Monday, June 13, 2016

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

From the publisher: The story follows Irene, a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. 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.

The Invisible Library is an enjoyable mash up of too many things to mention. There is a Sherlock Holmes-like detective, dragons who can take human form, werewolves, vampires, the Fae, a mysterious Library, a mysterious language that is almost like magic but not quite - all set in an alternate Victorian London.

The world building is fine, given that we’ve already visited parts of it in many other fantasy novels. The characters are interesting. The dialog is entertaining. The plot is frantic and engaging. I didn’t worry too much about things that reminded me of other things – I was too busy enjoying myself.

A couple of the things I especially enjoyed:

When Librarian Irene and her student Kai are sent to an alternate world, they are instructed to claim to be “barbarian visitors from Canada.” (“Do you suppose barbarian Canadians wear jeans? “I hope female Canadian barbarians wear trousers….They’re easier to run in.”)

When Irene is invited to a party by one of the local Fae lords, he tells her, “I’ve invited all the best people. Lords, ladies, authors, ambassadors, debauchers, grave-robbers, perverts, sorcerers, courtesans, deranged scientists, and doll-makers.” Doll-makers, ha!

The Invisible Library is a ton of fun, and I look forward to book 2, The Masked City. Recommended for fantasy lovers looking for a fun romp

The Invisible Library will be published on June 14 and will be available at the Galesburg Public Library in print and as an ebook

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