The Invisible Library
Buy or Borrow: Buy!
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher
Irene is a Librarian. But not just any Librarian, she's a spy or secret agent of sorts for the mysterious Library, she retrieves certain books, books that are unique to that particular reality and thus need to be preserved, then takes them back to the Library to keep them safe and gathers knowledge. You see, there are many different realities, all varying in whether they're magic dominant, or have no magic and so on, the Library itself is out of time and reality, and each reality is vastly different from the others, and each has vastly different literature, or books that are the same as other realities but slightly different.
After returning from a mission to retrieve a book about necromancy from an all boys boarding school, Irene is looking forward to having some spare time to do her own research, but as soon as she returns her superior sends her an assistant, and packs her off on a mission that's highly secret, and is in one of the most dangerous realities.....a chaos infected reality, meaning that the laws of nature are bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to roam free. Irene and Kai have been sent to retrieve a very different copy of Grimm's Tales, one that has a rather....Library specific extra story. Except....they're not the only ones after this book.
It's already been stolen by an infamous cat burglar, then there's the Fae who's after the book for unknown reasons, a secret society who send their mechanical creatures after them, and then there's the one Librarian who turned traitor to the Library....often thought of as a legend in the library, he's very real and very dangerous and he cannot, under any circumstances get the book. Soon she's up to her eyebrows in danger, clues and secrets. One secret is being hidden from her by her own assistant. He is not what he seems, but she has far bigger things to worry about. The supernatural are everywhere, people aren't who they seem, another agent of the Library is trying to steal her mission, can Irene and Kai, with the help of a Great Detective, complete their mission?
Holy WOW, this is quite possibly my favourite new book of the year! Seriously, it's kicking off an an amazingly unique series, and I just well and truly loved it! So you'd better buckle up, because this is going to be rambling and gushing and hopefully as spoiler free as possible!
So being the lover of books I am, there was no way I wasn't going to read The Invisible Library, and I was lucky enough to be sent a proof copy of the book to read, and I got stuck in as fast as possible, I bumped it up my TBR pile and now my life is bereft because I was so sad and reluctant to leave the world, and I just really want to be a Librarian of the Library because it's so awesome!
"You can expect to find vampires. Werewolves. Fictional creations that go bump in the night. You might also find their technology working in unexpected ways."That's the book. That.Is.The.Book. In the book. That's a legit quote from the book, that describes the book pretty accurately, just without the Zeppelins, Fae, mechanical creatures, and various other incredibly cool tidbits. I'm loathe to describe this as steampunk, I mean there where the mechanical creatures, but they had the regular kind of carriages, so I'm not sure if it can be classed as steampunk or not?
This book was simply fantastic, it's so incredibly unique and the world building was amazing. You can picture the Library so vividly as well as the alternate the book is set in, there was the right amount of detail to create the atmosphere to both places, as well as transporting you straight to the world, and as I said, I was loathe to leave it, it was such a fantastically created and written world, and so unlike anything I have read before, I enjoyed being totally immersed in the world.
The characters are well written with lots of depth and dimensions, I couldn't guess who Kai really was, but I knew there was more to him than met the eye, and I strongly suspect there is more to her as well, particularly her mother shall we say? I also have a strong suspicion of who her mother really is and yeah. I have a huge theory thanks to the reveal at the end and I'm probably wrong but still! But yes, all of the characters jump off the page and come to life, each is full of depth, each is colourful and different to the others, from Bradamant, to Vale to Silver, both villains and the good guys.
I loved Irene, she was easy to connect with and had an amusing and engaging narrative, she was easy to feel for, especially when there's obvious bits where it's a possibility that there is more to the Library than she has been told or lead to believe, something perhaps sinister, and she just doesn't want to believe it. I loved the little bit about how she loves great literary detectives like Sherlock Holmes, and her reaction to getting to work with one! It was a nice little touch because I'm sure most readers have something similar, like they'd love to meet a certain character or a person similar to the character, you know? She was fantastic. She was badass, but not the fighting/kicking ass kind the kind that's intelligent and comes up with these plans to save everyone. I'm excited to see more of her, and more of the world of the alternate and see what happens with her and Kai, not to mention seeing what trouble she can get in to with Vale because I'm sure Silver will cause problems.
The entire premise of the book is unique, the Library being out of space and time, the alternates, the chaos contaminated business, not to mention the Language that the Librarians use, that works a kind of magic, shall we say. This book is full of all things unique and is unlike anything you will ever read. It kind of reminds me of that episode of Doctor Who with the Library in space, or of a Doctor Who episode in general! I'm not even sure what genre to put this in!? Sci-Fi? Fantasy? Steampunk (sort of)? Everyone knows I love unique books and I seriously can't get over this one, I loved every minute of it, I was enchanted the whole way through, and had this feeling that's kind of hard to describe, I mean, every time there was something utterly fantastical and unique I had a huge idiotic grin on my face, and was all "oh my god COOOOLL!"
The plot was complex, there where multiple factions after the book, so you where trying to work out what was so special about it, as well as working out why the other factions wanted it, there where threads woven in from everywhere, there's clearly some sort of political thing going on with the elder Librarians, maybe some of them are dodgy, then there's the whole thing with the traitor Librarian and what he is and what was revealed about him and my theory for it and there was soooo much going on, and so much crammed in to the book that there was seriously never nothing going on, and it was all written in with the right threads to intrigue you, but set up the next book, and leave with you questions that you're eager to have answered. It was also very easy to read, the pace and flow had you rocketing through it, and the language was easy to understand and like I said, there was no excess of information bogging down the narrative.
The Invisible Library is literally all go from the beginning when she's on a mission, you learn about the Library as we go through it and she returns, and from then on the book is packed with action and mayhem. There's never a dull moment and there's plenty of humour in the book that'll have you snorting if not outright laughing, the book has humour, action, adventure, supernatural creatures, machine creatures, a kind of quest like vibe, at least in my opinion, and a luscious backdrop with the alternate, I mean there's a nice little romp through the museum! It's impossible to put down, and you'll be sad to leave the world and characters behind, while burning with theories and the need to know what's going to happen next! It's certainly going to be interesting to find out and see where this goes next, and I'm fairly certain this will be going on my Favourite Series list!
Utterly fantastic, I honestly can't find words to gush about this book enough, seriously, just read it. It's brilliantly done and unlike anything you have ever read before!