The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Publication Date: January 2015
Summary from GoodReads:
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.
I have mixed feeling about this book. I liked many of the things in the story, but it seemed to be a bit slow and there wasn’t quite enough excitement for me. I found myself only reading it for short periods of time, it just never quite snagged me, until the last fifty pages that is. The end of the book was great, and that is what makes me think that I might keep going with the series, at least one more book.
Irene was a solid character to have tell the story. She is smart, and a no nonsense kind of woman that I really like. Even when she has this gorgeous guy asking her to have sex with him, she’s like, uh no thanks I really have to get through this paperwork. She also has a drive to do really well at her job and to make sure that she causes as little harm to the worlds she visits as possible. She can sometimes get stuck when faced with some really weird situations, but she would eventually rally and pull herself together and get herself and others to safety. But, I also found her to be a bit bland, she just never got me excited and since she was the sole narrator, it was hard to get excited about her story.
Kai was so cool. I would love to see the story through his point of view. He was one of the reasons that I kept reading even when I thought seriously about stopping. I had a hard time seeing him being a librarian at first, but as we got to know who he really was, I decided that he would be a great one. One of the reasons I’m considering continuing the series is to get more backstory on Kai. We only get quick little snippets of his story and that was enough for me to want more. You could tell from the start that there was more to him than he was letting on, and when Irene finally figures it out, I was a bit stunned.
The world building was pretty good. I liked the steampunk alternate London that the author created. I also liked that there were supernatural creatures such as Fae and werewolves and that they were part of the norm. I don’t think I have come across that before. There were also some great scenes involving robotic enhanced alligators and giant metal centipedes. The concept of the Language, which is a sort of magical spell work of the the Librarians, was also very interesting.
I will admit that I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t fall in love with this book. But there are still enough things that I liked about it that I am willing to give it a second chance with the next book. After that we will see.