Happy Tuesday, everyone!
I forget exactly when I put this one on my TBR, but it was…fairly recently? I’m not sure. Anyway, I dug it up again for Goodreads Monday a few weeks ago, and I was once again fascinated by the premise. I’m happy to say that The Invisible Library blew me out of the water–perfect for anyone who appreciates the value of a good story!
Enjoy this week’s review!
The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1)
In the gap between dimensions lies the Library, which houses books from all manner of alternate realities. Their Librarians are responsible for the preservation and retrieval of these novels from dangerous hands, putting their lives on the line to protect rare fictions.
Irene is one such Librarian, tasked with one mission–to bring a copy of Grimm’s Fairytales to safety at the Library. This copy is not only hidden deep in the heart of an alternate London, a world filled with airships and mechanical beasts. To make matters worse, many sets of powerful hands seek to snatch the copy away, and by the time they’ve made it to London, the Fairytales have already been stolen. With the help of her new assistant, Kai, and a detective who’s suspected them from the beginning, Irene must retrieve the book, before it falls into the wrong hands–again.
First off: you had me at “library.” As a library volunteer and a lifelong lover of books, I always love to delve into adventures involving books, literature within literature. It’s a subgenre that’s rarely done well, but in this case, Cogman pulls it off spectacularly.
Beyond that, The Invisible Library has everything that you could possibly want in a great adventure novel. Faeries, vampires, dragons, and werewolves? Check. Mechanical insects? Check. Detectives? Another check. Evil entities? Check. Espionage and airships in a pseudo-steampunk version of Victorian London? Check, check, and check. (Oh, and there’s a few crocodiles thrown in as well. Can’t forget the crocodiles.) You’d think that with all of those elements crammed in, there’d be little room for plot, and the story would needlessly jump from place to place with no sense of direction. Wonderfully enough, this novel pulls off having all sorts of fantastical elements mixed in, while still making for a wild mystery through an unfamiliar London.
And can we talk about Irene? I LOVED HER. She’s absolutely no-nonsense, fiercely intelligent, and can hold her own against ALL OF THE AFOREMENTIONED WEIRDNESS. Beyond that, she has the unmistakable love and respect for good books, and the places that a well-written story can take you.
Kai, on the other hand…he was totally set up to be the love interest, but Irene’s dealing with it is HYSTERICAL. The whole time, everyone seems to be setting them up, but Irene can go on a mission with a member of the opposite sex without romance interfering, thank you very much. She’s much an independent, logic-ruled character. Judging from the amount of books that come afterward, there’s a good chance that they’ll get together, but I’m personally hoping that they stay friends. Guess that’s just me, fed up with insta-love.
All in all, an absolutely wild, adventurous ride, and a love song to libraries and the books they house. 4.75 stars, rounded up to 5!
The Invisible Library is the first in a series of seven (!) books, including The Masked City (#2), The Burning Page (#3), The Lost Plot (#4), The Mortal Word (#5), The Secret Chapter (#6), and The Dark Archive (#7, expected to be published in December of 2020). As of now, I’m not sure whether or not this will be the end of the series, but…whew, we’ll see…
In the meantime, I still have The Masked City on hold, and I eagerly wait its arrival…
That’s it for this week’s Book Review Tuesday! Have a wonderful rest of your day, and take care of yourselves!