Book Review: The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase

The Librarians and the Mother Goose Chase
The Librarians #2
by Greg Cox
read by Therese Plummer

My rating: 4 / 5
Genre: Fantasy adventure

When the Mother Goose Treaty of 1918 appears to have been broken, nursery rhymes come to life, and they’re anything but whimsical. The Librarians and their guardian are sent in different directions to investigate these nursery rhymes, while Flynn Carson is nowhere to be found.

Let me start by saying again, as I did for the previous book in the series, that I love The Librarians. I think the show is better than it has any right to be, and a large part of that is due to the great casting. The movies were good as well, but I think the show really took the overall story world to a new level. I’m glad to be able to read these books, though it’s frustrating to me that they’re so vague about where they fit in the series. This one seems to take place after season 3, but while there are plenty of references to Prospero (and a spoiler for the end of season 2) and definitely to Dulaque (from season 1), there aren’t any references to Apep from season 3. Plus, a major development for Cassandra that took place at the end of season 3 definitely doesn’t come into play in this book, so it seems it can’t have happened. Maybe it’s just supposed to be vague, but I would have preferred to be able to read it at the right time while watching the show. And while the book does attempt to give some basic understanding of the overall setting and backstory of the Library and the Librarians, I think this book is best read by someone who has seen at least the TV show. Knowledge of the movies may not be necessary.

Now to the story itself. Overall it was decent. I didn’t mind the Librarians being separated as much as others did, partly because they still each had a counterpart of sorts to work with. I thought some of the story was weak, for example the nursery rhyme connection to the man in Florida was a major stretch, and for a while, I kept expecting someone to say they were wrong about which nursery rhyme they’d associated it with. The stakes were as high as they get, and there was a bit of a twist that I only figured out a moment before Baird did. In the end, there things I liked more about it than the previous book, and things I like less about it. This book had all the campy fun of the show, and I like that the characters’ personalities come through on the page like they do on the small screen. I still don’t care for the narrator’s breathy tendencies, and if I do re-read this series in the future, I’ll probably skip the audiobooks. Still, I’m enjoying this extension of the show.

Fact check: Jenkins explains that “Mother Goose” is more of a title, passed down through generations, the bearer of which is meant to guard the spells that end up being written down and distributed as nursery rhymes. Elizabeth Goose was her generation’s Mother Goose, and a real-life person, however her maiden name was Elizabeth Foster, and she married the Goose name, so it’s weird she was coincidentally that generation’s Mother Goose (and that this isn’t brought up in the book). Also, Jenkins says that “tourists in Boston flock to what’s claimed to be the grave of the ‘real’ Mother Goose, blithely unaware that she was actually only one in a long line of Mother Gooses, carrying on an ancient tradition.” But the grave in Boston that has become a tourist attraction is actually the grave of MARY Goose, unrelated to the woman whose rhymes prompted the publishing. Mary Goose was actually the first, late wife of Elizabeth’s husband.

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