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review 2017-07-12 13:02
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

Irene is sent to retrieve a book from a chaos-infested alternate world for The Library with the help of her assistant/trainee Kai. She belongs to a secret organization called The Invisible Library that collects books and stores them in a massive library complex located somehow adjacent to the many alternate worlds to which its operatives may travel. These alternate worlds all apparently have the same physical laws but they range from the more orderly worlds where magic isn’t a thing to the more chaotic worlds where you can encounter vampires and werewolves and somehow this leads to more steampunk-style technology.

 

The concept here is interesting but I never really connected with the book or its characters. There’s a revelation about a dragon that has little impact on the reader because the reader just doesn’t have the information to know why Irene reacts the way she does. It misses, the mark, basically. There are also several plot points that feel like the characters are required to be a bit slow on the uptake (the twists weren’t all that surprising) or it felt like a plot hole until it was finally explained (to be fair, these things were mostly explained).

 

The other thing that bugged me was the question of timeframes. The library has been around for at least several hundred years and possibly for several thousand. There seem to be a lot of Victorian-era steampunk worlds and there’s nothing to say that we’re not modern day or later (cell phones are a possible technology for the worlds). If we’re modern day or later (to give the library more “time” to exist), why are so many worlds “stuck” in what feels like earlier times? Do they actually get stuck technologically based on the level of chaos in them? Are there futuristic more orderly worlds? If so, has more time passed or did technology just progress faster? These questions kept bugging me all throughout the book and the origin of the library is a mystery. I’m not sure if I’d be disappointed with the answer.

 

Basically, this book just wasn’t quite fun enough to warrant a full three stars so I’m sticking with 2.5. I am somewhat curious to find out more about The Library so I may read the next book although I’m not certain I’ll actually get any answers, so I won’t be rushing out to get find it.

 

I read this for booklikes-opoly square Frontierland 4 “Read a book where…the letters in the title can be used to spell RIVER”: The Invisible Library. Since this is the second time I’ve landed on this square since the shake-up, I get a location multiplier of 1.5 for this 328 page book, which gives me another $9 for my bank.

 

New Bank Balance: $214

 

Previous Updates:

16 %

64 %

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text 2017-07-12 01:47
Reading progress update: I've read 64%.
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

I'm confused by the cat burglar affair explanation.

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text 2017-07-10 17:46
Reading progress update: I've read 16%.
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

I'm probably in the minority here, but so far I'm not going "squee". It seems so...analytical. They're currently discussing the interplay between chaos and technology and magic and it feels like an info dump.

 

Oh, and there's the makings of an nemesis.

 

Edit:

Barbarians from Canada, eh?

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text 2017-07-04 03:47
Reading progress update: I've read 180 out of 328 pages.
The Invisible Library - Genevieve Cogman

Oooh! This book has dragons in it! I didn't know that it had dragons in it or I would've read it ages ago!

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review 2017-06-10 19:07
The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman
The Burning Page - Genevieve Cogman

"The third title in Genevieve Cogman's clever and exciting The Invisible Library series, The Burning Page is an action-packed literary adventure!

Librarian spy Irene has professional standards to maintain. Standards that absolutely do not include making hasty, unplanned escapes through a burning besieged building. But when the gateway back to your headquarters dramatically malfunctions, one must improvise. And after fleeing a version of Revolutionary France astride a dragon (also known as her assistant, Kai), Irene soon discovers she's not the only one affected. Gates back to the Library are malfunctioning across a multitude of worlds, creating general havoc. She and Kai are tasked with a mission to St Petersburg's Winter Palace, to retrieve a book which will help restore order.

However, such plans rarely survive first contact with the enemy - particularly when the enemy is the traitor Alberich. A nightmare figure bent on the Library's destruction, Alberich gives Irene a tainted 'join me or die' job offer. Meanwhile, Irene's old friend Vale has been damaged by exposure to Chaotic forces and she has no idea how to save him. When another figure from her past appears, begging for help, Irene has to take a good hard look at her priorities. And of course try to save the Library from absolute annihilation. Saving herself would be a bonus.

Irene's adventures feature stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies - think Doctor Who but with librarian spies!

 
**********
 
I would have preferred to read book two, The Masked City before I read this book. But, it just didn't turn out that way. Did the mentioning of the events from The Masked City make me want to read that book? Oh yes, so I will definitely try to get the book one day.
 
I found this book's story just as captivating as the first book in the series The Invisible Library. All my favorite characters are back in this book Irene (of course), Kai and Vale. Vale has been to a chaotic world in the previous books and it's affecting him badly and Irene ponders over how she could help him without damaging him in any way. I have a favorite scene in this book where they are discussing his condition and, well let's say the tension rises between them. It will be interesting to see what the future has in store for them.
 
The Burning Page is a wonderful mix of adventure and humor. I love the characters, and I love the idea of an invisible library that collects books from alternative worlds. In this book, the Library is in danger from an old foe and Irene, of course, happen to cross path with this old foe and perhaps she is the one that could save the library? There is never a dull moment, it's action from the beginning until the end. And, it was with a bit of bittersweet that I came to the last page. I want more!
 
Can you read this book as a stand-alone? Well, yes, but I think reading the first book will make it easier to come to grips with the story in this book.
 
This series is fantastic, it's thrilling, humorous and adventures and I just saw that book four is going to be released in December. Can't wait to read it!
 
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review! 
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