I was in Indigo one day, in need, desperate need, for a book. You ever have that? Where you just need a new book to read? A new story to fall into? I usually go to the fantasy section when I get like that. Fantasy always takes me to an entirely new world, and sometimes you just need to get away and disappear for a while.
So, I was walking through the fantasy section and I came across The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. I got excited – and even more excited because it was the first in a series. There are few things better in life than coming across a potentially good book series, am I right?
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.
Firstly, right off the bat, this book reminded me of the American tv series The Librarians, (which is a fantastic show FYI). It mostly reminded me of the show because there’s a secret library, with secret librarians who are out to keep certain things safe. But, where it differs is that by the end of this book I wasn’t sure how good the library was. There’s definitely a cliff hanger – or at least unanswered questions – about that.
Secondly, this book kept your guessing. I was never sure what was coming ’round the corner – literally and figuratively. There was a lot going on in this book – with a lot of different factions. It was fairly easy to keep everyone straight, but the motives of everyone were unclear a lot of the time. I felt like I was walking around with only half a map. I found it frustrating, but at the same time – this is book one of a series. I’m not suppose to know everything yet, I suppose.
While I found parts of the story frustrating because I didn’t fully understand motives and why certain things were happening, the characters were wonderful. Irene is a great main character. She is an innovative thinker, a take charge and get things done kind of woman, and a woman who above all just loves to read. She does have her freak outs, but and I love that she has them because it makes her more real, but I also love that she has them internally. This is no woman who falls apart all over a man. She holds her own.
Kai, is also a great character. I suspected what he was before it was revealed, but it took me a little while. His character was interesting because he has so many facets. I’m definitely interested in seeing how his character grows as the series progresses.
The world building was also very interesting in this book and because of the laws of the world (and sometimes lack their of) were so versatile you never knew what to expect.
Overall, this book was a very quick read (it’s one of those, you pick up and just fly through), with some memorable characters and settings. I got frustrated now and again because I didn’t understand how things fit together, but that didn’t really take away from the enjoyment of the story.
I will definitely be reading book two.