Friday, July 22, 2016

FANTASTIC FRIDAY: The Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Shattered Lens is the fourth action-packed fantasy adventure in the Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series for young readers by the #1 New York Times bestselling author Brandon Sanderson. These fast-paced and funny novels are now available in deluxe hardcover editions illustrated by Hayley Lazo.

Alcatraz Smedry is up against a whole army of Evil Librarians with only his friend Bastille, a few pairs of glasses, and an unlimited supply of exploding teddy bears to help him. This time, even Alcatraz's extraordinary talent for breaking things may not be enough to defeat the army of Evil Librarians and their giant librarian robots.


REVIEW

Alcatraz Smedry once again finds himself at the heart of a Librarian conspiracy.  The Free Lander nation of Mokia is about to fall the sect of librarians called the Shattered Lens.  And Alcatraz and his friends and family just can't stand by and see it happen, so they sneak into the country to try to save the capital city of Tuki Tuki.  But once again, Alcatraz finds himself in way over his head, especially when he runs into his librarian mother and discovers that a lot of things he thought he knew might not be true and that his Talent might be far more dangerous than he ever imagined.  With his typical sarcastic asides and made up words, Alcatraz tells his story with plenty of humor and action.  As a fourth book building up to the big finale in the last book, the book ends with several cliffhangers leaving me eager to read the last book and find out what ends up happening to Alcatraz and his friends and family.  

I can safely say that I've never read another series quite like this one.  Both in terms of the story line, a mixture of reality and fantasy, and the storyteller.  Alcatraz narrates these books in a very unusual way.  He is the typical unreliable narrator in some ways, but his efforts to teach the reader about writing a book and his odd turns of phrase and efforts to convince the reader that he is not the hero others think he is and that he's a liar as well.  His very idiosyncrasies are part of what makes the books so fun.  In addition, Alcatraz's family and friends are thoroughly entertaining.  The mythology behind the Smedry talents takes an interesting turn in this fourth book that have only been hinted at in the previous volumes.  Sanderson has created an engaging middle grade series that young readers who enjoy humor and oddities in their stories are bound to enjoy.

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