by Brandon Sanderson
from the book jacket:
"Alcatraz Smedry doesn't seem destined for anything but disaster. But on his thirteenth birthday, he receives a bag of sand, and his life takes a bizarre turn. This is no ordinary bag of sand ... and it is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians who are taking over the world by spreading misinformation and suppressing truth. ... Alcatraz must stop them!...by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness."
This is a silly book, and I think you have to be in the right mood to enjoy it. I didn't enjoy the first couple chapters at all, so I took a couple day break from it, and I read the rest of the book in one afternoon, finding it hilarious (for the most part). Alcatraz talks to the reader a lot, and he makes fun of pretty much everything (Newbery winners, Michael Crichton, Harry Potter, etc), but the story itself is pretty clever. I think it might even be too clever at times, and I found myself saying "come on! enough with this side commentary!" more than a few times.
I loved that all of the main "good guy" characters were named after famous prisons, or as is explained to Alcatraz, famous prisons were named after the "good guy" characters. I never caught on the the bad guy's being named after mountains. Apparently I don't know enough mountain names. Also, the use of "talents" was pretty creative. I wish my talent for cooking disasters actually led to something good (sigh).
The second book, Alcatraz vs. the Scrivener's Bones, was recently released and I look forward to getting my hands on a copy.
3.5 out of 5 stars