The book picks up where Evil Librarians left off, basically (it’s been more than a year since I read the last one, and I didn’t really feel like I was missing anything). This time, however, Alcatraz needs to find his grandfather, who has gone searching for his father in the (dreaded) Library of Alexandria (you only thought it was destroyed). Teamed up with Bastille and having met his uncle Kaz and cousin Australia — oh, and being chased by a member of the Scrivener’s Bones, a half-human, half-Alivened machine-thing that’s pretty ominous — he heads down into the bowels to see what he, and his Talent of Breaking things, can do.
This book suffers the same problems that Evil Librarians did: I liked the snide comments and the tongue-in-cheek-ness, but it also simultaneously annoyed me. I did think quite a few times as Sanderson/Alcatraz took detour after detour in the narrative that maybe it was several times too many. That maybe the fish and shoes and other distractions were a bit much. But, aside from that, it’s still a very enjoyable journey, with lots of asides about authors and writing (The Honorable Council of Fantasy Writers Whose Books are Way Too Long — the good old THCoFWWBAWTL; or the aside about serial killers wanting to read these books because they have some vendetta about the author, in which case, the author is not Brandon Sanderson or Alcatraz Smedry, but rather Garth Nix, who lives in Australia) that have absolutely nothing to do with the plot, but are entertaining nonetheless.
At any rate, even though it’s not as good as the first one, I’m still interested in where the story will go. After all, Alcatraz, torturer that he is, left us with a bit of a cliff-hanger. Which is to be expected, after all, and it makes me curious.