Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Series: The Invisible Library #1
Published by Roc on June 14, 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm
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...
I love books of every type and nearly every format. I love libraries and the way they smell. There is a sense of comfort and happiness every time I visit one. So a book called The Invisible Library is a natural choice.
The setting feels Victorian but science fiction. I wouldn’t call it steampunk, more like fantasy. The world building is rather complex and feels a bit slow. Or maybe I was just slow to grasp it. I had trouble getting going but at about 25% in, finally it took hold. There is very little humor or romance but lots of action.
This is primarily a sort of mystery. Part of it is solved by the end with the larger world questions remaining for the rest of the series. The characters have captured me now. I appreciate the intelligence and courage of Irene and her allies.
There are at least 2 more books. The next one has already been published in the UK; the third looks like it will release everywhere at the same time.
The Invisible Library series
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