The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman is a delightful cozy mystery fantasy. Cozy fantasy is my favorite genre of fantasy.
Irene is a Librarian who works for a mysterious organization called the Library. Her job is to travel to different worlds and collect rare books for the Library’s collection. Along the way, she teams up with a dashing apprentice named Kai for a mission to a very chaotic world. Chaos worlds are rife with fantastical creatures such as fae and vampires.
The concept of a library that exists outside of time and space, with the ability to travel to alternate worlds, is both intriguing and highly imaginative. The author does an excellent job of fleshing out the details from the different factions within the Library to the various magical creatures that inhabit the alternate worlds.
The characters in The Invisible Library are fabulously fun. Irene is strong and resourceful and is both competent and likable. Kai, her apprentice, provides a perfect complement for her, with his devil-may-care attitude and penchant for trouble. The relationship between the two is well-developed and provides a solid emotional anchor for the story.
The plot is well-paced and kept me engaged throughout. The mystery at the heart of the story is juicy, and the various twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end. The balance between action and exposition is wonderful.
Highly recommended! And, there are lots more books in this series. If you like the Thursday Next novels, you’ll enjoy this one. Here’s the blurb:
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.
London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself…