The story toggles between the past, as Flynn Carsen tries to find Aladdin’s Lamp before an ancient criminal organization known as the Forty Seals gets hold of it, and the future, when Eve Baird and a new group of Librarians — protectors of ancient artifacts like King Arthur’s sword Excalibur — stumble on a mystery in Las Vegas that seems to relate to the Lamp and the powerful djinn it can summon.
I read this book to fill the Relics and Curiosities square of my 2018 Halloween Bingo card.
The relic in play in this book is Aladdin’s lamp. Usually, someone creative takes a book and from it produces a movie or a TV show. This book is the reverse engineering of that process and I didn’t really warm up to it. It is a novelization of the TV show The Librarians. Now, as a library worker, I am predisposed to like things like this and maybe I would have enjoyed the TV show. But I found the book rather boring. I was chatting with a colleague over coffee this morning and she said that she’d seen a bit of the TV show, but hadn’t really been very interested in it either. Your mileage may vary.
There is a distinct difference between what comprises witty dialog in a book vs. on TV. Where I can see that some of this novel would have worked on the screen, it was definitely anemic on the page. Aladdin’s Lamp and the Genie should not have to work so hard to create some excitement—the rebooted Forty Thieves were bumblers, rather than sharp competitors for the Lamp.
I guess Genevieve Cogman has spoiled me for the plot device of a central Library that collects important works of fiction from many different realities. If the description of The Librarians and the Lost Lamp sounds the slightest bit enticing to you, do yourself a favour and pick up The Invisible Library and get to know Irene, Kai, and Vale. The fifth installment of that series comes out in late November of this year and I have it marked on my calendar to go purchase the book that day.