The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman

Pan Publishing © 2014
ISBN 1101988649
Mass Market Paperback, 354 pages,
$36.99 hardcover

Imagine a reality where librarians live forever (or near enough), a truly magical place that intersects with other worlds and other timelines through hidden doors and a secret language. This is the world of The Library, an enormous secret world where agents collect books from all the other worlds—stealing them, where necessary—in order to preserve their knowledge. The Library is top secret, a place that must be protected from outsiders lest their treasury of the written word be spoilt or the secrets hidden within the tomes used to evil purposes.

Enter Irene, a secret-agent type librarian, who is sent on what seems to be a boringly routine job, until someone else beats her to the book she’s after, and unknown enemies begin trying to kill her and her assistant. Irene must dig deep to find the resources for survival as the job goes more and more wrong.

The Invisible Library is the first in a series, and features magic, fairies, werewolves, vampires and more in a twisty, fast-paced fantasy. Cogman does a good job with the tale. Irene’s adventure is anything but boring, with plot twists ‘round every corner.

Although I believe Cogman intended the tale for adults, I felt it was rather more suited to the YA crowd. There’s plenty to attract a younger reader—interpersonal drama between competing librarians, repartee, possible love interest with a mystery guy, and the kind of ever-present fluctuation between self-doubt and bravado that goes along with approaching adulthood. It’s a good, clean, inspiring read.

Personally, I prefer my fiction a little more mature; however, I’m not sorry I read The Invisible Library. If you enjoy a quick, light read, or if a young adult in your life does, I recommend this book.