Review: Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz #1) by Brandon Sanderson

“If you don’t believe what I’m telling you, then ask yourself this: would any decent, kind-hearted individual become a writer? Of course not.”

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Publisher: Orion Books (UK) Format: Paperback
Source: Bought Rating:  (5/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

Alcatraz Smedry doesn’t seem destined for anything but disaster. On his 13th birthday he receives a bag of sand, which is quickly stolen by the cult of evil Librarians plotting to take over the world. The sand will give the Librarians the edge they need to achieve world domination. Alcatraz must stop them…by infiltrating the local library, armed with nothing but eyeglasses and a talent for klutziness.

Note: I’m filing this review as the first book, but there is no way I can make review be just based on the first book after reading them all. No spoilers though I promise!

Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians is a book series that is part comedy, part adventure and all around hilarious and amazing. Alcatraz Smedry, the protagonist and supposed “author” of the books is a rather unreliable narrator, and he makes sure that you know of that right from the beginning. Alcatraz inserts his own comments into the narrative, from insistences that he is a bad person to comments on literary elements and critiquing or congratulating his own audience. These comments are a bit unconventional, but they often contain the funniest or most important parts of the books and really make the series great.

Like in all of Brandon Sanderson’s novels, the world building is magnificent. In the first book you only receive a glimpse of the world that the books are set in, but trust me when I say that it is large and imaginative and great.

My favorite part of Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians (besides the humor) is the characters. They aren’t all totally different then each other- they are all family after all- but they are vibrant and quirky and really manage to make the story come alive. (If you were wondering my favorite character is Bastille. My beautiful twelve-year-old knight queen.)

The most important things about the Alcatraz series are probably that it’s funny and sarcastic and cynical, but it also makes you love and feel for the characters and can be sad and inspirational and also strangely insightfully. You should really read these books.

I also just wanted to note that if you’re looking for these books they are currently not in print in the United States. So basically, you can borrow them from your local library (I know, shocking. But hopefully they have them!) or you can order them from the UK.