“Wholly original . . . the work of the newest major talent in fantasy.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Freakishly compelling . . . through heart-thumping acts of violence and laugh-out-loud moments, this book practically dares you to keep reading.”—Atlanta Magazine
A missing God.
A library with the secrets to the universe.
A woman too busy to notice her heart slipping away.
Carolyn's not so different from the other people around her. She likes guacamole and cigarettes and steak. She knows how to use a phone. Clothes are a bit tricky, but everyone says nice things about her outfit with the Christmas sweater over the gold bicycle shorts.
After all, she was a normal American herself once.
That was a long time ago, of course. Before her parents died. Before she and the others were taken in by the man they called Father.
In the years since then, Carolyn hasn't had a chance to get out much. Instead, she and her adopted siblings have been raised according to Father's ancient customs. They've studied the books in his Library and learned some of the secrets of his power. And sometimes, they've wondered if their cruel tutor might secretly be God.
Now, Father is missing—perhaps even dead—and the Library that holds his secrets stands unguarded. And with it, control over all of creation.
As Carolyn gathers the tools she needs for the battle to come, fierce competitors for this prize align against her, all of them with powers that far exceed her own.
But Carolyn has accounted for this.
And Carolyn has a plan.
The only trouble is that in the war to make a new God, she's forgotten to protect the things that make her human.
Populated by an unforgettable cast of characters and propelled by a plot that will shock you again and again, The Library at Mount Char is at once horrifying and hilarious, mind-blowingly alien and heartbreakingly human, sweepingly visionary and nail-bitingly thrilling—and signals the arrival of a major new voice in fantasy.
Praise for The Library at Mount Char
An engrossing fantasy world full of supernatural beings and gruesome consequences."—Boston Globe
"Vivid . . . the dialogue sings . . . you'll spend equal time shuddering and chortling."—Dallas Morning News"
In Hawkins's terror-driven debut, set in a twisted version of our world, the library at Garrison Oaks serves as both heaven and hell, a place where mastery of the library's 12 sections can bring untold power or unending misery. Twelve children orphaned in a mysterious disaster are taken in by Father, the stern librarian at Garrison Oaks. The library's millions of books cover topics ranging from the mundane to the downright spooky, and the orphans become Father's students, each assigned to a specific area of the library for study. Young Carolyn's section is languages, both human and other but first and foremost she is learning fear, obedience, and deep, quiet hatred of Father. Readers may struggle with the opening sections, where much happens and little is explained, but they will be relieved by the belated inclusion of flashbacks that answer many questions. Hawkins's cunning plotting is backed up by crisp dialogue, a sensation of constant dread, and a solid, subtly weird setting.
A New Favorite
I laughed. I ached and trembled. I laughed some more. I gasped, and I cried.
I will never forget this book. Easily one of my new favorites of all time. Perfectly crafted, the detail, the emotion. I felt it all, and as it reached its crescendo, I splintered. What a beautiful ache to be left with.
Funny, intense, gory, whimsical, weird.
Outstanding in depth, characters, twists, and imagination. It’s been years since a book has risen into my top 10. Alas, here we are.