Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Alcatraz versus the Scrivener’s Bones

Alcatraz versus the Scrivener’s Bones
By Brandon Sanderson
Scholastic Press, 2008. 322 pages. Young Adult

Alcatraz is back for another sinister library adventure. This time he has to follow a clue about his long-lost father, even though it might lead him to the dreaded Library of Alexandria. The ghoul-like curators are after his soul, and a half-mechanical monstrosity known as a Scrivener’s Bone is after his life. Alcatraz is going to have to outsmart them both, but fortunately he has some allies. Two new Smedries—one with a talent for getting lost and the other with a talent for waking up incredibly ugly in the morning—plus two Crystin make for a formidable team. The team fight their way through the booby-trapped library and even learn a little more about the Smedry Talents on the way.

This volume is very much in keeping with the first book in the series, Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians. It’s just as silly and ridiculous, and has just as many bizarre asides from Alcatraz. In the first book, Alcatraz attempts to prove that he is not a good person; in this second volume he tries to demonstrate that he is a liar. It actually gets a little irritating that he stops the action at the beginning of each chapter to interject some unrelated nonsense, but if you read the first book then you’re already used to that. The comedy isn’t quite as stellar since the far-fetched librarian conspiracy and the ridiculous Smedry Talents have already been established, but Sanderson definitely keeps things going in a good direction. Overall I think that this is a solid installment and the series is something I’d recommend to anyone looking for something light and humorous.


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