Robin Sloan’s newest novel Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is an incredible read filled with books, technology, and best of all unusual mysteries to ponder. I can’t believe it has taken me this long to get around to reading it. Clay Jannon is laid off from his job as a web-designer and soon finds himself in search of a new job. After wandering down wrong streets and wrong alleyways, he finds himself standing in front of Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour bookstore and decides to go in. He soon starts working for the eccentric owner and learns that the bookstore is not only a character in of itself, but that there is much more going on around the store than you are first led to believe.
This was such an intriguing story. I was immediately immersed in this unique bookstore and the mystery of the “special” customers who never purchase books but simply borrow. The descriptions of the books and the store were so expressive making it easy to visualize all the little details. I found it really interesting how Sloan explores the “old world” systems that Mr. Penumbra uses with very little technology versus Clay who comes from a world cemented in technology. It was easy to relate to the crisis of people refusing to change with the times and people who are convinced it is the only solution. Sloan did such an amazing job with his writing, characters, and story that I found myself unable to stop reading. I love it when a book is so good that everything else in the world has to wait. This is the perfect novel for any bibliophile, technology lover, or mystery reader.