The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

There is an invisible library hidden from the world. Hidden from all worlds. Its goal is to collect and protect all unique and precious books so as to maintain order and knowledge.

Irene is a Librarian, trained in the Language, and sworn to serve the Library. She was born into the Library and spends her near-infinite life collecting important books from alternate realities. Her supervisor Coppelia arranges another mission for her, this time also sending a new recruit in training, Kai.

Together, the two must travel into an alternate world to secure a highly important copy of the Brothers Grimm fairytales that is unique to its world. But collecting a book is sometimes more dangerous and complicated than going to the new world and purchasing it from the local bookshop.

Irene and Kai must investigate local thefts of several books, including the copy they are looking for, all the while surrounded by murder, secret societies, a cat burglar, and oh yea… a crazy old and powerful Librarian who deserted the Library for his own selfish gains. Not to mention that the world they are going to is infested with chaos that brings about the manifestation of vampires, werewolves, and fae magic.

Irene and Kai must succeed against all odds to secure the book and keep it from the hands of evil.

The Invisible Library is a comforting setting and premise for any bibliophile. The idea of a hidden and secret library containing nearly all versions of every book created is so appealing. Living a life in service of books and knowledge for the greater good of humanity.

There is also quite of bit of investigative plot and intelligent characters to sort out the winding story. Irene is a bit young in her profession but nonetheless capable and willing to keep learning. She is practical and smart. Logical and kind.

Kai is an eager recruit, desperate for some real-world action. He’s got a hidden past that we don’t quite unravel by the end. He’s deeper than he first appears and is immensely helpful to Irene.

Genevieve Cogman has now completed 8 novels in The Invisible Library series. Each is technically self-contained, but there is an overall arch that forms for the characters throughout and it’d be beneficial to read them in release order.

Cogman does a nice job creating a unique world but might need more than this first book to lay out all of the ground rules. There’s some assumption on the reader’s part as to how magic and mythical creatures function. I suppose each world within the book has its own rules as well so that complicates things further.

The characters are likable and the premise is creative. I’d recommend this book to fantasy lovers. There’s an adventure and high-stakes action that take this fantasy quest up a notch. The following books will continue to bring new perils and rare books.

Sit back and enjoy the world of the most wonderful library ever created.

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