Clay Jannon knows there is something odd about the bookstore in which he is newly employed, with its mysterious owner, its towering shelves accessible only by ladder, its section of encrypted books and its anxious late-night customers. When he meets Kat, a data visualization expert at Google, they work together to decode the store’s strange volumes. Their discovery reveals a secret society bent upon breaking the ultimate code encrypted by Aldus Manutius, the famed early 16th century printer. Clay and Kat harness the resources of Google in an attempt to crack the code, a challenge that also leads them across the country to break into the society’s headquarters. There, they discover secrets about the society that its president is determined to protect.
Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore seamlessly blends — and celebrates — old school and new school technologies in a fun romp of an adventure and an engrossing read.