The Invisible Library

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The Invisible Library
Genevieve Cogman
Roc

One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen. 

London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.

Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself...

     So, I feel like I should have loved this book. And, indeed, I did like it. The concept was fun, and of course anything taking place in a steampunk alternate-London is going to get me interested. There were some interesting character twists (My favorite character was by far Vale, which is only further proof that my character preferences are woefully predictable) and, for the most part, the writing was pleasant.

     I feel like you can here the "but" in my words, and you wouldn't be wrong.

     When I first started this book, I really thought that it would be clean--and for a secular adult book, it is. But the latter half did have some sporadic swearing, and more puzzling was the frank discussion in which one character asks the other to get into bed with him which was so ridiculously out-of-place from the rest of the story's tone that I'd wondered how it even ended up in the book. (When reading adult fiction it doesn't surprise me when something like that comes up- but it surprised me here because it just doesn't seem to fit at all with what we know about the character so far. He's turned down, by the way, and there aren't any sexual scenes in the book.) I also felt that there were hiccups in the main characters' characterizations; their actions didn't always seem true to how their characters had already been established. And parts of it were confusing- but still enjoyable as long as you just let it slide and pretend you know how the whole chaos-magic-physical laws- thing works.

     However, aside from that one strange incident, I really did enjoy the book. While it took a couple of chapters to get into, and the plot could get a little confusing, overall it was enough fun that, as long as it doesn't wade any deeper into red flag territory, I could see myself reading the rest of the series.

I received this book for free from bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for my honest review.

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