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Monday, 3 April 2017
Review: The Burning Page
The Burning Page
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
Librarian spy Irene has professional standards to maintain. Standards that absolutely do not include making hasty, unplanned escapes through a burning besieged building. But when the gateway back to your headquarters dramatically malfunctions, one must improvise. And after fleeing a version of Revolutionary France astride a dragon (also known as her assistant, Kai), Irene soon discovers she's not the only one affected. Gates back to the Library are malfunctioning across a multitude of worlds, creating general havoc. She and Kai are tasked with a mission to St Petersburg's Winter Palace, to retrieve a book which will help restore order.
However, such plans rarely survive first contact with the enemy - particularly when the enemy is the traitor Alberich. 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. Saving herself would be a bonus.
I love this series. I love it so much. It's one of my complete and utter favourites and whenever a new book in the series is out, I like to take my time reading and savour each page, even though my first instinct is to read it all in one go! It's an easy book to savour, and it leaves you wanting more. The Burning Page has plenty of action, plenty of new worlds, and plenty of plot twists that set up some interesting potential....occurrences in the next book. Which I need like..now by the way!
First things first, as I say every single time, I love the extracts from the Library's handbook and I wish there where more throughout the book! Or you know...an actual published edition of the Library Handbook....please PanMac? Pleaaaaasssseeee! The extract we get this book is all about the Library's travel advice, and so fits with what's going on in the book and immediately piques your interest.
As soon as I started to read, I was easily transported back to the world of the book and the characters. We get an interesting letter from Vale that gets you back up to speed and brings everything flooding back and gets you on the same page as the characters. After his little trip last book, Vale isn't doing so well and we learn a little bit about the fae in to the bargain. We're thrown immediately in to an interesting and new world with Irene and Kai and I was loving it. I was back with the characters, exploring new worlds and chuckling at the humour. But then you know...it all went wrong and thus began the plot for this book.
I love the writing, it's always so vivid and pulls you in and creates an atmosphere as well as a setting. You can easily picture each of the worlds and settings, and we get a few new worlds to explore in this book. Each as fascinating as all the others! Plus we get to experience the Belgravia Underground Market! The pace was fantastic, and as usual, the book is very imaginative. The plot is complex with lots of little plot threads, so you're kept guessing throughout and there are plenty of plot twists to surprise you.
Zayanna is back and I loved her in the first book and I thought she and Irene would make a great team but with everything going on, I really wanted to like her, but much like Kai I'm quite suspicious of the fae, and so I was quite suspicious of her! Bradamant is also back and with her comes a couple of new characters that may or may not be an internal problem for the Library once everything in this book is all over. I was so intrigued to see the politics of the Library! We get to meet some more werewolves, including their leader, we see Silver again, because how could we not? And of course, Alberich is back, in all his evil and slightly crazy glory.
There came a point in this book that I had to ask myself a question. A question I didn't want to have to ask. Do I ship Irene with Kai...or with Vale? I'm just not sure. I'm really not. I mean...I love Kai because hello, he's not only awesome as he is...but he's also a dragon! Which reminds me, the descriptions of his dragon form are fantastic! Anyway, yes, Kai. I kinda started to ship her and Kai quite a bit throughout the first book, and then the second book I still shipped her and Kai because the second book kind of fuelled it more for me, but then this book happened and a thing with Vale happened and Vale wasn't really himself, I hope, and like I said, things happened...and now I can't decide. I think I'm still leaning more towards Kai and Irene, but we'll see! By all means is romance not the main point of this book, but like...there's a little smattering of it and I do love some romance!
Irene continues to be one of my favourite characters ever. I'm not going to lie. I love her. She's smart and witty, she can take care of herself, and the author deepens Irene's character more and more with each book. I always sympathise with her, she's trying to do her best and in this book she's on probation and so she has to tread carefully with what she does. We see more of the dynamic between her and Kai who understandably is still suffering from what happened in the second book, and he's very protective of Irene. But Irene is still his superior and there's a bit of a struggle between the two more than once in the book. Especially with Li Ming also trying to keep Irene safe. We also get to learn something about Irene and her parents that's going to be interesting and I can't wait to find out the truth behind it all!
The Burning Page, and in fact the entire Invisible Library series, is rich, evocative, imaginative and incredibly original. The writing and imagery is beautifully decadent and pulls you in to the story and the worlds, it's completely engrossing. The worlds themselves are many, and each is different to the last and every single one is fascinating, although Irene's base world is still my favourite! You can picture each one clearly without pages and pages of description, seriously, I'm so waiting for this series to be a TV show! In The Burning Page we get to see more worlds, more of the characters, more of the history to the Library and the worlds, and more of the science behind the Library and how it works. We get another complex plot that we can really sink our teeth in to, with plenty of threads woven together, and you're kept guessing until the end. There are also some hints at bigger/more things to come in the next book and I'm incredibly excited to see what happens next, and to learn the answers to some questions I have from this book! This series just gets better and better, and I never want it to end.