Inter-Dimensional Library Spies: The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman


Goodreads summary:

The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies – think Doctor Who with librarian spies!

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.

Review: 

This book is such great fun! Inter-dimensional Library spies with magic, betrayal, detectives, zeppelins and alligators – what’s not to love?! I am so here for books that love books, and undercover book nerds arguing about grammar and foiling silverfish and chaos lords while they steal books is exactly where I would like to live, please and thank you.

This is the first in a series, and I’ve already bought the next two books. The fourth, The Lost Plot, comes out in December 2017. I’m preordering it. And we all know (because I never shut up about it) how much I love an origin story, so I’m so excited that The Invisible Library is only the beginning. The characters are great – I think I might actually be Irene – and at this point there’s potential to ship pretty much anyone, though no real romantic subplot, which I really loved. It’s still all potential, and for me that’s the most exciting part of any series. I mean, given that the characters spent most of the book trying not to get arrested/drowned/have their skin peeled off/be enchanted by malicious Fae… There was a lot going on.

Irene is an interested character. She’s practically grown up in the Library (a place outside of dimensions and time which stores fiction from alternate worlds and Librarians), so her commitment to its cause of fiction preservation is unquestioning. But she does question – mentally, at least – the motives of the Library itself, and of senior Librarians who are absolutely manipulating her and her junior peers. Her co-operation with Vale, the Sherlock Holmes-esque private detective, as they try to uncover a stolen book in his alternate, forces her to look more closely at her own motivations, and that of the Library. I’m interested to see how her loyalty is tested in further books. I think she’s probably one of my favourite heroines ever.

Representation:

One Chinese MC, one MC is possibly bisexual? I’m reserving declaration until I’m sure… One of the side characters is an Indian detective, another is an amputee.


The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman was published by Tor UK in January 2015. You can order it from Waterstones here, or Amazon here

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