Review of The Invisible Library

Posted July 12, 2016 by Stormi in Book Reviews / 9 Comments

Review of The Invisible Library

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk
Published by Roc Pages: 329
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley

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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.

Also by this author: The Invisible Library, The Masked City

First Line

Irene passed the mop across the stone floor in smooth, careful strokes, idly admiring the gleam of wet flagstones in the lantern light.

What I thought of this book

One of my favorite movie series turned into TV show is The Librarians and that is the first thing that came to my mind when I started reading The Invisible Library, I thought someone must like that show…lol. Of course it’s different as in The Invisible Library only collects books and has alternate worlds.

The Invisible Library doesn’t really exist in any world, but it holds the door to alternate worlds. It’s huge because it could take you days to get to certain section of the library. The Librarians goals are to collect valuable books from alternate worlds.

It starts us off with Irene finishing up an assignment and having a narrow escape. She is hoping that when she gets back to the library she will get a break but that doesn’t happen. She is given an assignment right away and also a apprentice, Kai. Where they have to go is an alternate London that is field with chaos magic. Irene is not a fan of going to those types of places so she hopes it will be an easy in and out but nothing ever goes that smooth.

Soon as she gets there she finds out that the man..err vampire who had the book has been killed and the book is missing. Finding the book means she is going to have to do things that are not exactly how a Librarian is suppose to do things and put her trust in someone that she doesn’t know, Vale, a detective. Irene loves stories about Great Detectives and so she kind of likes getting to work with a detective.

Things go from bad to worse when she finds out that a long time adversary of the Library is after the book too and he is not afraid of using chaos to get what he wants. This case is going to push Irene to the brink and could take those with her as well. It’s going to take everything she has, plus the help of her acquaintances to get the job done.

So I will admit that this book really got off to a slow start for me and I wasn’t sure if I would keep going. Greg from Book Haven said that he had a hard time with the beginning but they really enjoyed it so I kept with it and he was right. Once I got over the beginning bump from about 25-30% it started to get interesting as they get more into finding the book. Honestly I think this one would have worked better for me on audio as books with world building tend to make my mind wonder when I read but when I listen it’s different. 🙂

Irene loves the Library as she was born into it since her parents were Librarians. So she takes her job very seriously and has a hard time trusting others. She really hates alternates with chaos as it can contaminate you if you are affected by it to much. She is not sure what she thinks about her new apprentice Kai or the detective Vale. She has never had friends as it’s easier to just not have those types of attachments. Irene is an interesting character.

There is a lot of about Kai we don’t know yet. We sort of find out things about him but not everything which makes me curious about him. I want to know why he did some of the things he did to get himself noticed by the Library.

Vale is an aristocrat but wants nothing to do with his family. I think I know why but it really doesn’t go into a lot of detail about it. He has cut himself off and has become a detective that consults with the local Scotland yard men. I like him and hope we get to see more of him in the next book.

The author has a great imagination when it comes to  creating this Library and the worlds around it. I am really curious to see what happens next despite the slow start. If you like fantasy and steampunk type of books then you will enjoy this one.

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9 responses to “Review of The Invisible Library

  1. I’m with Sherry. I push through, especially with the first book, as the author is establishing their world and characters. I have this one and hope to read it soon, Stormi. Thanks for the great review!

  2. This one has been on my radar for a while now – and having read your excellent review, I’m still interested:). Thank you for sharing.

  3. I’m glad we both stuck with it- I ended up really liking it. I’m curious about Kai too and I liked Vale a lot- I think it’s interesting that it sounds like the story will continue somewhat rather than her just going to a different world every book like it could have been. Great review!

  4. Yes, it was a slow start; I had to push through also. A lot of world building and story set up was in that first part and it slowed the story down. Like you, I ended up enjoying the book and I’m looking forward to book two.

  5. I think I’m going to have to grab this one – every review I read is positive. And a slow start is something I can handle as long as it does deliver eventually 🙂 great review Stormi!

  6. I had much the same experience, though for me, the payoff really came toward the end, as I had a hard time connecting to Irene until then. But I’m looking forward to book 2! And like you, I hope we see more of Vale.

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