Friendship. Debut novels often disappoint me because they can be stuffed with so many elements that a writer has been struggling to express. The restraint and economy in Robin Sloan’s Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore stood out for me. Sloan tells a story well, keeping up plot momentum and providing effective character development. At its core, this novel is a story of the power of friendship, and Sloan is clever in the ways he uses protagonist Clay Jannon as a bridge from the print books of the past to the digital future. Readers who like puzzles and who enjoy books that are fun to read are those most likely to enjoy this one.
Rating: Four-star (I like it)
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