Thursday, November 6, 2008

Recommended Reading: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson

Status: Just got my hair cut. Yea! I now have bangs.
Song: "Running from the Scene" by Manic Bloom

Well, it's been a bit of a HEAVY week, what with all the politics and elections and everything. Sometimes when things are heavy, you just have do something totally light and brainless to balance yourself out. Some people like to veg out and watch TV, but every time I try that I usually spend my vegging time flipping channels. (How is that with over 100 channels there can't be anything good on?! I would even settle for watching The Mummy for like, the 14th time. I love that movie.)

Since I'm a book addict, here's a recommendation for some light, fun, and completely anti-heavy reading.

**Note: I tried writing a few catchy back-cover blurb type paragraphs to entertain and enthrall, but I couldn't write anything that tops the product description from Amazon. So I'm going to shamelessly steal their description here. Just understand that it actually came from some professional copy writer who is obvisouly better at this than me.

A hero with an incredible talent...for breaking things. A life-or-death mission...to rescue a bag of sand. A fearsome threat from a powerful secret network...the evil Librarians.

Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them!...by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness.


(See what I mean?! How can I compete with that?)

I loved Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians. It is one of the most fun and clever books I've read in a really long time. Even though the target audience is young adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The first-person narration is a hoot, and the author not only pokes fun at himself but many aspects of society as well. The whole story is ludicrous and off-the-wall, but pulls together wonderfully by the skillful talent of Brandon Sanderson. I laughed out loud numerous times, and actually even snorted at a real clever slam on Harry Potter at the very end.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Brandon Sanderson a few times, and he is a warm and fun guy with a good sense of humor. Brandon is well-known in fantasy circles for his Mistborn series, as well as recently being chosen to complete Robert Jordan's epic Wheel of Time series after Jordan's death.

Brandon told a group of writers that he wrote Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians as a break from the heavier fantasy he normally writes that, according to him, "tends to take itself very seriously." With these books, Sanderson was going anti-serious. After reading Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians you will never hear the word "rutabaga" without smiling.

Just recently I finished the second book in the series, Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bones, and it was just as fun and clever as the first book. (Which was a relief, since sometimes the sequels don't quite live up to the first - not in this case.)

Some people find the first-person, tongue in cheek narration distracting, but I loved it. I highly recommend these books to balance out the serious and heavy in your life.

You can find out more about Brandon Sanderson and his books at his website.

1 comment:

Manic Bloom said...

Thanks for listening to our music!

-David
Manic Bloom