Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians 6)

 
4.6 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
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Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians 6)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Publisher
Age Range
8+
Release Date
September 20, 2022
ISBN
978-1250811066
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As a Knight of Crystallia, I, Bastille, swore to protect the Smedry clan from the Evil Librarians. (And believe me, screwups like them constantly need protecting.) But when Alcatraz Smedry got strapped to an altar of outdated encyclopedias to be sacrificed to the dark gods, I arrived too late―and instead his father took his place.

Now Alcatraz is a blubbering mess, so it’s up to me lead the charge against his father’s killer: Biblioden, founder of the Evil Librarians―I was sure he died centuries ago!―who’s back to complete his goal of world domination. Now he’s going to use the dark powers he gained from that sacrifice against everyone not under Evil Librarian control. Being burned up from the inside is not how I plan to die, so I’d better figure out some way to stop him or we’re toast!

I know Alcatraz is wrong when he swears he’s no hero. But when a hero falls short, that’s the time for everyone else to step up and do what needs to be done.

Editor reviews

2 reviews
A good ending to the series
Overall rating
 
4.5
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
4.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
5.0
What I Liked: This is the first time the story has been told from Bastille’s perspective. It was a good way to continue the story after the terrible events at the end of the fifth book that would make Alcatraz not wish to revisit this part in his autobiography. The story told from her perspective also allows him time to be in a catatonic state for a good portion of the book’s beginning. However, Bastille’s emotional range is a bit stunted so her solution to getting Alcatraz back in motion is to physically bully him into a coherent state. I’m not exactly sure that is the best way to present emotional recovery to Middle-Grade readers but to get the plot to move it worked fine and was consistent with the portrayal of her character throughout the series. The plot took dark turns with the fate of Alcatraz’s father and grandfather, but since this is a Middle-Grade book they mitigated the seriousness which aligns better with this humorous tale.
I enjoyed that Bastille has a literary license that she waves around when she wants to break the rules of writing and the illustrations add to the humor of an actual card she presents to readers. The fight scene when everyone gets Smedry talents is everything that I have come to enjoy in this outlandishly silly story. I am impressed that these authors have built a world system in which breaking gravity and then fighting floating sharks in the air seem feasible as well.
Final Verdict: This was a great conclusion to the Alcatraz series and it followed naturally that Bastille was the narrator. I especially enjoyed it when the talents were back. This book was a quick read with a very narrow focus to face Biblioden. I understand why Bastille’s character treated Alcatraz and his breakdown the way she did. It follows her established character traits and gets him involved in the story, but it was not my favorite part with the intensity of the situation presented. Overall, this has been a great series for the target audience and I have enjoyed the quirky Smedry talents and enjoyed the final way the question of who inherits the talents is resolved
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Fall of the Librarians.
Overall rating
 
4.7
Plot
 
4.0
Characters
 
5.0
Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
N/A
What worked:
You’ll need to have a tolerance for silly humor with much of it being sarcastic in nature. Vicious kittens are within the realm of possibility. Alcatraz and his relatives have unusual Talents, with breaking things being Alcatraz’s ability. However, it has broken all of the other abilities, so there are few, if any, powers to get the characters out of trouble. Consequently, the first half of the book finds Alcatraz stumbling about in a funk instead of sharing ideas on how to stay alive. A large issue in the series is Alcatraz’s poor self-image, and it gets especially bad when he feels guilty for his father’s death at the end of the previous book. Bastille replaces Alcatraz as the narrator this time and adds her own snide comments and opinions to the story.
A fun aspect of the series is how the narrator references librarians and the writing process. Obviously, librarians are evil as they control everything we read and know. They’re even the ones who put those annoying tags in our shirt collars to distract and agitate us, and even reformed librarians can’t resist organizing everything they encounter. Bastille picks up where Alcatraz left off and shares her thoughts about narrating the book, although the publisher edits her when her descriptions of violence get too gross and disturbing. She tries to improve on Alcatraz’s previous attempts by expanding her vocabulary, but she takes issue with using puns unless it’s in self-defense.
Bastille’s character is the most interesting since she’s a warrior sworn to protect the Smedry family from all dangers and death. She also has feelings and emotions that she tries to conceal since they don’t fit the image of a fierce warrior. Bastille doesn’t want to admit she likes Alcatraz, and she feels resentment toward not being an oculator like the Smedrys. The animated discussions going on in her own mind are hilarious, as she tries to rationalize her accounts of events and her writing style to readers. These moments act as amusing timeouts before returning to the wacky adventure. Bastille refers to her literary license a few times when she uses unnecessarily big words or overuses a favorite word. She even pokes fun at the authors of this book and says Janci’s fantasy romance novels are “the most ridiculously fantastical genre of them all.”
What didn’t work as well:
I read the first book in the series but haven’t read the other four. This sixth book contains many new characters and references events I haven’t read about. Bastille shares a very brief recap in the beginning, because she assumes that’s what narrators are supposed to do, but it omits a lot of past history. The easy solution, and my suggestion for you, is to read books one through five before getting to this sixth episode in the series.
The Final Verdict:
Fall of the Librarians. I enjoy humor that makes me think, so this book’s absurd wit is up my alley. Starting the series from the beginning will be a huge help, as the adventure moves along in a familiar style. The characters and story are highly delightful, and I highly recommend you give the book, and series, a shot.
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