review: the invisible library



I'm rating this book 3.5 stars! The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman has a really great concept centering the story; a secret society of immortal librarian spies separate from all dimensions and realities? Hell yes.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

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

The whole idea of a huge invisible library full of books from different dimensions and worlds is just mind-blowing. Even though i still can't buy the significance of it, the concept was cool. Apparently, the Library exists to maintain balance between order and chaos in other realities, and they do this by collecting a specific and unique work of fiction from that world.

Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the plot and story that was told based on this concept. I feel like it had quite a solid set-up and world-building, and had so much potential for a more exciting adventure. I wish the author hadn't only based the story in an alternate London, but had also brought the readers to explore other alternate worlds. Centering it at only one location didn't really grip me into the story, especially since the plot itself wasn't that exciting.

I didn't really like any of the characters, but i think this has something to do with the third-person POV writing style. I couldn't feel attached to the main character, Irene, and so it became difficult to understand her personality and know what she was feeling. I only have a slight bit of interest in knowing more about Kai's character. I guess there will be more about him in the second book, though i'm not sure yet if i will pick it up.

Overall, i think this book is more of a mystery novel than a fantasy. It kind if has a Sherlock Holmes vibe to it, so i think readers who enjoy mystery might enjoy it

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