What bibliophile could resist a story that features Librarians as intrepid explorers and protectors of unique printed works of fiction? I love that there is a special Language that is used for all kinds of remarkable functions and that there are multiple alternate worlds that are gradually unveiled. The fascinating combination of steampunk, biology, and magic that is characteristic of the world Irene and Kai are assigned to gives delightful unexpected twists (who knew vampires had an issue with sticky rice, lol) as well as some fairly creepy experiences. The introduction to the various factions and the mysterious characters who may be allies or enemies keep one guessing.
I think this author did a great job of creating a new and exciting universe with intriguing characters faced with unique dilemmas. I was a little disappointed that more things weren’t tied up more completely but I understand the desire to keep one invested in the series. Kai fascinates me, as he represents a type of character I have always been fond of, and I look forward to learning much more about him in the future. It is difficult to establish a series without overwhelming the reader with too much detail but I still wish there had been a little more exposition about some of the characters and look forward to reading the subsequent books in the series.
“The Invisible Library” by Genevieve Cogman is the first book in the fantasy ‘Invisible Library’ series and features Irene, a Librarian whose main goal in life is to “just find a good book to read” and everything she does is in pursuit of that goal. Her assignment to retrieve a manuscript from a quarantined destination is complicated by her new protégé, Kai, whose opinions and attitude don’t quite reflect his purported role. Add in a vicious rival, less-than-helpful contact persons, a society that is engaged in a deadly power struggle, oh, and a troublesome possible super-villain, and one has to wonder, what exactly is in this book she is tasked with retrieving?
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...