Alcatraz was forcefully pushed, I mean gently persuaded by his loving relatives and friends into defending a besieged city he never saw before in his life.
To put things into perspective, the people who are supposed to care about the guy thought it would be a good idea to send a 13-year-old boy into a city surrounded by an army of evil librarians in hopes he somehow would be able to save the day. Off he went only to discover that the situation is much worse than what everybody thought previously.
Let me start with the following disclaimer: the book has one very funny part. That part was excellent; to avoid spoilers I will just mention that it involves Shakespeare. This part is the sole reason the book escaped 2.5 star rating.
As you have guessed already, my complaints (or cranky rants, if you like) follow. I always hated how Brandon Sanderson breaks the fourth wall in the series. This time around these moments made up more than one half of the tale probably to hide the fact that how much has actually happened. I can almost see Sanderson saying, "Look how clever I am" while writing. Too much of anything is never good, even if it is chocolate.
As any adult knows growing up sucks. If people tell otherwise, they are lying through their teeth. So there is no need to rub it in our face and this is exactly what the second half of the book does. Alcatraz grows up and this is not funny at all, this is sad; especially if you consider that this is the first time the series stopped being funny.
I did find something for Alcatraz to feel better about. His father is a complete failure as one. His mother is not much better - if not worse, however as far as coldhearted mothers concerned Bastille's mother can easily compete with Alcatraz's. At least unlike the former the latter shows some signs of humanity. The former shows as much emotions as any stone of my pavement.
Speaking about parents there was an interesting plot twist at the end which unfortunately was overshadowed by a use of Deux Ex Machina or something that felt like one to me. How else would you resolve an unsolvable situation without one?
This was bad enough to almost make me abandon the series. However considering the fact that the next book would be the series conclusion (can somebody confirm it?) and that the books are quite short I will force myself to finish the series - eventually.