Review Detail

Battle at the Highbrary
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What I Liked: The talents are on the loose and that makes everything a bit more unpredictable with the Smedrys. Bastille is in a coma from her battle at Mokia and it is Alcatraz’s mission to infiltrate the Highbrary (Library of Congress) to find a cure for Bastille and stop his father from the chaos of giving everyone Smedry talents.
Alcatraz states at the beginning that he is a coward and doesn’t actually want to face his actions in the end. He says that he is stalling to drag out having to arrive at the pivotal moment he regrets. What ensues is even more of his digressions that are humorous. He did succeed in drawing out the book which my Middle-Grade reader enjoyed, but I found it hard for the first half of the book that we weren’t gaining much forward momentum with the plot.
Some enjoyable components of this tale are the heavy use of footnotes in the story. I also enjoyed during the battle with the Librarians that they threw pamphlets at the Librarians on the ways to not be evil with slightly different versions. The librarians will be compelled to read them and to try and rectify the differences giving them a chance to overpower the librarian forces.
The ending was a bit darker than I expected given the slapstick nature of all the books. I maintained my disbelief about the way they ended and was slightly rewarded with being mostly correct.
We met a new cousin, Dif, who contacted them wanting to help. He has the ability to forget and claims to still be able to access his talent even when no one else can. I had my conclusions about Dif confirmed but in a way that was still a surprise.
Final Verdict: I missed Bastille and the wonky application of Smedry talents in this addition to the series. The author stated the intent to draw out having to arrive at the conclusion which I didn’t enjoy as much even though he succeeded. The surprise intervention of Bastille, in the end, allays some fears and opens up the plot to continue in the next book even though Alcatraz continually said this was the last book. I can't wait to see what happens next – this time, from Bastille’s perspective.
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