The first in a gripping, fantasy mystery series, The Invisible Library is the astounding debut from 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.
The Invisible Library is followed by the second adventurous title in the The Invisible Library series, The Masked City.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
We lost ourselves for hours in the intricate and original world-building of Genevieve Cogman’s exciting fantasy debut. Heroine Irene is a spy for The Invisible Library, a depository for unique books acquired from multiple worlds and realities. Her hunt for one particular work leads her into extreme danger in a haunted, steampunk London. A rich, satisfying plot and snappy dialogue left us eager to dive into the rest of Cogman's series.
The first entry in Cogman's debut fantasy series follows the adventures of feisty spy Irene. She's employed by the mysterious organization known as the Library, which exists across space and time, to find unique works of fiction across alternate realities and store them for posterity. Her latest mission is to find a tome in a version of London populated with vampires, werewolves, and Fair Folk while training one of the Library's newest recruits, the enigmatic Kai. She gets more than she bargains for when the book is stolen and she's thrust into a dangerous underworld where magic and intrigue meet. Cogman writes with a vivacity and wittiness that breathes new life into the genre. Marrying political and academic intrigue with high-stakes battle scenes, the plot moves at a fair clip, with a captivating cast of characters. The relationship between Irene and Kai omits clich d romantic tension, and the banter they share is quite refreshing. Reminiscent of the works of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman, Cogman's novel is a true treat to read.
A mish mash of themes, ideas and genres that the author is largely at pains to acknowledge - fantasy, cyberpunk, steam punk, crime fiction. An alternative Edwardian London mixed seamlessly with alternative realities, the Fae and more than a passing nod to Sherlock Holmes, all coalescing under the, sometimes over explained, scrutiny of a kick ankle heroine who I assume bears a more than passing physical and mental resemblance to the author.
It's brilliant fun and save for some slightly over worked "internal dialogue" it is pacy and action packed with some great characters finely drawn and definitely requiring the odd sequel or five.
Found it very stilted and lumpy to start with. The author writes in a very cold & clinical style. I’m hoping that gets less as the series develops, it did a tad towards end of this novel so I have hope that it will. The storyline premise is a good one and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes.
One of those rare books you hate to put down and love coming back to ❤️