Saturday, June 25, 2016
THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY by Genevieve Cogman
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.
My thoughts on the book:
The Invisible Library is a unique and intriguing read. I wasn't sure if I would like it or not, especially after seeing mixed reviews, but I actually enjoyed the book as a whole. It wasn't perfect, and the world and characters weren't fully developed, in my opinion, but it held my interest enough that I liked reading it, and I'm looking forward to the sequel. It is a well-written, genre bending book. I hope I get to learn more about the characters and the world in the next installment.
Irene grew on me, even though her emotions were kind of stifled. I know she was meant to be portrayed this way, but because of that, even though the POV was third person, limited, we didn't get to see any of the emotions of the other characters, either. I mean emotional reactions were mentioned some, but there was a lot more that could have been done. However, the story, and Irene herself, wouldn't have been as prim and stereotypically librarian if that had been the case. Kai was interesting, and I really want to learn more about him. Vale was super fun, and I look forward to seeing him again as well. The big bad guy of the story was kind of vague. I would have liked a bit more from him.
Like the characters, the world-building was a bit vague. I'm not sure I 100% understand the rules of the world, why the Library exists, and what all of the implications are. This may be intentional, because part of the underlying themes in this book is should you question old institutions if they are doing no harm. However, it did make it difficult to fully immerse myself in the story. The plot was intriguing and fast-paced, but the romance was a bit dull/non-existent. I'd like to see a little more romance in future installments. The writing was pretty well done, and the dialogue was fairly realistic. There was a lot of action going on, but the action/fight scenes were never described in a way that made me completely absorbed in them. I felt that a lot of stuff was glossed over more than it should have been. The ending tied up a lot of loose ends and set the next book up well.
Overall, I'd recommend this book to someone who is looking for something unique to read. I enjoyed the novel, and I am looking forward to the sequel.