Sunday, November 21, 2010

Libyrinth (MG/YA)


Libyrinth. Pearl North. 2009. Tor. 336 pages.

The wind howled and the flames roared, but the books, as they died, merely fell silent.

I enjoyed Pearl North's Libyrinth. Haly, one of our two heroines, is a young girl with a great gift--a secret gift. The books talk to her. Without opening a book, she can "read" the pages within--the words on the page being a voice in her mind. Haly is a Libyrarian--or on her way to becoming one at any rate. Clauda, our second heroine, is a servant who sees and hears much. Some might even call her a gossip. But she brings word to both Haly and Selene of the danger to come. The threat that the Eradicants--the book burners--pose.

Haly is about to get a chance to know the Eradicants well. For she is captured, but even as a prisoner she holds some power over her captors. But this is one you should read on your own. I'm afraid of saying too much.

I really enjoyed this one. I enjoyed the world the author created. The different cultures. Their strengths and weaknesses. I enjoyed the style--how Pearl North incorporates books within her work. Her use of quotes was fun!
After the burning, Haly fled to the maze of bookshelves beneath the Libyrinth, to the books that had not been burned. "Two houses, both alike in dignity"; "He was just a country boy"; "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." The multitude of familiar voices comforted her even as she grieved those she'd lost. (13)  
She does provide readers with a list of books she quoted throughout the novel. I liked the characterization too. I didn't quite love it--but I'd definitely still recommend it!

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
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I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
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  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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