Besides incessant listening to audiobooks, I also read on my Kindle at night, birdwatch, garden (roses, daylilies), and do genealogy.
I just want to start out by saying that Ready Player One was a favorite of mine and I listened to it twice in a row.
Mr. Penumbra, on the other hand, just did not keep my interest. I felt it was written for a much younger audience. In addition, its level of geekiness and fantasy was way beyond what I could comprehend or enjoy. The characters were not particularly likeable or memorable and although I finished the book, I just did not care at all how it ended.
Whether I am just not the right demographic or the book wasn't that good, I can't tell. I would not recommend it to any of the people in my life, even the younger, more computer savvy ones.
This book reads more like a YA geekfest rather than the novel as it's advertised. The characters are well-drawn - could be archetypes of all the marginal guys (& gals) from my high school days - marginal because they were brainiacs and mathletes and did not participate, either by choice or by expulsion from the "it" group, in the popular cultural elite du jour.
Yes, it's all about an unusual bookstore but not from an adult's perspective of the store nor from the viewpoint of what happens in the neighborhood. I just felt caged in the mind of a precocious and brilliant teenager - even though the protagonist is way older than that - and was really looking for a book for an older demographic. Which is a convoluted way of saying this was not the book for me.
The writing seemed juvenile and I kept thinking I was reading a Harry Potter book with different settings and different characters.
NOT what I expected AT ALL. Another waste of a credit.
On account of this audiobook, I had to un-follow a fellow audible member whose reviews I thought I could trust.
I'm actually a little worried he took drugs and then wrote the review, or had his account hacked.
The great story premise and synopsis led me to believe I was getting an urban fantasy with fascinating characters drawn into strange happenings at a mysterious bookstore that is more than it appears to be. Instead I got something like Ready Player One with Google worship and modern technobabble in place of 80s trivia and nerd wish fulfillment ruining what could have been a great plot. I wish the person who wrote the synopsis had also written the novel.
I was a high school history teacher and a physician assistant-retired.
A creepy bookstore run by a peculiar man inveigles a young man into a web of intrigue which involves a boy-girl investigation into an ancient cult with secret codes by using the tentacles of google to find a needle in a haystack. If you are not into fantasy, many references will be incomprehensible, but you may still enjoy the quest. There is little character development and the plot creates the tension of a well-used rubber band.
I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.
The story promises to be more exciting than it actually is. The setup hints at the supernatural and extraordinary... instead we find that all the mysterious stuff is not so magical after all.
Also, Robin Sloan did not do her research. As a result, the ending of the book is not just stupid, but flat out WRONG.
In spite of this unforgivable flaw, I did enjoy the narrative flow, and the story did keep my attention the whole time.
It gets 3 stars from me because it was fun, and there were some clever bits.
If you were born after 1980, believe that computers can do everything, and worship Google with awe and reverence then this story may be for you. This novel grew from a story posted on a website.
Definitely to Ari Fliakos, maybe to Robin Sloan. The story was a little too fantasy-geek for me, but the excellent narration kept me marginally interested.
Unlikely to read other Robin Sloan books.
The characters were shallow & hard to care about.
He was ok.
Not really. Seemed like a story I'd like but it wasn't very interesting.
Absolutely delightful from start to finish, this novel not only captures the wonderful serendipity of brilliant young minds unfettered by the fogies among us but also the sweet open-mindedness of their elderly mentors. Each is affectionately mocked along the way. Perfect narrator, too! I found it great fun.