Bookreview ‘The Burning Page’
Here is my bookreview of The Burning Page. It’s the third instalment in The Invisible Library Series by author Genevieve Cogman. The main character is a hardworking interdimensional librarian secret agent and she is always on a mission.
“Librarian spy Irene has professional standards to maintain. Standards that absolutely do not include making hasty, unplanned escapes through a burning besieged building. […] Gates back to the Library are malfunctioning across a multitude of worlds, creating general havoc. She [Irene] and Kai are tasked with a mission to St Petersburg’s Winter Palace, to retrieve a book which will help restore order.
[…] A nightmare figure bent on the Library’s destruction, Alberich gives Irene a tainted ‘join me or die’ job offer. Meanwhile, Irene’s old friend Vale has been damaged by exposure to Chaotic forces and she has no idea how to save him. When another figure from her past appears, begging for help, Irene has to take a good hard look at her priorities. And of course try to save the Library from absolute annihilation.”
The above blurp is borrowed from the authors website.
I was actually really pleased that Alberich, the main enemy from the first book, is back! He was a good anti-hero type character, and made all the politics of interdimensional world-organizing seem much more believable, by being an outsider questioning if things really are as they should be. He makes Irene question herself too, which is great for her character.
I enjoyed this story being centered around the Library and how it works, a bit more in detail than the previous books. I was extremely pleased with the direction these books are going in, being a great read as a series but also fun as ‘stand-alone’ books. You strictly don’t have to start with one, to be able to enjoy the others, though of course I suggest starting with the first one. I once read 14 of Kathy Reichs’ books about Temperance Brennan, without caring for the overall plot of the series. It worked perfectly well for me. You could do this with The Invisible Library series too – points to Cogman for this!
The setting in The Burning Page, with the Winter Palace, doesn’t really come into full bloom for me, as it feels as just another lavish backdrop. Not much of the ‘feel’ of the Winter Palace comes through, which is a shame but not too important either. Spoiler alert: There is a very typical male/female villain/hero meeting cliché in one of the scenes, where Alberich and Irene are talking and it’s very much like any ballroom scene in any action/hero movie ever. It was okay, but not inventive or impressive.
The end is near
The ending was incredible. Maybe not as a ‘the award for best endings in literary works goes to..’ kind of thing, but I was so there for that ending. Hero versus villain in the perfect setting for both of them, being foreshadowed throughout the book. It worked, it definitely did. Not to spoil the final chapters but reading them was pageturner after pageturner. I could feel my back hurt from hunching over my book. I was exhausted after finishing this book, but it was worth it.
The Burning Page is one of those books I am looking for when browsing stores for pretty covers and interesting blurps. Well done Cogman – I can’t wait for the next one!
Have you read my reviews of The Invisible Library and The Masked City yet? Have you read any of the books in the series or are you considering it? Leave me a comment below with any thoughts you might have!
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