The Starless SeaBook - 2019
Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a mysterious book hidden in the stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues--a bee, a key, and a sword--that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to an ancient library hidden far below the surface of the earth. What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians--it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also of those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome, barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose--in both the mysterious book and in his own life.
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Books with a magical wardrobe, a rabbit hole, a tesseract, a Platform 9 ¾ seem to have imprinted on me and here I am as an adult, still seeking those magical paths that take the protagonist and the reader out of their here and now and plop them into an unfamiliar there and then. (more)
From Library Staff
Author of The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern's voice is very stylized and dreamlike, but also utterly convincing. In this tale, Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a dedicated college student who once walked away from a painted door he thought about opening. Thereafter, the undiscovered possibilities have va... Read More »
From the critics
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"She gave me an opaque plastic cup identical to the one I'd abandoned inside but with better bourbon in it, on the rocks.
I accepted because mysterious ladies offering bourbon under the stars is very much my aesthetic."
"But he's hardly looking at the book and barely eating his noodles. He sucks at subtlety. He's watching me write. Eyeing up my journal like he's trying to figure out how he's going to snag it when I'm not looking.
I'm always looking now.
You will pry this Adventure Time notebook from my cold dead hands, ya ding-dong."
"They asked if I thought he would have done something- like jumped-off-a-bridge something- and I said I didn't think so, but I also think most of us are two steps away from jumping off something most of the time and you never know if the next day is going to push you in one direction or another."
"'A book is an interpretation,' she says. 'You want a place to be like it was in the book but it's not a place in a book it's just words. The place in your imagination is where you want to go and that place is imaginary. This is real,' she places her hand on the wall in front of them. The stone is cracked near her fingers, a fissure running down the side and disappearing into a column. 'You could write endless pages but the words will never be the place.'"
"'We've been having adventures, Rhyme,' Mirabel says and the girl frowns. 'There was a daring rescue and bondage and tea and a fire and two-thirds of us got poisoned. Also, this is Zachary, Zachary this is Rhyme.'"
"A reading major, that's what he wants. No response papers, no exams, no analysis, just the reading."
"To Seeking" "To Finding"
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