The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu is one of the books that I recently added to my to-read list after it caught my eye in a Barnes & Noble email. Everything from the book cover, to the title had me super excited to read it! I wrestled with buying it because I have so many other books to read and I haven’t made much progress on my 13 Books I Want to Read in 2022 List, but on my trip home to Pennsylvania, I made the decision to purchase it.
I started reading it on the plane ride home, and it didn’t hold my interest. I didn’t dwell on it too much as the plane ride was quite bumpy during certain parts and I was excited to get back to Florida. But then after a few days of being home, I picked it back up to finish reading it, and I had to force myself to finish it.
I had a lot of issues with this novel, the first one being I didn’t have a clear sense of the time period in which it takes place. The main character makes a reference to a cemetery that they used to bury people in the 1990s and no longer did, so I was able to deduce that this book doesn’t place in the 90s.
The next issue- and my biggest issue if I’m being honest- was the main character Ropa. Though I appreciated that she was family-oriented, doing what she could to support her grandmother and her little sister, that’s where her likability ended for me. I found her to be very selfish, rude, and uncaring toward anyone who wasn’t paying her. At one point during the novel, I found myself wishing she would die (spoiler alert: she lives). Even though she solves the mystery of why children are being kidnapped and what was happening to them, I don’t feel like she did it for the right reasons. All her motives were self-serving as she always expected some kind of payment for the things she did. Rosa is probably one of the worst characters I have encountered as a reader, and that’s saying a lot as I’ve read more books than I can remember!
My third biggest issue with this book was the overall storyline. I felt like the author tried to cram too many plots and too many characters into this book. As this is the first book in a series, things definitely could have been cut and used for the second book. This book would have benefited from a more cutthroat and thorough editor.
My fourth and final issue with this novel was the ending. I felt it was fairly obvious who the big bad in this story was and sure enough, we get to the villain reveal… and it’s exactly who we expected. I won’t spoil who the villain is, but all I will say is the villain falls under a very overused character trope. It was easy to compare this villain to the Sanderson Sisters from Hocus Pocus, but without the entertainment value. The ending was predictable and tied things up too neatly.
Though I’m a little curious as to how this series will proceed going forward, I’m not curious enough to read it. Honestly, I am just so disappointed that I didn’t love this book more. I had such high hopes for it and those hopes came crashing down hard. So for these reasons, I cannot recommend The Library of the Dead.
Have any of you read this novel? if so, did you like it or dislike it? I would love to know your thoughts! Have a great week everyone!