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16 March 2015 @ 09:06 am
Recent Reads: The Invisible Library  
THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY is the debut novel from another TooMUSH alumni, Genevieve Cogman, so I was predisposed to like it. OTOH, it's a Library Story, and Library Stories are never...quite...what I want them to be. I don't even know what I want them to be, save that I haven't encountered it yet, so I was also moderately trepidatious.

As it turns out, THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY is pretty splendid. In a nutshell, the Librarians are in search of unique books, ones that only appear in one alternate universe, and are helping to keep the forces of chaos in line, all of which requires a lot of frenetic running around and adventuring and near misses. It's been pitched as Doctor Who with librarian spies, and while I didn't really get that vibe from the book, I do kind of get it from writing up a nutshell explanation, so. :)

One of the two things that really made it work for me was that our heroine, Irene, is a decidedly modern (even post-modern!) heroine in a job that often requires her to visit times, worlds and places that are not modern in sensibilities. The very slight clash of modern language & mentality against (magical) period settings made for a dissonance I really enjoyed. Irene was a lot better at playing into the rules of the eras than I'd be. :)

The other thing I really loved was the supporting cast. Irene's partner Kai was fine and fun, but it was the characters she met on her main assignment, the Great Detective type Vale and the Harried Inspector Singh, with whom I particularly fell in love. I've never even been a particular Great Detective fan, but I just love Cogman's version of the pairing, and I spent the whole last quarter of the book in despair because I could only see one way in which they could continue as regulars in the series, and I didn't see it happening at the end of the VERY FIRST BOOK.

It didn't happen, either, which is good, because it shouldn't have. But something else excellent did happen, and I'm really going to enjoy the second book. :)
 
 
 
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on March 16th, 2015 02:38 pm (UTC)
Oh thanks--another one to add to the ever-growing TBR list.
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on March 16th, 2015 08:22 pm (UTC)
THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY is the debut novel from another TooMUSH alumni, Genevieve Cogman,

I tried looking it up to see if its available here, and I can order it from Powells, from their international connection. *sigh* more delays..

but what was funny was looking the title up, and getting things like the Invisible Man, Island, God, Girl, all the other titles that start with The Invisible.. the stories written by Mary Shelly and Bram Stoker of course will go on my "hmmmmm I should look at that" list..