BOOK REVIEW: The Invisible Library – by Genevieve Cogman

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Title: The Invisible Library
(The Invisible Library #1)
Author: Genevieve Cogman

Genre: YA, Science Fiction, Mystery
First published: January 15th 2015
Publisher: Tor UK
Finished reading: March 4th 2017
Pages: 337

“She was a Librarian, and 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,”

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I actually picked up this title on a whim since I needed a break from my ARCs and didn’t realize this was actually the first book of a series. Oops?! The title spoke to me when I was browsing my kindle, and I guess I was in the mood for a book about books. What I didn’t realize either is that The Invisible Library is actually a full blown science fiction/fantasy read stuffed with magic and mythical creatures like vampires, fae, werewolves and dragons. Definitely a surprise! The worldbuilding is without doubt interesting and I loved the idea behind the Librarians and Language, but in general the inclusion of so many different elements ended up feeling a bit chaotic. I also felt the many science fiction/steampunk and fantasy elements actually distracted from the originial Library idea and in a way it’s a shame… Because those descriptions are basically every booklover’s dream. The pace in The Invisible Library is also quite slow, making it harder to properly enjoy the story. I’m not saying this book actually is a bad read, but I did feel it didn’t reach its full potential and I wish the Library elements would have played a bigger role. I wasn’t completely sure about all the characters either; while I liked Kai and Vale, Irene didn’t manage to convince me. I will most likely still read the sequel at some point though to see if the Library itself gets more attention in that one.

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Irene is a Librarian and works for the mysterious Library, which harvests books from different realities. It’s her job to find rare copies of those books no matter what, and she is about to start a new mission. But she won’t be going alone this time… Her supervisor sends her to an alternative London along with Kai so he can get some field experience. This normally means easy missions, so Irene is surprised when she finds out that their book is actually potentially dangerous. And even worse: when they arrive, it’s already been stolen… And it won’t be easy to get it back, especially since this particular alternative London is also chaos-infested. An impossible mission or simply a challenge?

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I can’t deny The Invisible Library has a lot of potential and I loved the Library/Language elements, but I felt there were just too many different elements stuffed into one story to make sense. The Library and its magic, mythical creatures, science fiction/steampunk, detective, secret societies, an evil villain… All those elements sound great separately, but when they are all thrown together they start to distract from what is essentially the most original part of the plot. All in all not a bad read, but not as good as I was hoping for.


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WWW Wednesdays #127 – March 8th

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WWW WEDNESDAYS is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

I’m currently reading two pending ARCs… March is really turning into an ARC month, but at least my Netgalley ratio is finally above 80% again! 😀 The first one is The Missing Ones by Patricia Gibney, a psychological thriller I’ve heard great things about and I’ll be looking forward to. The second title is an historical fiction read that the author sent to me: The Last Gods Of Indochine by Samuel Ferrer. It took me longer than expected to finally pick that one up, but I’m hoping to finish it before the weekend.

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

* The first book I finished since last week is I Found You by Lisa Jewell, which was even better than I thought it would be. Without doubt an excellent psychological thriller that had me on the edge of my seat and guessing about the facts until the very end. And even though the amnesia element isn’t all that original on its own, it works perfectly together with the rest of the plot. Recommended!
* I then read The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, which I picked up on a whim when I wanted a little break from my ARCs. I totally didn’t realize this was actually a series! There were things I loved about this book, especially the Library/Language elements, but it wasn’t as good as I hoped. Part of the problem is that so many different elements are being squeezed together in the plot that it just all seems a bit chaotic… I mean: magic, science fiction/steampunk, supernatural creatures (vampires, fae, werewolves AND dragons), a superdetective and an evil supervillian in one story? It just seemed a bit too much and mostly distracted from the very interesting idea behind the Library, Language and alternative worlds.
* Next up was The Wanderers by Meg Howrey, a book I was really looking forward to, especially after it was compared to The Martian. Unfortunately, this turned out to be false advertisement, because the two basically have NOTHING in common. The Wanderers mostly focuses on the psychological effects of a Mars mission SIMULATION (Yes, the astronauts don’t even go to Mars), which definitely wasn’t what I had signed up for. Sure, a psychological analysis can be interesting and I liked the diversity of the characters, but overall the pace was quite slow and the sometimes dense prose didn’t really help either. Things improved later on, but I don’t think I would have actually made it to that point if this wouldn’t have been an ARC: In one word: disappointment.
* After two mediocre reads, I had both my fingers and toes crossed when I started reading Renegade Red by Lauren Bird Horowitz. I ran out of time and dived straight into the second book, but it by no means ment I enjoyed it less. I definitely understand the love for this series now, because I had a blast reading this story. A fast pace, interesting characters and plot, well written… It does have a love triangle I’m not sure about, but this is one of the exceptions where I’ve forgiven the story for it.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Guess who is finally going to pick up her copy of A Conjuring Of Light?! I’m a huge V.E. Schwab fan and I’ve been wanting to read this final book ever since I finished AGOS last year, so I guess you can imagine how excited I am to be finally reading it. I was initially going to reread the first two books before, but I really don’t have time right now with all those pending ARCs…. Looks like I will be having a Shades Of Magic reread later this year! 😉 I also need to read the two ARCs Bull by David Elliott and Silence Under Screams by Collin Henderson, and I might read History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera after that just to change genres a bit. (Ok I confess, it’s also because I REALLY want to read it in the first place.)


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