assigned a number and they check out the books like a library. This only leads to more questions because the books are strange and there is no money coming into the store.

This begins the adventure of the secret society, the searching for answers to a 500 year old puzzle, a complicated interaction with Google (yes, the company), a guy that makes models of anything from scratch not using computer graphics, an expert in women’s boobs, and an underground bunker.  This is book is very fun because you just do not know where it will take you. The story is interesting (how did he think this up?), the characters are well developed and believable and the fantasy is just the right amount to buy into.

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