Alice is a bookish girl with a practical mind who lives alone with her father. One day she happens to see her father talking to a being who looks like a fairy. Two weeks later word comes that her father has been lost a sea. Alice is sent to live with her "uncle," the keeper of mysterious library. Through a series of events she discovers that she is a "reader," someone who can enter some kinds of magic books just by reading them. Her "uncle" is a master reader and wants to take her on as an apprentice. Dangers lurk in every corner of the library, and Alice does not know whom to trust. Could it be her "uncle" who sent her father to his death, or is it possible her father might still be alive? Alice is determined to find out.
So this is the second book I read in a month about a magic library. It was a decent and slightly creepy fantasy, maybe not as intense as the MacHale book, but more intriguing. Alice and the supporting characters are very complex, and even by the end of the book it is not clear who are the good guys and who are the bad guys. I think it is a fairly promising series opener. (376 p.)