The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman (review)

July 28, 2016 All Reviews, Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, YA 12 ★★★★

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman (review)The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library, #1) by Genevieve Cogman
Series: The Invisible Library #1
Published by Roc on January 15th 2015
Number of Pages: 329
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Young Adult
Source: Library
Format: eBook
Purchase: At Amazon

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 loved the idea of a spy network made out of librarians. And the book grabs your attention from the first pages, because Irene is in the middle of a mission to steal a book from a boys school when the book opens.

There are elements of Sherlock Holmes, as well as the 007 movies in the book. Not because the book is using either as a reference exactly, but because there is a great detective in Vale. And lots of narrow escapes, assistants who are more than what they seem, double-crosses and mysteries. Besides all that, there’s also the fantasy and steampunk elements. There’s even a scene with crocodiles!

I loved Irene. The way she saw the world, and how her thinking changed over the course of the book. I also liked getting to know the bits of history of the Library and how things worked. But I think my favorite character was Kai. He was mysterious, but also very principled. With very strong feelings about what was right and wrong, even if they didn’t always match up to what Irene thought. And I LOVED the reveal about him!

There are vampires and Fae in the book, as well as normal humans and the Librarians themselves. There are also airships, chaos magic, mentions of cyborgs and people with clockwork parts. A great deal of the story takes place in an alternate world that has the feel of Victorian times to it. But at the same time, some of the technology is more advanced.

I loved the way the magic in the book worked. Everything from the Fae magics, to that which the Librarians could wield. There was also quite a bit of world building. Both for the alternate that Irene and Kai find themselves hunting through, as well as for the Library itself. I can hardly wait to start reading the next book!


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12 Responses to “The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1) by Genevieve Cogman (review)”

    • SilvaraWilde

      It was really good! I already have book 2 waiting on me to start it, most likely this week I think. Totally sucked me in more than I expected it to.

  1. Greg

    I liked this one a lot too. Lots of fun and I want to know more about both the library and the Victorian world she’s in! Can’t wait for books two and three…

    • SilvaraWilde

      I grabbed book 2 from one of my ARC lists, should be starting it soon. It sounds like it’ll be just as good, so here’s hoping!

  2. Danya @ A Tapestry of Words

    This one sounds super entertaining! I like Victorian-esque settings, particularly if there’s some magic added, and of course the fact that there are librarian spies is just awesome. Seems like a wonderful blend of likeable characters, intriguing mystery, and well-crafted world building!

    • SilvaraWilde

      It was really good! So glad I already have book 2 though, waiting for the next book to be out when you like the first is always a challenge for me. *laughs* If you get the chance, you should check it out.

    • SilvaraWilde

      So good to hear book 2 is even better! I have an eARC of it that I’ll be picking up this week hopefully. Depending on how much RL work monopolizes me. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Lola

    The premise of this one sounds great, but librarian books usually seem to be a hit among book lovers ;). And the combination of fantasy, steampunk and mystery sounds great too! The world building sounds well done and interesting. Greta review!
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    • SilvaraWilde

      I’ve read a few librarian books that I haven’t liked, or at least not liked a lot. This one did real good at hitting all the right notes. And librarian spies? Totally something I haven’t come across before, so that was a huge plus! *grins*

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