Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Invisible Library- Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library- Genevieve Cogman
Roc Press (Penguin Random House)
Release Date: June 14, 2016

Synopsis: 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...

The Invisible Library is a mix of mystery, magic, science, humor, and books. An incredibly rich world of alternate universes and the Librarians who gather important works of fiction from all of them.

The main character, Irene, is a wonderfully complex character- a true bibliophile who wants nothing more than to protect books and read them.  Clever and quick-witted, she returns from one mission only to be sent out instantly on another- this time with an apprentice.  Things go from complicated to seriously complicated in the alternate world they've landed in when murder, book thieves, Fae, rogue Librarians, werewolves, centipedes, and alligators become involved.  This alternate reality is a delightful blend of steampunk and fantasy, vampires and zeppelins, science and magic. Irene is sure there's more to this story than what she's been told, but she'll have to stay alive before she can worry about what she isn't being told!  Her apprentice, Kai, is hiding some big secrets of his own, a competing Librarian keeps getting in the way, and their only ally is this world's version of Sherlock Holmes, who may have his own agenda.

This was a brilliant debut novel by Genevieve Cogman.  The worlds are detailed, all her characters are rich and three-dimensional, the plots and intrigues keep you guessing without overly complicating the storyline, and the humor is snarky and dry.  I couldn't bear to put this book down once I'd started, but as much as I wanted to reach the end to see how everything was solved I didn't want to reach the end and have to leave the world of the mysterious Invisible Library.  Fortunately, there are at least two more books scheduled for release, and I hope this series lasts for many more books to come.

Fans of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, Deborah Harkness' Discovery of Witches trilogy, TNT's The Librarians tv series, and book lovers in general will fall in love with the world of The Invisible Library.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley for an honest review.


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