What would you do if you were suddenly thrusted into a world where books holds a 500 year secret that has been protected by a society hidden in plain sight? Well you read of course. And discover the secret the books hold. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is a story of mystery, fantasy, friendship, a little bit of romance and adventure, and a whole lot more of secrets and codes.
I honestly haven’t heard of Robin Sloan, author of the novel, but when I picked up the book from the shelves at the store, I wasn’t disappointed. I may have not heard of the author but the reason I picked this up is because of the title. I mean, what kind of story would it be? What story does a bookstore holds that it takes a full novel to tell? Turns out a bookstore does not only hold stories, it also holds a secret.
And it’s about books. Who wouldn’t want to read a book about books, right? It also deals with a not so new conflict between the old technology and new technology in reading books, namely printed books and electronic books. Many readers have argued about this, and the story offered by Sloan deals with it in a deeper, more serious way than all we can ever imagine.
Clay Jannon, the protagonist and narrator as it is told in a first person point of view, is a tech-savvy, resourceful young man who have proven himself loyal and caring to his friends and other people he cares about. He is not like a typical nerd who seems to know about everything and loves to have fun, different from most nerd class characters.
There’s a whole lot of excitement, mysteries, and relationship that readers would find fascinating, though it falls short in the adventure side.