It’s always fun finding out that everything you assumed about a book is wrong – I had this pleasure with The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. It was beyond not what I expected (shame on me for having preconceived notions of what a library is), and it was a lot of fun at that. The middle parts felt a bit drab, what with the gore and blood and war, but everything came together for a really satisfying endgame, which I liked a lot. Seeing the protagonist Carolyn grow (via flashbacks and other narrative devices, but also due to the plot) from a regular girl, to a traumatised girl, to … here lie spoilers, to experiencing true character growth was wonderful. Side characters feel fleshed out instead of being reduced to a single character trait, or just propping up the protagonist. If you’re not terribly touchy about violence in your books, Library of Mount Char is a great read.