Title: The Invisible Library Series
The Invisible Library
The Masked City
The Burning Page
The Lost Plot
Author: Genevieve Cogman
Published: 2016 – 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House
What’s Auntie Reading Now? pictures: Library – Masked City – Burning Page – Lost Plot
Publisher’s Blurb: Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities.
An evil book warbler called on my birthday and dropped sweet little nothings in my ear about a series featuring an interdimensional library and Librarians who time traveled to retrieve books in order to keep the balance of the universe in place.
Having just purged half my personal library and swearing no more series until I’d finished what I had on hand, I somewhat firmly told this book warbler I would have none of it.
And then he delivered the fatal blow, “it has dragons in it.”
That book warbler plays dirty he does.
“And at that moment the alligators burst into the room.” (The Invisible Library, p. 148)
Best line in a book ever. Ever. If I wasn’t enjoying myself before, that line sealed the deal. A line like that makes you sit up and take notice.
Irene is a Librarian with the Invisible Library and is sent to steal books from other timelines for the Library in order to maintain the balance of the universe. She reminds me of a very bookish Mary Poppins with all sorts of tricks “up her sleeves.” She gets stationed in an alternate steampunk Victorian London where she befriends the local esteemed private detective and the chief of police.
Kai is her assistant. A student sent along to train with her. He is gut-wrenchingly absolutely perfectly handsome in a somewhat otherworldly way. He and Irene develop a nice friendship and professional working relationship. But sometimes thoughts get in their heads …
And as it turns out, Kai in his non-human form, is a Chinese dragon. Part of one of the noble ruler clans who very much disapprove of Kai’s involvement with the Library.
There are adventures, both in Irene’s home base London and other worlds, which involve various amounts of chaos between factions of the Fae. And each adventure begins with being sent to retrieve a book and turns into solving a crime of some sort.
And, of course, there’s a big baddie named Alberich who was once a Librarian himself. He’s gone rogue and threatens the Library itself. Intent on killing Irene in the process, he also thinks he can outsmart her and Kai. Despite his prodigious powers, and many close calls, he has yet to kill either of them.
Don’t expect deep philosophical debates on weighty issues within. These are light hearted mysteries with absurdist tendencies. What can you expect when you’re dealing with an interdimensional library, time traveling Librarians, disguised dragons and, the Fae who are out to wreak havoc as only they know how?
The evil book warbler was right, and these were a great summer read. And the alligators? That would be telling.