Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore - Robin Sloan,  Ari Fliakos

★★★★☆ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Ari Fliakos does a delightful job in narrating this quirky – or should I say QWERTY – mystery just perfect for booklovers, puzzle aficionados, computer nerds, and game geeks, a like. A little something for everyone. He does a great job convincing me he is the “everyman” for the new millennium, Clay Jannon, putting him on my prospective Top Ten Narrators I Discovered in 2013 list.

Clay is a young man in the near future who is riding the razor’s edge of eBooks verses the dead tree version of ancient tomes and other reading material. Oh, and audiobooks. ☺ Mr. Fliakos does an excellent job on the voices for the rest of the amazing characters appearing in this novel; from Clay’s boss, Mr. Penumbra; to his best friend, Neel; to the ominous Corvina; and even the clever female, Kat. He gives us wonderful pacing, enunciation, and nuances. I’ll be checking out more of his readings.

Not to worry, it’s not too deep. This is an enjoyable mystery that had me hooked long before the oxymoron “festina lente” or any mention of a mysterious codex vitae makes an appearance. It was a lot of fun to do as a “buddy read’ – though Real Life and other commitments caused me to fall behind – and everyone had a theory of what is happening or going to happen next. I don’t know why some felt this was a great big ad for Google; I thought it had a lot of ‘tongue-in-cheek’ moments.

I’ve never read anything by this author before, but I’ll certainly check him out again.