‘The Invisible Library’ Book Review

Mount Readmore Book Review, 2017 48/100


The Invisible Library By Genevieve Cogman

Paperback Edition

Finished on 5/14/2017


Genres: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Victorian, Humor, Steampunk

A Lost Book of Grimm’s Fairy Tales has been discovered, and the Invisible Library wants to ‘acquire’ it. They send Irene and Kai, two Junior Librarians, to an Alternate Dimension of Victorian England, to steal it. Can they get it back, or will they be consumed by cyborg alligators, tides of silverfish, melodramatic fairies or eldritch elder librarians?!

Spoiler-tastic review

I read this as part of the Sword and Laser book club. (One month belatedly. Oops)

I LOVED this book. It wasn’t high literature, it wasn’t popcorn fiction, but it was somewhere in between the two. This was a funny book EXTREMELY similar to Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series and Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. The similarity is beyond just the sense of humor, but also the plot and setting. The Thursday Next series is about a Literary Police agency, this book is about Librarians. The Parasol Protectorate series takes place in a steampunk England with werewolves and vampires, this book takes place in steampunk England with werewolves and vampires.

I liked the concept of the story as a whole. A book about ninja librarians devoted to preserving fiction from all possible alternate Earths? Sign me up! However there wasn’t enough ninja or librarian in this book. I would have liked more stealth/subterfuge and more bookishness. Additionally Irene didn’t seem like a Librarian ‘true believer,’ which is surprising given the fact that she was born and raised in the Library.

I’m just going to shut up and tell you to go read it if you are even a little interested. It was funny, but not overbearingly funny like Fforde can be. And it was gracious but not overberaingly gracious like Carriger can be.

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