The Invisible Library
by Genevieve Cogman
4 out of 5 stars
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?
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 wish there had been a little more exposition about some of the characters and look forward to reading the subsequent books in the series.
A copy of this title was provided to me for review, a version of which was submitted to Night Owl Reviews