Series: The Invisible Library #1
Published by Roc on January 15th 2015
Number of Pages: 329
Genres: Fantasy, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Steampunk, Young Adult
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!