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The Shattered Lens: Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians) Hardcover – July 19, 2016
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"Sanderson unexpectedly draws everything together in an extravagantly silly climax. Readers whose sense of humor runs toward the subversive will be instantly captivated. Like Lemony Snicket and superhero comics rolled into one (and then revved up on steroids), this nutty novel... [is] also sure to win passionate fans." - Publishers Weekly, starred review
About the Author
BRANDON SANDERSON is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Rithmatist and Steelheart, both of which were selected for the American Library Association's Teens' Top Ten list. He's also written many popular and award-winning books for adults. His middle grade series, Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians, is now available in deluxe editions.
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But I will say that the chapters headings (which followed no traditional naming convention what-so-ever) were either funny or intriguing. Some of them I had to look up to see what they might have went to. Such as a shout out to Avogadro's number, Pi, the call sign for the Star Ship Enterprise and a few other gems.
Still the audio is done very well and before I knew it I was at the end of another fun read with a small cliffhanger.
The cleverness: The good guys are clever (use bad math skills to equip an army), and the bad guys are cleverer (tunnel under indestructible dome), and the dialogue is even cleverer (Shakespeare quotes to confuse everyone and allow MC to slip past).
The humor: I don't mean just the witty comebacks or the way Alcatraz pokes fun at everything in the hushlands. I mean the situations are hilarious. Teddy bears explode. Swallowed by a dragon. A weapon that lets you punch yourself to hurt the enemy. Even besides all that, I still laugh when Alcatraz tells the reader to act out the entire book (except that one scene with the anti-fiber explosion).
The magic: It's not wave-your-wand-and-hope-something-cool-happens kind of magic. It's we-know-exactly-what-each-character-can-do sort of magic. And it's the let's-come-up-with-clever-new-ways-to-use-these-skills magic.
Writer thoughts: Alcatraz breaks the fourth wall as well as Ferris Bueller, but in book form! Most of the time, authors should not do this. Reminding the reader that they are reading a story and not experiencing the story would be a bad idea. Here, however, Sanderson not only gets away with it, he uses the technique to make the series even better. What can we learn?
Don't use it once or twice. It will feel accidental and cheating. The reader will not expect it and will become annoyed.
If you do intend to talk to the reader, it has to fit the story. A journal-like story (see The Diary of a Young Girl), or interactive tales (like Choose Your Own Adventure or Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!), or comedies (like Alcatraz) make this technique fit. If you have an immersive tale meant to transport the reader, you shouldn't remind them that they'll eventually have to return to reality.
Most recent customer reviews
The Shattered Lens (2010) is the fourth book in Brandon Sanderson’s hilarious middle-grade series called ALCATRAZ VS THE EVIL...Read more