Saturday 25 May 2024

The Invisible Library

Finished May 21
The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

This book starts a series, and is a fantasy book with an interesting, for me at least, focus. The library of the title is a place that exists between worlds, as a kind of gateway. It takes up a lot of space, and has multiple rooms, all filled with shelves of books, with nooks where computers exist, for looking things up, writing reports, communicating with others, etc. That's pretty interesting as a construct for me. The idea of nearly endless books is fascinating. The library collects books from different worlds to strengthen the connection with those worlds. The senior librarians determine what books to collect and send junior librarians, like the central character here, Irene, out to get them. 
The worlds are different versions of our world. Sometimes only slightly different, sometimes vastly different. The library tries to keep things in balance. Too much technology can result in a tightly ordered world with no creativity. Too much magic can result in a world of chaos. The world that Irene and the trainee that is assigned to her, a man named Kai, is leaning towards chaos. 
We get a sense of what can happen as Irene finished up a case as the book opens, using her skills and her knowledge of the special Library language to control things. This glimpse is intriguing. 
They arrive in an alternate London through a gate inside an office in the British Library. The book they are seeking is rare and, when they arrive, has already been stolen by someone. The person, a vampire in this case, that bought it recently was killed. They soon discover that they are not the only ones seeking the book, a book of tales by Grimm, and that one of those is a fae. 
The mix of magic and reality is done well, and some of the elements of attack are unexpected, consisting of creatures that we normally don't think of as in the context they appear in, or that fit the context by attack in unexpected ways. 
There is also the idea of dragons as creatures on the side of good. The dragons are on the side of order not magic, and have their own abilities in doing this. There is also an element of peer rivalry between Irene and another librarian, which influences the plotline. 
A book that had me engrossed and amused at the same time. I liked the touches of humour that existed within the book, and the underlying tensions between some characters that were attracted to each other. All together a fun read. 

1 comment:

  1. I recognized the cover but couldn't remember reading it. When I checked my review (here), I knew wy.
    I must admit, I'm not into fantasy. Not at all. I'm glad someone liked it. I didn't. Sorry.