The Invisible Library
Book 1, The Invisible Library Novel
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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...
FEATURING BONUS MATERIAL: including an interview with the author, a legend from the Library, and more!
From the Trade Paperback edition.
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
Great Concept & Delivery!
I would like to thank Roc & NetGalley for a copy of this e-ARC to review. Though I received this ebook for free, that has no impact upon the honesty of my review.
Goodreads Teaser: "The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies - think Doctor Who with librarian spies!
Irene must be at the top of her game or she'll be off the case - permanently...
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.
Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake."
What a brilliant mystery, clearly a combination of Dr. Holmes, Doctor Who, and Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy! Irene is far more than meets the eye, yet still has a long way to go before she comes completely into her own. Along the way we get to go on one heck of an adventure with her. And then there's Kai, totally drool-worthy and keeping secrets of his own. Some of his secrets will come out, but some will only create more mysteries.
Even though Irene is working for a largely unethical organization - though they may tell themselves otherwise - she herself is very ethical. Well mostly ethical. Situationally ethical. The point is she's more ethical than most of her colleagues. And she's a warm, caring, and conscientious person. I found it quite hard to avoid liking her, and also seemed to identify her with those female detectives that did all the work but had all the glory claimed by the men around her. Or in Irene's case by her fellow colleagues.
Kai is introduced via a physical description - one that never quite leaves the mind whenever he comes into a scene. So regardless of how smart, warm, or caring he might be, those facets of his personality are always mingling with that sense of physical perfection. Oh, and he's loyal to the extreme - once you've earned that loyalty that is. Something Irene does fairly early into their acquaintance.
There are numerous other intriguing characters, but Vale may be the next most prominent as far as characters we get to meet and witness Irene work with. He's clearly been modeled upon all those wonderful 19th century detectives that Irene so admires. So it's really no big surprise that she may find herself admiring him, though of course she does her best to remain impartial and only do her job.
But in this mission doing her job has become far more challenging than she'd ever imagined it could be. Even before she and Kai get to their assigned alternate world complications arise. And they just keep on coming, one after the next until it's hard to remember the original mission. Well, maybe not that hard, but the point is that anything that can go wrong, does. Which is part of what makes this book cruise right along at a solid clip. It's full of adventures, misadventures, and all kinds of unusual events. Between the convoluted relationships and these nonstop challenges set before Irene and Kai it's a miracle they bother to get out of bed each day. Yet nothing seems to stop the pair, not even becoming a trio when Vale joins them for a goodly portion of the tale.
This is a wonderful story to read, and can easily be read as a stand alone book, or as the start of what looks to be an excellent new series. This story is replete with mysteries, possible romance, strange science fiction, and the very fabric of reality as we know it - what more could you ask for?
I wanted to give it four stars...forced to give it three because of just ONE page.
When I saw the title The Invisible Library and read the book description I realized that it was very similar in concept to the campy tv show The Librarians. Fortunately, I found it much more interesting. It is a science fiction/fantasy/mystery/political suspense thriller/steampunk mashup. This bibliophiles dream.
The Invisible Library is a story about, well, a library of course. A well-hidden, all-encompassing library that sends out it’s highly trained and skilled librarians in search of very specific books from different realities. Genevieve Cogman provides a whole cast of interesting characters to get to know. I almost always have a favorite and for this story my favorite is Irene, our protagonist. She’s quirky, headstrong, can really think on her feet, and is just a little bit insecure. She became my favorite though when she said that ”she just wanted—had always wanted—a good book to read." Ahhh…my kind of person.
I was loving The Invisible Library and then at about 30% of the way through it slammed me face first, without any protective gear, full speed, hurtling into a brick wall. It wasn't just sex, but exceedingly casual sex among people who purportedly had vast, and I mean vast, experience. REALLY! Why ruin a good story? Why limit your audience for one page of over the top sexual garbage? There were innuendoes and mild sexual content here and there but this one page was overwhelming. If it would have been skipped entirely, which could have easily been done as it was of no importance to the story, I would have added one more star on my rating.
On the fun side, Cogman is another author with a well-stocked vocabulary. You will likely find some new words to improve your own vocabulary. I don't think that The Invisible Library would be comfortable having you crack it open if it didn't have some literary chops. Keep your dictionary handy.
I received a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to the author and publisher.
For all of my reviews visit my blog at www (dot) blessedandbewildered (dot) com
The Invisible Library
Ripping yarn. Complex and entertaining universe with a riveting plot and fast moving action. Fascinating combination of period sci-fi and creatures of magic and fantasy.
- Category: Science Fiction
- Published: Jun 14, 2016
- Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
- Seller: Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
- Print Length: 352 Pages
- Language: English
- Series: Book 1, The Invisible Library Novel