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The Invisible Library: 1 (The Invisible Library series) Paperback – 15 Jan 2015
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I absolutely loved this . . . flavoured with truly unique mythology and a dash of the eldritch. Such clever, creepy, elaborate worldbuilding and snarky, sexy-smart characters! (N. K. Jemisin)
A dazzling bibliophilic debut (Charles Stross)
It's a breath of fresh air ... with a companionable heroine in Irene, and a satisfyingly complex plot, The Invisible Library - the first of a series - is a book in which to wallow (Guardian)
Written in a similar vein to Deborah Harkness's All Souls trilogy ... Contemporary meets fairy-tale in this novel (Big Issue)
Surrender to the sheer volume of fun that appears on every page...thoroughly entertaining (Starburst Magazine)
Fantasy doesn't get much better ... If you're looking for a swift, clever and witty read, look no further (Fantasy-Faction.com)
This witty and spirited adventure sets up a potential gold mine of lore for the writer to plunder in future sequels ... a fun and original page-turner (SciFiNow.co.uk)
Highly entertaining ... It reminded me a lot of Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series (TheBookPlank blog)
The Invisible Library is everything I could ever want out of a book . . . a stunning work of art that has me absolutely begging for more (FantasyBookReview.co.uk)
Hits the spot straight from the opening page ... one of the most pleasurable debuts of the year (Upcoming4.me)
An adventure story to delight the heart . . . The characters of Irene, her companion and those they encounter are vividly drawn, and the story moves along at breakneck speed to a thoroughly satisfying conclusion (ScifiBulletin.com)
A book that was a sheer joy to spend time with ... solid prose alongside great pace (FalcataTimes blog)
Cogman's dialogue is clever and funny, and her characters delightfully flawed. With this book she has crafted an exciting, fast-paced introduction to a world you will yearn to revisit ... Books such as The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games series are paving the way for stories like this (Geekchocolate.co.uk)
A mix of Doctor Who, Fringe and The Librarians . . . Genevieve Cogman has crafted a well-paced, smart and fun novel that will certainly be a quick read for most people (TheFictionalHangout blog)
Cogman's debut is a tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure with protagonists that are easy to love and a setting that couldn't have suited my tastes better ... I can't wait for the second instalment (AFantasticalLibrarian.com)
The Invisible Library is currently at the top of my list of favourite books read this year . . . so much fun (Fantasybookcafe.com)
I've seen it compared to Doctor Who, I'm sure it'll be compared to Harry Potter, and it'll probably get compared to every Anglophile novel full of vim and fun that's ever been written. These comparisons will all be well-earned (BastianBalthasarbooks.co.uk)
I absolutely loved this ... flavored with truly unique mythology and a dash of the eldritch. Such clever, creepy, elaborate worldbuilding and snarky, sexy-smart characters (N.K. Jemisin)
Written in a similar vein to Deborah Harkness's All Souls trilogy ... Contemporary meets fairy-take in this novel (Big Issue)
Cogman writes with a vivacity and wittiness that breathes new life into the genre . . . Reminiscent of the works of Diana Wynne Jones and Neil Gaiman, Cogman's novel is a true treat to read (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
The first instalment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies - think Doctor Who with librarian spies!See all Product description
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Top customer reviews
This is the first in a series, and I’ve already bought the next two books. The fourth, The Lost Plot, comes out in December 2017. I’m preordering it. And we all know (because I never shut up about it) how much I love an origin story, so I’m so excited that The Invisible Library is only the beginning. The characters are great – I think I might actually be Irene – and at this point there’s potential to ship pretty much anyone, though no real romantic subplot, which I really loved. It’s still all potential, and for me that’s the most exciting part of any series. I mean, given that the characters spent most of the book trying not to get arrested/drowned/have their skin peeled off/be enchanted by malicious Fae… There was a lot going on.
Irene is an interested character. She’s practically grown up in the Library (a place outside of dimensions and time which stores fiction from alternate worlds and Librarians), so her commitment to its cause of fiction preservation is unquestioning. But she does question – mentally, at least – the motives of the Library itself, and of senior Librarians who are absolutely manipulating her and her junior peers. Her co-operation with Vale, the Sherlock Holmes-esque private detective, as they try to uncover a stolen book in his alternate, forces her to look more closely at her own motivations, and that of the Library. I’m interested to see how her loyalty is tested in further books. I think she’s probably one of my favourite heroines ever.
One Chinese MC, one MC is possibly bisexual? I’m reserving declaration until I’m sure… One of the side characters is an Indian detective, another is an amputee.
This is a series that I very nearly overlooked! I’m so glad I didn’t. This was a really good book and I enjoyed it so much that I picked up The Masked City immediately and I’m now loving that too! Genevieve Cogman where have you been hiding? Never mind, I’ve found you now and it’s all good.
Prepare for gushing.
The Invisible Library is a bibliophile’s dream come true – and that holds true in terms of both the book itself and the invisible library from within the pages. Where should I start – just everything! Okay, the library itself – it is a strange place that not just anybody can enter – only initiated librarians or apprentices. It’s huge, think the tardis, from within it’s walls you can open a door to an infinite number of alternate worlds and any number of possibilities and, wait for it, when within the confines of the library, the librarians don’t age! OMG – where is this library, I’ve packed my spotted hanky and I’m going.
The plot. Irene is a librarian. The purpose of the librarians, in a nutshell, is to enter alternate universes and secure rare books and return them to the library so that they can be copied or preserved for all time. Basically, Irene opens door to all sorts of worlds, steals in, steals the book (or buys it) and steals back out. The entryways in and out are a little like the doors in Howl’s Moving Castle and are activated by a secret and magical language that the librarians use. At the start of the story Irene is sent to an alternate London to retrieve a book, unfortunately, upon arrival it appears that the book is already missing. Accompanied by a new apprentice called Kai the two now need to pick up the trail of the missing book. Of course, their search is hampered by a number of others who also appear to be on the search and pretty soon there are secret societies, clockwork alligators, fae and much more dangerous foe seeking to throw obstacles in the way.
So, the setting. The possibilities here are endless and I really hope that this means we have plenty more books to look forward to. This is such a great, fun and easy read. For this particular story we travel to Victorian London but here we find Vampires, Werewolves, fae and steampunk all combined.
In terms of characters. I like Irene. She’s intelligent and resourceful. Don’t be misled by her seemingly young age (I think she comes across as about 17 or 18 although I’m not 100% sure) because in actual fact, given the dynamics of the library and the length of time that Irene has spent there she is in fact older than she looks. Kai is her apprentice. He has led something of a shady past before entering the library and on top of that he has other secrets that are revealed during the course of the book. There is definitely chemistry between these two but it remains at that and the book isn’t focused on romance. We meet up with a brilliant detective of the time called Vale who becomes embroiled in the search. We meet one of the fae, called Silver and then we become acquainted with a rogue librarian!
The writing is lovely, the world building really excellent, the pacing is consistent throughout and the plot is thoroughly entertaining. Ms Cogman seems to have crammed a whole wealth of ideas in here and yet, very cleverly, she has still left herself with immense possibilities for future stories. On top of that, she’s written a story that I think easily crosses over both the YA/Adult audience. A great read, good fun and I’m hoping this will become a series – I would certainly enjoy learning more about these characters. Oh, and I almost forgot – dragons. That is all
In case you missed the main message. I enjoyed this and would definitely recommend. It’s not a deep thinking or serious book, it’s not grimdark but it is captivating and really good fun.
*** 5 ***
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Most recent customer reviews
However, way too many speculative ideas which was tedious and pointless for older readers than teens.
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