The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

27177204“The atmosphere of the place soothed her automatically; the rich lantern lights, the sheer scent of paper and leather, and the fact that everywhere she looked, there were books, books, beautiful books.”

A mysterious Library society, spies, alternate realities, and at the center of it all is the search for books.  Now that is definitely the sound of a book I had to read.  The Invisible Library centers around the character of Irene, a member/spy of the Library.  It is a society few are aware of and one whose mission is to collect books from alternate realities in order to preserve them.  Irene is assigned to a mission with new assistant Kai to an alternate London in order to retrieve a book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales, which proves to be particularly dangerous as this alternate world is infested with chaos.  A world where magic and the supernatural are not controlled.  Upon their arrival they learn that the book they are in search of has gone missing, and their assignment becomes all the more dangerous as they encounter various characters and creatures in their search.

First in a series, The Invisible Library is a fun, action-packed adventure with a great sense of humour.  The dialogue and banter between characters is enjoyable, and the characters themselves are interesting and memorable. Irene is a strong protagonist who is smart, tough, and oh so cool.  I would have liked more of a foundation established for the Library society, the world and the different realities before diving into the action as there are moments that were a little confusing at times.  Overall, this is a fun adventure and a great set up for what is sure to be a very enjoyable series.

“… and the deepest, most fundamental part of her life involved a love of books. Right now, she wanted nothing more than to shut the rest of the world out, and have nothing to worry about, except the next page of whatever she was reading.”

*ARC provided by NetGalley.  North American publication date: June 14, 2016.  Originally published in the UK on January 15, 2015.

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