This is a great addition to the series with a mildly interesting plot and fantastic world-building. The characters are well-developed, the writing is terrific, and I almost entirely love the cover.
In The Scrivener’s Bones, Alcatraz finds out that his grandfather has followed his son’s trail to the great Library of Alexandria, so naturally Alcatraz and his new friends must follow. Will Alcatraz discover that his father is really alive or will they be too late?
“Not all librarians are evil cultists. Some librarians are instead vengeful undead who want to suck your soul.”
I thought the plot of this one was interesting but needed something a bit more. It was the setting that blew this story away. Walking through The Library of Alexandria was just incredible, especially because it isn’t what you believe it would be like. I thought it was paced well, the descriptions were detailed, but not overly so, and it wasn’t quite as predictable as I thought. I had an idea, but never thought the book would end the way it did! *Spoiler* I actually thought Alcatraz’s dad was alive the entire time, but couldn’t believe he had actually given up his soul in the Library of Alexandria. Since he did that, I never thought there was a way for him to get out of his predicament, but he managed it, and it was so clever! *Spoiler*
Even though we spend almost the entirety of the book in the Library of Alexandria, by no means was this book boring. The world building of the library was just incredible! I loved the layout and everything about the creepy Curators, not to mention how you are not even able to touch a book (let alone read it) unless you agree to give them your soul and forever become a curator of the library, never to leave again. The Curators are rather tricky and annoying, they do anything they can to try to get your soul. The Library is rather foreboding.
“Personally, I say, Out of the frying pan and into the deadly pit filled with sharks who are wielding chainsaws with killer kittens stapled to them. However, that one’s having a rough time catching on.”
Not only to we get to explore a new location, but we get to know more about some of the characters, as well as the history of the world. Everyone wants to know more about the Smedrys and their abilities, but little is known. In this book, we discover a tad more information from Alcatraz Smedry the First. Alcatraz’s ability may be much more of a curse than it is a gift. It was so exciting!
The character development, though slow going, was well-done. We learn more about Alcatraz’s history and his gift, as well as more about Bastille by meeting her mother! We are also introduced to Alcatraz’s uncle, who has a personality all his own. I just love how even though there are several characters, it is rather easy to distinguish between them because they have such distinct personalities, not to mention unique Talents.
The “villain” in this book was entertaining because of what he is, but he didn’t have much of a multi-dimensional personality that I look for in good antagonist. However, I did like that he seemed to be fairly smart and the children had a hard time during their confrontation with him.
I’m getting used to the writing and it doesn’t bother me at all. I am enjoying this style and can easily see how it may appeal to younger readers. It is also quite humorous.
I love the cover, but do have a problem with it. I don’t like that the characters are featured on the front again, especially because this is called the Scrivener’s Bones. I feel like the Scrivener should have been the centerpiece. I much prefer the back cover illustration and if this would have been the front I would have been fine with it. The Curators play a large part in this novel, so it would make sense that they would be on the cover. Besides, they are very cool!
“Laugh when good things happen. Laugh when bad things happen. Laugh when life is so plain boring that you can’t find anything amusing about it beyond the fact that it’s so utterly unamusing.”
Again, I love the map on the inside of the dust jacket, it was a nice touch! The lack of blurbs on the cover is also awesome and I thought it was great that it clearly states this is book number two in the series.