The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Published by Roc
Publication Date : June 14th, 2016
Will be Available Paperback & eBook – 352 Pages
Source : NetGalley (Thank you!)
Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.
One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction…
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.
London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself…
The Invisible Library jumped up and surprised the crap out of me. I almost hate to say this because I see it so often on reviews and never believe it but this one sneaks up on you. 10, 20% through and you’ll be lukewarm and then you’ll be 50-60% through and you can’t stop. It reaches up and grabs you by the suspenders and shoves your head into the pot of giant mechanical bugs, over the top characters, and the most ridiculously roundabout chase plot I’ve ever read.
Have I made myself clear in that? I loved this one. I heard about this one back when it released in the UK and a Booktuber hauled it. I added it almost immediately to my TBR but hadn’t been able to pick it up. Naturally when I spotted it on NetGalley I immediately requested it. I have had a few problems reading through Kindle books lately as they give me headaches (something about the lighting) but for this one I pushed through. The last day of reading it I’m a little ashamed to say I hid in the bathroom to try and finish it at work.
This is a book for book lovers. Our heroine is a woman working for The Library, an organization that collects and safeguards books from multiple dimensions and timelines. On return from a mission she is immediately assigned a new one and an apprentice to go with her. The dimension they’re headed into is in it’s Steampunk Victorian era, filled with all the tropes you’d expect. In fact the book points these outs and uses them. To keep with the narrative of the mission these stereotypes need to be followed, before heading in Irene and her new apprentice Kai set the rules and take their roles (for all the good it does them). While in the world they have to play by the rules, learn the lingo, and at the same time steal – ‘obtain’ the book the Library wants. Things naturally go wrong and in the most magnificent way.
The characters in this were engaging, fun, and quirky. I loved the interactions between Kai and Irene, I even came to love Brandemant (is that how you spell that name, I can’t remember) for all her bitter and flat out mean moments. I was concerned that the plot was slowing down but the doors bust open with the next bizarre attack and I ended up laughing my head off. If you can strive through that first little bit this is one to pick up.
I highly recommend this one for people who enjoy books, heist/chase stories, ‘The Great Detective’ trope, or the absolutely ridiculous. This has all of that in buckets. I am stoked to get my paws on my own copy and the next one as well.