Saturday, January 19, 2013

Alcatraz Series by Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians
Alcatraz versus the Scrivener's Bones
Alcatraz versus the Knights of Crystallia
Alcatraz versus the Shattered Lens

All by Brandon Sanderson

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Horn-rimmed Glasses

Recommends for readers of A Series of Unfortunate Events, Spiderwick Chronicles and perhaps The Chronicles of Narnia

Summary: Alcatraz Smedry has the unfortunate knack for breaking things. After receiving a mysterious gift at the home of yet another foster family, Alcatraz discovers his talent may not be so unfortunate after all. Follow Acatraz's anti-hero antics as he tries to stop the evil librarians from taking over the rest of the world with the aid of a family he never expected.

Review: The witty characters of Sanderson's Alcatraz series weave an imaginative tale of epic proportions spanning four books. From book one, we are introduced to the sarcastic and bewildered main character who must accept a family and a homeland he never knew existed. Our world is being run by evil librarians, while the Smedry clan hails from the Free Kingdoms. No one knows this of course, because librarians hold the power of information.

The first book of the series is by far my favorite. Although each book has its own strengths, I think the first is the funniest. Alcatraz is a bit like another orphan we know and love in that he doesn't quite believe in his talents and is famous beyond words in a parallel world. Yet, Alcatraz is both sneaky and snarky. He doesn't quite trust his family or its talents.

I wrote about the second book right after finishing it,
I don't know if I find the series so funny because I'm a librarian, or because it is simply funny. Alcatraz is quirky to say the least and perhaps a little insane at most. The action is, of course, superb with crazier traps and darker foes. I don't usually go for books with an unreliable narrator, but Alcatraz is just the right mix of deceit and truth. I find him endearing.
The entire series is well worth the read. Each book builds momentum with Alcatraz gaining confidence in his family, friends and himself.

Sensitive Readers Beware: I can't think of anything objectionable in the books. There is funny nudity in book four. Enjoy!


  1. Stopping in from Share it Saturday. Your name there caught my eye, "Middle Grade series review" I'm always looking for appopriate boy read content. Thanks for linking this there. :)

  2. Any word on the fifth book? Was it ever written or just not published by scholastic?

    1. I read that there was some kind of disagreement between the author and publisher. It doesn't look like there will be a fifth book. On Goodreads, it says "the fourth and final book," which I would think came from the publisher.


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