Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

by Robin Sloan

If I ever ran across a store named Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore I would pop right in! Good title and even a good idea, but not the best execution, although that may be my age.

Clay, a 20-something techie currently out of work takes the nightshift at this 24-hour bookstore in which his job is not to sell books, but rather to take notes on the clients and books they borrow from the store. Clay is forbidden from reading any of the books, which is a rule he breaks before his first night in the store. He discovers that these books are actually codes, and each patron to the shop is on a mission to be the first to solve the code. Naturally, Clay determines to get to the bottom of it all. He enlists his friends, who are quirky and tech-savvy and off they go, globe-trotting and book stealing to solve the puzzle.

Sounds fun, and it is an ok read, but I think a great opportunity missed. Again, that may be an age thing, or maybe someone much more interested in technology than me. And what's up with all the Google-love happening in this book?

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