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Review: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (The Invisible Library #1)

“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.”

What I thought:

This is a book where librarians are awesome, have their own awesome way of doing magic, and where sometimes, dragons and librarians work together to save the world. I may have been slightly biased to adore the hell out of this.

It was so easy for me to fall into this – partly because like me, Irene works at a library and loves books. Just my library isn’t super secret. Or anywhere near as awesome, if we’re being honest.

One of the best things for me was that the librarians have their own unique way of doing magic called the Language. With it they can tell dead things to move for them, doors to unlock, and fire-hydrants to explode to stop angry gargoyles or furious dogs. *ahem* For example.

And as a Librarian she had one big advantage that nobody else had – not necromancers, Fae, dragons, ordinary humans or anyone. It was called the Language. Only Librarians could read it. Only Librarians could use it. It could affect certain aspects of reality. It was extremely useful, even if the vocabulary needed constant revision.

I love me a good multiverse, and guess what this had? DRAGONS AND MISCHIEVOUS FAE IN A MULTIVERSE! But what’s even better than all that? Some books only existed in some universes, while others were exclusive to one specific universe. *be still my heart*

The writing was relaxed and effortless, almost chatty, which made it ever easier to get into the story.

It wasn’t about a higher mission to save worlds. It was about finding unique works of fiction, and saving them in a place out of time and space. Perhaps some people might think that was a petty way to spend eternity, but Irene was happy with her choice. Anyone who really loved a good story would understand.

Despite all that, I didn’t connect with the characters. Irene’s adventure was exciting enough, but I didn’t connect with her personally, or with her minion, Kai. I was more interested in the side characters, like Bradamant who Irene describes as a back-stabbing bitch but who I felt had an intriguing history with the library and possibly the main villain, too. I’m excited to read the sequel at some point, and might make it part of my next book haul (which will probably have to wait for NaNo, tho) just so I can find out more about Bradamant.

(Oh hey, that’s the last of my holiday reads reviewed! Hurrah!)


Have you read The Invisible Library? Get some cookies, drop me a comment and let’s get this book club going!

I don’t review books professionally. These reviews are mainly a small summary and my opinion on books I’ve loved, they are not intended to be anything more. All ‘reviews’ include a picture, title and name of author linking to the book’s Goodreads listing, the blurb from the back of the book and my non-professional verdict.

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