ABR - Alcatraz vs. the Evil librarians

Thursday, August 20, 2009

This week's Audio Book Review is for another of Brandon Sanderson's books: Alcatraz vs. The Evil librarians.

About the book:
Alcatraz has spent his life being passed around to any foster family brave enough to take him. He never lasts long in any of these households, because he has an unusual (and potent) talent: he is able to break anything he touches.
On his thirteenth birthday he receives a package from his father, a package that is supposed to contain his inheritance, but only contains a bag of sand. In the next two chapters, several things happen in quick succession: Alcatraz burns down his foster parents' kitchen, a stranger shows up claiming to be his grandfather, Alcatraz's bag of sand is stolen, and a man with a gun threatens his life.

My Review:
This lighthearted, quirky audio book was a joy to listen to. The narrator, Charlie McWade, was perfect as Alcatraz and did a wonderful job with the voices and the personalities of the other characters, as well. I loved Alcatraz's exposition throughout the book, and his sarcastic asides often had me snorting out loud as I listened. The book is targeted at younger children, ages 9-12, but, as I may have mentioned before, I am a sucker for a good YA novel. And this is a good one. Fluffy, yes...but good. Central to the plot is a cult of evil librarians who control all of the information that reaches the Hushlands (otherwise known as the seven continents that we are all familiar with). During the course of the book, Alcatraz learns that he is tied to this cult of evil librarians because he is part of a very important family: The Smedrys. The Smedrys are part of the Free Kingdoms (several other continents and islands that the evil librarians don't want us to know about), and are all born with very specific talents, such as arriving late to things, being able trip and fall, and getting impossible amounts of water on the floor when they wash the dishes. The Smedrys use these unique talents to fight the empire that the evil librarians have built.

Sneak Peak:

"So, there I was, tied to an altar made from outdated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians."

If you would like to read more, there are three snippets available online on Brandon's website.

My Rating:
I give it 8/10
It was a fun read, and I'm planning to read the rest of the series, as well. Rutabaga.