This is my bookreview of “The Invisible Library” by Genevieve Cogman. This is the first in a book-series about the interdimensional book-stealing librarian, Irene Winters. I know, it sounds super weird but it’s actually Irene’s job to steal books. Her adventures are high-adrenaline mysteries starring a kick-ass booklover.
Borrowed from the authors webpage:
“Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.”
I picked this book up at the bookstore because it was about an interdimensional book-stealing librarian. And the cover was pretty and promising. It definitely has a steampunk feel but I’d say that it’s not the first thing I’d use to describe this story at all.
Irene Winters is a Librarian, who can alter the worlds she’s in, by speaking in “The Language”. It’s like spoken magic except it’s not exactly magic. But magic exists, in some worlds. Also chaos and order are present at various levels in various worlds and too much of one thing is apparently dangerous.
Here comes the spy!
I could explain in great detail about the incredible worldbuilding in this novel, or even the story. Instead, I want to focus on the main character, Irene. She is everything a (female) main character should be, in my eyes. She is so nuanced and relatable while still being flawed but awesome and superhero-ish, that I want to be her, know her and/or have her job. I mean, stealing unique books from alternate worlds and get to read a lot and hardly ever age while simultaneously being on secret missions and escaping and fighting things. Perfect job, right? It’s just so cool.
As a frequent non-fiction reader and a book-nerd with a taste for mysteries and intricate plots and irony – this book served me everything I needed in a great read. It’s not up there, with my top-whatever-books-that-changed-my-life. It’s not exactly a mind-blowingly soul-wrenching poetic read, but it’s totally awesome and I will be reading every single book from Genevieve Cogman now. Especially the ones about Irene Winters and her adventures!
There is the perfect amount of fantasy/sci-fi elements, bookish references, dry humour and kick-ass adventure with a female lead in The Invisible Library. I’m so thrilled to have it on my bookshelf and I can’t wait for the rest of the reading world to catch up with me and fangirl over it!
For now, I’m just happy that there are even more adventures with Irene Winters, waiting to be read!
Have you read any of the books about Irene Winters or are you curious to know more about the Invisible Library? Let me know what you think!
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