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Libyrinth: 03/03/12

cover art

Libyrinth by Pearl North is the first book in a YA science fiction trilogy. In it, clerk Haly is kidnapped by Eradicants and the Libyrian, Clauda, must do what she can to rescue her.

The book features parallel plots, trading off a chapter for Haly and a chapter for the Libyrian. Clauda's plot was the more interesting of the two in that she had an actual history, and ties outside her job. Haly, on the other hand, has grown up in the Libyrinth, basically as an indentured servant who works with the books as payment for her room and board. By yanking her out of the world she knows in the first few pages of the book, she has nothing else to contribute as a character except to be a damsel in distress. Without any time for character building, Haly isn't even an interesting character!

I knew from the very first chapter that this book and I wouldn't get along. It begins with a book burning where Haly is bemoaning the burning of another set of sacrificial books for the Eradicants. Mixed in with her feelings are long quotes from award-winning books (Charlotte's Web, for example). That screaming of "books good — burning books, bad!" is supposed to stand in for actual world building in that crucial first chapter. It doesn't work.

I got about a third of the way through the book and I realized I was forcing myself to keep reading. All the while, I was day dreaming of a hungry swarm of Vashta Nerada wiping out all the annoying characters.

One star.

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