Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore
By Robin Sloan.
I loved this book, though I had a lot of problems with it. I thought the characters were presented poorly, described more as you might describe someone at a party full of computer scientists (Mark used to work at Google but now runs his own start-up selling perfect toroid bagels) than as you can using words in a book (Mark might do something that shows you something about his character). For a while I did not like the main character because he felt shallow and fame-grabbing. And the circumstances of the story felt made up. They are, of course, it’s fiction, but I had a hard time suspending my disbelief for a while. I stuck around because the plot was incredibly intriguing and I ended up getting to know the characters and liking them more, believing in them as people. And the plot was great. It delivered on all accounts.