“After that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this:
A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.”
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan is a mystery/adventure set in San Francisco, revolving around an out-of-work marketeer and web designer who takes a job as a clerk at the odd little bookshop. He soon realizes that there is more to Mr. Penumbra's than meets the eye, and together with a group of his friends, he embarks on a mission to get to the bottom of the shop's real purpose. What follows is a fantastical series of events involving an international secret society and almost impossibly complex codes hidden inside a series of books.
This book is a love letter for books, bibliophiles, but also for technology. It combines the wonderful world of stories, manual crafting, technology and creates a great adventure for a simple reader, like myself. It's not futuristic, it's not high fantasy, it's simply a use of contemporary items around us ... and of course, BOOKS!
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore is charming, and it was easy to be interested in Clay's search for a job, intrigued by the mystery of the bookstore, and captivated by the charisma of Clay's friends.