Genevieve Cogman is a British author best known for her Invisible Library series of books. They are a great series giving you alternate realities, strange magic systems, and fantasy races, Cogman provides you with plenty of adventure, mystery, and a great use of the fantasy library genre.
The Invisible Library is the first book in the series and introduces you to the “Library.” The Library collects books from alternate realities and the story follows Irene as she and her assistant Kai are posted to an alternate London to collect a book. But, it has already been stolen and so the adventure begins. This world is one of Chaos and Irene must navigate this strange world and the dangers it brings while trying to figure out her new mysterious assistant, who has secrets of his own. Danger, Secret Societies, Fae, strange machines this book has it all, along with a dangerous antagonist working towards his own ends.
I love the subgenre of fiction that seems to have sprung up recently (ish) around Libraries and Books. I started to make a list of these for a post of its own which will be coming. But I had heard very good things about the start of this series, I didn’t realise at the time that there were eight books in the series. Having finished book one I can’t wait to get on with the others. I struggled to put this one down, Learning about the library and how it works was brilliant, I love the premise of a Library being central to a multiverse, something I have made notes on given my love of books, then I read this!
I love the thought of using a Library to travel to other worlds to rescue books and when Irene lands in London she is thrust into an adventure, the cast of characters is brilliant. Kai was intriguing and I loved the repertoire between him and Irene as his story unfolds. Vale is a detective in the alternate London whom Irene and Kai end up working with. I loved this character (very Sherlock Holmes-like) The stakes are high from the beginning and kept me interested through the book, and yet it has the feeling of a cozy fantasy read at the same time. It’s strange and yet something that I loved about the book.
The main character Irene is very likable and I found myself rooting for her easily. Alberich, the main antagonist who wasn’t there until the back half of the book is written well, and by the time he shows up we are aware of how dangerous he is, an excellent villain.
If you like a good fantasy adventure and like me love books and libraries this is the book for you. Step through the doors of the library and go on an adventure.
You can purchase The Invisible Library from your local Bookshop supporting indie bookshops is important and something I am very in favor of. I like nothing more than to browse physical books. Or if you want you can shop at your local Waterstones, or online at Amazon