10 March 2015

Review: Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan

Ajax Penumbra 1969 by Robin Sloan book cover
Ajax Penumbra 1969 is the prequel to Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan; a book I instantly fell in love with in 2012 and gave five stars to in my review.

In this novella, we find out how Ajax Penumbra came to discover the 24 hour bookstore in San Francisco and become employed there.

Having such love for Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, I had high hopes for Ajax Penumbra 1969 and was desperately looking forward to reading Mr Penumbra's back story so to speak.

I did get the back story, but admittedly I was left wanting more. Sloan takes us up to the point where Mr Penumbra is working at the book store, but not when he learns about the real purpose of the store.

Instead of leaving me satisfied, I finished this novella desiring more. Mr Penumbra's work as an Apprentice Acquisitions Officer at Galvanic College Library was absolutely fascinating, and I'd happily read an entire novel about his work there and the work done by colleagues before him.  Here's why.
"Armitage explains that Galvanic's library contains more one-of-a-kind, untranslatable, and/or inexplicable volumes than any other collection on earth. In the second session, he sends you down into the stacks. There are books made from silver and bone. There are books with blood on their pages, figuratively and literally. There are books made of feathers; books cloaked in jade; books that ring like bells when you pull them off the shelf; books that glow in the dark." Page 13
What a library! And Ajax Penumbra is an Apprentice Acquisitions Officer here, tasked with tracking down rare books, sometimes taking years to locate a single tome. It was during the pursuit of a rare book that Mr Penumbra discovered the 24 hour bookstore and in many ways, this was an even more interesting premise than that behind Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

I have to know more, argh!

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!

Would you like to comment?

  1. I have to admit Tracey I haven't heard of either but am now kind intrigued about the purpose of the bookstore/s!!


  2. I was hoping I might capture someone's attention by including that little tidbit, hehehehe

    You'll love this but read Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore first, it's fantastic!


Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!