Saturday, May 21, 2011

Book Review: Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz Versus The Shattered Lens by Brandon Sanderson
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication date: December 2010
ISBN: 9780439925570
Source: Library

Alcatraz Versus The Shattered Lens

Alcatraz and his friends face their worst enemies yet - a faction of evil librarians called the Shattered Lens.  They destroy any glass, including the prized special lenses Oculators use for power.  The capital city of Mokia is beseiged and Alcatraz must find a way to get help to the city in time to save it.  But, will he be able to save himself - from his own mother?

Things I Liked:
Once again, the humor in this series does not disappoint.  Alcatraz is filled with silliness and ridiculousity that rivals anything I've ever read.  He takes his diversions to the point of embarrassment, even while you have to laugh at the sometimes dreadful puns.  The story is also fun for sci-fi lovers and those invested in the Smedrys' stories.  Definitely a go-to book for reluctant tween boys who love a good laugh, tongue-in-cheek humor, and a bit of sci-fi action.  Here's just a taste of some of the fun stuff:

I won't lie.  It was shatteringly cool.  Instead of sitting around all day writing biology papers r listening to Mr. Layton from algebra class extol the virtues of complex factoring, I got to throw teddy bear grenades and jump off buildings.  It was really fun at the start.  Okay, it was really fun the WHOLE TIME. p 12
If you've ever thought that books are boring, it's because you don't know how to read them correctly.  From now on, when you read a book, I want you to scream the words of the novel out loud while reading them, then do exactly what the characters are doing in the story.  Turst me, it will make books way more exciting.  Even dictionaries.  Particularly dictionaries. p 37
People don't become Librarians because they wnat to force people to be quiet, or because they love books, or because they want to help people.  No, people become Librarians for only one reason: They like to put things in order.  Librarians are always organizing stuff.  They can't help it.  YOu'll see them for hours and hours sitting on little stools in libraries, going over each and every book on their shelf, trying to decide if it should be moved over one or two slots.  It drives them crazy when we normal people wander into their libraries and mess stuff up. p 199
Things I Didn't Like:
I have to admit, as an adult, I got terribly annoyed after a while at the story's silly tone and the completely over-the-top feel of the story.  I can really only handle one of these at a time before I get too annoyed.  Also, despite it being the last of the series (supposedly) it really had no ending that felt satisfying to me.  [Note: I heard Scholastic didn't sign on for another book, but Sanderson indicated there is a 5th book, so that's why it felt unfinished.]  Still, as I said, the right tween boy (and possibly girl) will devour these.

Read the first three Alcatraz books by Brandon Sanderson first

The Secret series by Pseudonymous Bosch 
A little like the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket

s-factor: none

mrg-factor: none

v-factor: none

Overall rating: ***

I believe this might be my last Utah author review for May's Utah authors celebration (yeah, I didn't get to some on my list). How do you celebrate your local authors?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. Thanks for the review. I ordered the first three for our library and plan on filling out the collection. Haven't read the Secret series yet! I must though. Tomorrow is a big reading day, I hope...might have to run into work for a few hours but after that, read read read!

  2. Deb, I really enjoy the Secret series, quite a bit more than these, so hopefully you'll get a chance to read them soon!


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