The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

21416690This is a series that I very nearly overlooked!  I’m so glad I didn’t.  This was a really good book and I enjoyed it so much that I picked up The Masked City immediately and I’m now loving that too!  Genevieve Cogman where have you been hiding?  Never mind, I’ve found you now and it’s all good.

Prepare for gushing.

The Invisible Library is a bibliophile’s dream come true – and that holds true in terms of both the book itself and the invisible library from within the pages.  Where should I start – just everything!  Okay, the library itself – it is a strange place that not just anybody can enter – only initiated librarians or apprentices.  It’s huge, think the tardis, from within it’s walls you can open a door to an infinite number of alternate worlds and any number of possibilities and, wait for it, when within the confines of the library, the librarians don’t age!  OMG – where is this library, I’ve packed my spotted hanky and I’m going.

The plot. Irene is a librarian.  The purpose of the librarians, in a nutshell, is to enter alternate universes and secure rare books and return them to the library so that they can be copied or preserved for all time.  Basically, Irene opens door to all sorts of worlds, steals in, steals the book (or buys it) and steals back out.  The entryways in and out are a little like the doors in Howl’s Moving Castle and are activated by a secret and magical language that the librarians use.  At the start of the story Irene is sent to an alternate London to retrieve a book, unfortunately, upon arrival it appears that the book is already missing.  Accompanied by a new apprentice called Kai the two now need to pick up the trail of the missing book.  Of course, their search is hampered by a number of others who also appear to be on the search and pretty soon there are secret societies, clockwork alligators, fae and much more dangerous foe seeking to throw obstacles in the way.

So, the setting.  The possibilities here are endless and I really hope that this means we have plenty more books to look forward to.  This is such a great, fun and easy read.  For this particular story we travel to Victorian London but here we find Vampires, Werewolves, fae and steampunk all combined.

In terms of characters.  I like Irene.  She’s intelligent and resourceful.  Don’t be misled by her seemingly young age (I think she comes across as about 17 or 18 although I’m not 100% sure) because in actual fact, given the dynamics of the library and the length of time that Irene has spent there she is in fact older than she looks.  Kai is her apprentice.  He has led something of a shady past before entering the library and on top of that he has other secrets that are revealed during the course of the book.  There is definitely chemistry between these two but it remains at that and the book isn’t focused on romance. We meet up with a brilliant detective of the time called Vale who becomes embroiled in the search.  We meet one of the fae, called Silver and then we become acquainted with a rogue librarian!

The writing is lovely, the world building really excellent, the pacing is consistent throughout and the plot is thoroughly entertaining.  Ms Cogman seems to have crammed a whole wealth of ideas in here and yet, very cleverly, she has still left herself with immense possibilities for future stories.  On top of that, she’s written a story that I think easily crosses over both the YA/Adult audience.  A great read, good fun and I’m hoping this will become a series – I would certainly enjoy learning more about these characters.  Oh, and I almost forgot – dragons.  That is all

In case you missed the main message.  I enjoyed this and would definitely recommend.  It’s not a deep thinking or serious book, it’s not grimdark but it is captivating and really good fun.




20 Responses to “The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman”

  1. Sharry

    Oooo!! Anything with magical libraries instantly makes me want to read it 😀 Ever since I read about the magical Clayr library in Lirael, I’ve been looking for more stories featuring mysterious…even dangerous libraries and awesome kickass librarians, ha! This one sounds like a ton of fun, putting it on my to-read list!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’m really enjoying this – I’m kind of hoping there’s going to be lots!
      Lynn 😀

  2. Sharry

    And hey, I just went to goodreads and there is a book #2 – The Masked City! It comes out on Dec 3rd apparently…

    • @lynnsbooks

      I’ve literally just finished binge reading it! Loved it – set in Venice.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Tammy

    Oh goodie, another book about books to add to my list! I honestly thought this was middle grade, based on the cover, so it hasn’t been on my radar. Thanks for the review:-)

    • @lynnsbooks

      I thought the same thing at first tbh. I’m really enjoying it – read the second and I’m now wondering if this is going to be a series – I hope so.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Ah, I saw tweets this week about this book making it on all kinds of lists and getting recognized by all the big book sites. Definitely going to have to check it out.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I really enjoyed this and have already read the second! I’m hoping it’s going to be a series rather than a trilogy – there’s certainly lots of scope.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Carl V. Anderson

    Methinks I spy another great gift for my wife for Christmas! 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Carl, it’s really good fun. I’ve just finished the second already and I’d love for there to be more in a series (rather than say just a trilogy). I hope so.
      Lynn 😀

      • Carl V. Anderson

        Neither book is available in the U.S., but I see if I wait until Dec. 3rd I can order the first two from Book Depository, so that is my plan!

      • @lynnsbooks

        Ahh, I didn’t realise these weren’t available US. Good plan with Book Depository.
        Lynn 😀

  6. Danya @ Fine Print

    This sounds so cool! I’m in grad school to become a librarian right now, and I’d love to work somewhere as awesome as this library…especially if it meant I never aged, HA! I like the sound of a low-burning tension between Irene and her apprentice, too. Definitely going to pick this one up!

    • @lynnsbooks

      This is totally up your street. Literally. I think you would love this. And, I can’t wait to hear what you think.
      Lynn 😀

  7. samoak

    I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. Glad o hear you enjoyed it!

  8. The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Masked City by Genevieve Cogman is the second in series that got off to a great start with The Invisible Library.  I think that this book could probably be read as a standalone however I would personally […]

  9. New to me… | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] Genevieve Cogman – The Invisible Library […]

  10. Mogsy’s Bookshelf Roundup: Stacking the Shelves & Recent Reads | The BiblioSanctum

    […] had great things to say about Clash of Eagles and I’ve been curious about it for a while. Lynn’s rave review of The Invisible library made me grab this audiobook. And folks all over the blogosphere have […]

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