Like any other obsessed reader, I love reading books about books. I can relate to the characters on so many levels and I feel spiritually connected to them because their love for books mirrors my own. This feeling was no different when I started reading The Invisible Library. The only problem is… I liked it, but didn’t like it at the same time?
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.
Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.
Whilst reading this book, I was enjoying it. There is no doubt that this book is a page-turner and keeps you on the edge of your seat and also keeps you guessing at what the hell is going to happen next. But upon reflection, this entire book just seemed strange, things didn’t make sense, and there were quite a few plot holes. I know that there are another 3 books in this series, so the plot holes may come together and actually make sense, but in the first book, they didn’t.
As I said before, while I was reading this, I was actually entertained, but upon reflection, these are the problems that I realised were there:
Ok, so the characters are boring. They just felt really two-dimensional and they didn’t have any depth to them. Albeit, Kai had a little bit more depth than Irene because of his secret but that was about it. I just think that they were boring because they were nice… They were too nice. NO ONE IS THAT NICE ALL. OF. THE. TIME! It was just strange because they were like a robot; they just had one emotional setting.
“The deepest, most fundamental part of her life involved a love of books. Right now, she wanted nothing more than to shut the rest of the world out, and have nothing to worry about, except the next page of whatever she was reading.”
― Genevieve Cogman,
Also, A LOT happened in this book. There just seemed to be too much going on at the same time, and yes, I know I said I was entertained whilst reading it, but sometimes my head did swivel a bit at the info-dump sections and the busyness of some scenes. In the book, there are: alternate worlds, werewolves, dragons, faeries, dark magic, a bit of steampunk going on, airships, vampires, and ALLIGATORS ATTACKING A BALLROOM. I mean… I know that Irene and Kai were sent to a world of chaos, but that doesn’t mean that the whole book has to reflect that. Cogman could have chosen a few of the things from that list and decided to build on those a bit more and not just throw everything in and hope for the best.
Like I said, there are 3 more books in this series at the moment (The Masked City, The Burning Page and The Lost Plot), so it will be interesting to see where Cogman takes these characters and whether she ties up the loose ends and makes the characters more interesting. Despite my confusion on whether I actually like this book or not, I am going to carry on with the series, just because I’m intrigued as to where it’s going to go.
What a strange book…