Review – The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library No.1) – Genevieve Cogman

Tor, 2015

Irene is accustomed to secrecy. As an agent of the Library, she has access to a multitude of alternate worlds and may be sent anywhere, at any time, to acquire treasures for the voracious collections of her superiors. She doesn’t need to make the universe a better place – she just wants to keep the books safe. Saddled with a very suspicious mission and an even stranger assistant, it gets hard to maintain that professional detachment. Even the Library has its urban legends. And there are stories Irene never wants to meet…

This is a steampunk fantasy fusion that can’t be taken too seriously, but doesn’t overdo its eccentricities either. A slow start leads into a cheerfully bizarre adventure, with cool-headed bibliophile Irene doing her best to be unimpressed by everything. The relationships between characters are unexpectedly, enjoyably complicated, and while the conclusion was a bit weak, the ideas involved are intriguing. A sequel, The Masked City, is set for release in early December.

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