Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library

Author: Genevieve Cogman | Publisher: Pan Macmillan

OMG did I love this book! I stayed up reading it last night until I genuinely could not keep my eyes open any longer. Could not put it down.

I’ve been hearing about The Invisible Library series for a while, and I really can’t remember now why I dismissed it… But I was on Goodreads the other day, the new book in the series just came out, and it sounded that good, I figured I was going to have to give the series ago. I should also note, I have an awful habit of getting bored of series half way through… I’m going to say that won’t happen here… Maybe. Hopefully…

Anyway. Book One in The Invisible Library series, helpfully named The Invisible Library. It does frustrate me when series have random names for each book, and it makes it fricking impossible to figure out which comes first.

I was completely blown away by the premise and the worldbuilding. This is clearly a book written by bibliophiles, for bibliophiles. This. Is. Our. Book. I mean, who hasn’t dreamed of getting to hang out in an enormous library? Or felt that there ought to be some sort of job for people who love books, which didn’t involve checking them in and out, or reading enormous piles of paperwork with a red pen in hand? I, for one, feel I would make an excellent library secret service agent. If anyone’s listening, and they’re hiring, I’m available…

I was entranced by the subtle descriptions of the library, which were deeply satisfying to a bibliophile, and the fun steampunk qualities of world B-395. This is one of those rare worlds which the reader desperately wants to visit, and inhabits deliriously, thus making the book an instant hit. And it should have felt like it overstretched itself, it should have been implausible, but somehow it wasn’t… Every detail was beautifully tied into a well-plotted internal logic.

The plot is action-packed, fast paced, and nail-bitingly tense at points. I had predicted, to some degree, the ending (which I always find comforting), but still found myself taken by surprise. There was still more to learn. And the ending was just conclusive enough to feel satiating, after our long romp from disaster to disaster, solving such a convoluted mystery, while still leaving the reader wanting more.

I loved the characters. I always appreciate a strong female protagonist, and Irene is just fabulous. She’s smart as a button, kicks ass, and yet still has real insecurities and flaws with which the reader can identify. Bradamant (what a fantastic name) is just evil enough for the reader to hate her, while having some sympathy once they start to get to know her, and just a proper femme fatale; but no match for our Irene. Kai… well, Kai is just sexy. I feel he still has some growing up to do, before we get any romance angle, but I love the mystery which surrounds him.

In fact, all of the characters while still having that “real feel”, and by the end of the book they do feel like old friends you have come to know well, maintain a certain degree of the unknown; yet another reason I will be purchasing the rest of the series immediately!

Oh, and the villain! Terrifying. I do love a properly creepy villain.

I could gush on and on about how much I adored The Invisible Library, but I’ll stop there. If you’re a fan of fantasy or steampunk, or have always secretly dreamed of being a badass secret agent for a library between worlds, this is the book for you. It’s brilliant, magical, and seriously fun.

And I’m off to purchase the rest of the series now… I don’t think my life will be complete until I have read them all.

Rating: 5/5

Have you read The Invisible Library? Did you love it as much as I did? Does the rest of the series live up to expectations, or am I about to be horribly disappointed?

11 thoughts on “The Invisible Library”

  1. I enjoyed this book enough, but not as well as you did. Though I liked the plot and the Invisible Library itself, I didn’t like Irene or Kai very much. I just didn’t connect with them, and they felt a little flat. It was a great fun book though!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Really!! Kai was a little annoying at times, so I could totally see that… I think he’ll grow out of it though. Did you persevere with the series?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not much for series either, tbh. I try… but even if I loved the first one or two, I tend to get bored and stop reading eventually. And if you weren’t mad keen on the first one, forget the rest of the series…

    Liked by 1 person

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