Unseen Library

The Invisible Library (The Invisible Library #1)
by Genevieve Cogman (2015)

The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies – think Doctor Who with librarian spies!

Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently…

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.

Read for the Sword and Laser podcast.

The title has to be a variation on Terry Pratchett’s Unseen University.

It starts off well enough with a thief, an escape and some explanation. Then it’s a lot of talk and the introduction of a new character. Unfortunately the plot and pacing never picks up again. After 25% of the way through, I lost interest. It also got a bit confusing. Were we in the 21st century, an alternative fantasy world or a Victorian steampunk universe. It’s such a hodge-podge of genres it needed a strong plot and characters to bring everything together. Sadly, this just didn’t happen.