Author: Brandon Sanderson
Title: Alcatraz Versus the Dark Talent
Narrator: Ramon de Ocampo
Publication Info: Recorded Books (2016)
Previously Read By the Same Author: Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians, Alcatraz Versus the Scrivener’s Bones, Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia and Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens
The fifth and possibly final Alcatraz book picks up where the previous one ended with Alcatraz having destroyed all of his family’s talents. Now he must ally with his mother – an evil librarian – to stop his father, a Free Kingdomer whose desire to give every one on Earth a Smedry Talent which could have disastrous consequences. Smedry and his team go to the Evil Librarian’s Highbrary – a.k.a The Library of Congress in an alternate universe version of Washington, DC. Unfortunately, Smedry’s friend and defender, Bastille remains in stasis for the better part of the book. Smedry and Bastille’s love/hate chemistry when they are together is one of the best part of the series and this book suffers from its absence (although when Bastille finally makes her entrance, it’s spectacular). The book has the usual clever wordplay – including a chapter of delicious puns – but it feels like Sanderson’s heart is not really in it anymore, and it is the weakest book in the series. Or it could be Alcatraz, who obstinately states this is the last part of his biography after an uncharacteristically dark ending to the book. But Alcatraz is an unreliable narrator who has lied to us before, and there are clues that this is all just a big cliffhanger leading to yet another book.