This is actually the second book in this series by Brandon Sanderson. If any of you are interested, you can find my review of the first book in the series, Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians over at 20four12 here.
With that out of the way, we can get to the actual review. Alcatraz and his trusty companions are once again at odds with the dastardly faction of Librarians intent on taking over the world. This time, the group is trying to track down some more information about Alcatraz’s father who has disappeared because he is supposedly the only person who knows the next step to defeating the Librarians.
Alcatraz puts his amazing (and much more important and powerful than originally portrayed) power of breaking things to use quite often in this installment as he explores the ancient Library of Alexandria. This time, his uncle is along for the ride who happens to have the power of getting lost. His cousin is around as well with the power to wake up looking ugly.
If you can’t tell by now, this entire book is written somewhat tongue in cheek by Sanderson, as is, I’m expecting the entire series. At first reading this book is a little bit difficult because the narrator (Alcatraz) is often running off on tangents, discussing what appear to be trivial details, and being rather self-deprecating; all while advancing the story. It takes a little getting used to but it works, trust me. I wouldn’t want to read books like this over and over in a row, but one every so often is a bit of a humorous treat. Unless your heart is made of stone you should find yourself laughing or chuckling fairly regularly at this book. Both the situations that the characters find themselves in and the quirky humor of the author give it a light-hearted, fun air.
The characters of Alcatraz and Bastille grow up a bit in this book from where we left them in the first book. They learn a little bit more about themselves, what they really want to be as they get older, and what their responsibilities mean. It’s not overbearing, but just enough growth that you can start to feel for them as characters a little more.
Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener’s Bones is technically a middle grade level book, but I heartily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good yarn. It’s outrageous, daring, quirky, and has surprising depth.
Length: 336 pages