One thing any Librarian from the Invisible Library 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 received this as an ARC from Netgalley and Penguin Random House.
The Invisible Library is Genevieve Cogman’s debut novel, but it was originally published in the UK on January 15, 2015. The Invisible Library is Harry Potter meets Doctor Who meets Kate Daniels, with the best of each world combined into a Victorian setting, with human-shaped dragons and a female main character. Who doesn’t love that?
Our main character is Irene, who is originally introduced to us as a no-nonsense thief, dedicated to the books and the Library. And yes, Library must be capitalized. Slowly but surely, Irene shows that maybe she’s not as trusting of the Library as she lets on. I loved that she always wanted to read the books she was hunting for.
“She just wanted -had always wanted- a good book to read. Being chased by hellhounds and blowing things up were comparatively unimportant parts of the job. Getting the books – now, that was what really mattered to her.”
She also slowly but surely learns to trust her mentee, Kai. Kai is not what he seems to be, and Irene spends the whole novel learning who he actually is and what’s important to him. I’d really love to know more about his people, especially given the remarks that Coppelia made about them towards the end. I wasn’t as enthralled with him as Irene seemed to be, but I liked him. I could see myself really enjoying him later on.
This is a super duper slow burn romance between Irene and Kai, with this adorable quote near the end of the book.
“He was looking up at her with that lost, puppy-like look again, as if she had somehow perfectly filled a hole in his personal universe. It was no doubt immensely flattering, but she didn’t have time for that.”
Bradamant was an interesting character – she was halfway set up to be the antagonist, and then almost became a friend to Kai and Irene. I really hope we see more of her in later books. I can see a fun friendship forming between the three of them in the face of adversity.
I love the idea of the Language, and the nuance that that brought to the world. It’s magical, but definitely limited – by reality, by the nature of the object/person and by the speaker’s vocabulary. However, I really wish we could have learned more about the culture of the Library, as Irene’s faith in the Library kind of crumbled throughout the book. I would have liked to know why she believed so heavily in it. Especially with the implied rivalry between their bosses, I wanted to know more about why.
The Invisible Library is set to be published tomorrow, June 14, and I cannot wait for you guys to read this, because I absolutely loved it. The sequel, The Masked City is already out in the UK, and will be released in the US on September 6, and the third and final novel, The Burning Page, is set to be released on December 6, 2016. As you might have guessed, I’m rating this one 5 stars, and have already recommended it to at least three people.
7 thoughts on “Review:: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman”
I feel like anything called The Invisible Library already has me wanting to read it, regardless of the reviews it gets. But I’m glad to see that you gave it five stars!
Pretty much! It was SO GOOD YOU NEED TO READ IT.