Title: Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
Author: Robin Sloan
Format: Electronic (Kindle)
This is a book for anyone who loves books, romance, the Internet, code-breaking, metaphysics….in short, this is a book that is tailor-made for Geeks.
Almost too much so.
I want to love this book unreservedly because it seems like the type of book that was made for people like me, but that’s kind of the problem I had with it. It’s TOO much like the type of book made for people like me and I think that I had a bit of a reader’s Uncanny Valley syndrome as I got further into the story. By about a third of the way through the novel I began to feel like one of the people whose brains have been plumbed by the Matrix to set up the Perfect Book For Today’s Reader.
Because it involves so many twists and turns in its scope, the book defies an easy synopsis. It begins as an out of work web designer accepts a menial job at the titular bookstore out of desperation. From that point on the assembled cast of characters–data miners at Google, new tech billionaires, artists at ILM and hot chicks–delves into the mystery of the bookstore which quickly becomes tied to the mysteries of time and Eternity itself. Oh, and it’s all wrapped up in a love letter to Google.
It IS a quick read and a fun read if you can get past the whole feeling of being manipulated into having a good time. I finished it in one day, which was a nice change of pace after all the brick-sized fantastic tomes I’ve been wading through. Sadly, though, I’m only giving 3 and a half bookworms because while I liked it I just couldn’t love it without feeling like I’d taken the blue pill.