Libyrinth by Pearl North
LibyrinthHaly is a clerk at the Libyrinth. The Libyrinth is a self contained, failing community that holds all the known books. The people who work there are the only ones who can read. The Eradicants have been slowly destroying their books for years in a “tithe” type process.
Haly not only reads the books, she hears them. When she is near the printed word, whether a book, the captions of a map, or a letter, she know what it says without looking at it. The words speak to her. Her parents died around the time she was born. She was raised by the community. She learned when she was young that no one believed her when she told about the talking books. When she tried to show people, she was brushed off or got in trouble. Now she has hidden her gift for years.
Her Libryrarian, Selene, may have found the location of a lost book that could save them all. Haly learns the Eradicants want to destroy that book, then all of the Libyrinth. She, Selene, and her best friend Clauda sneak away to find the book and hide it. They are soon caught and are parted. The book becomes part of political intrigues to see who can rule the nations around them.
Libyrinth was unexpected and enjoyable. Haly is 15 yet because of the hardships of living in the Libyrinth, has the skills to survive – she hopes. The electrical power has been gone from the Libyrinth for years. No one knows all the books that are stored there in miles and miles of shelves. Unfortunately, one of the best descriptions of the Libyrinth doesn’t come until close to the end of the book when Haly has a bird’s eye view of the place.
All the locations seem cloudy to me, not really coming to life until late in the novel. I was, however, caught up with the characters and the action. Pearl North’s Libyrinth is a young adult book, easy to read. I picked up the book because of the description of the future library. I found a full world worth exploring.