As soon as I heard the premise for this book, I knew this was the book for me. The title of this novel relates to the super secret organisation known as The Library. Operatives who live and work there are known as Librarians and their job is harvest books from alternate worlds which often involves a lot of espionage and undercover work.
Irene is given her most dangerous mission yet. With her new assistant, the beautiful young man Kai, she must travel to an alternate London to retrieve a lost book of Grimm fairytales. However when she gets there, she soon realises that they are not the only ones seeking the prize, and a trail of murder and crime litters the path to the dangerous book’s recovery.
This book has so much packed into it, that I’m surprised it’s not bigger! There is so much reference to popular books and authors, that literature buffs will have an absolute field day with this story.
Its part hist-fic, part sci-fi, part fantasy and part steampunk. Probably part other things as well that I can’t even begin to name! As for mythical creatures of fiction and folklore, there are plenty including dragons, vampires, werewolves and Fae folk.
Irene is a solid lead. As far as female heroines go, I think I would have liked her to be a little more feisty maybe, but she is intelligent, quick and mostly self-assured and a fitting character to be a fated Librarian. As well as Kai (who is in his own way appealing), I loved that there was a Holmes-esque detective, Vale, thrown into the mix who added the dashing nobility and quizzical crime solving element into the tale.
The way the prose was written; especially when the characters interact with each other was wonderfully eloquent. When Irene is discussing the Library or her theories regarding books, magic and alternate worlds, she really gets quite technical and you can almost believe that it could be real.
I thought this had aspects of George Mann and Tanya Huff in it, so if (like me) you enjoy those authors; you’re on to a winner! I really can’t wait to see what comes after this tale, and with the notion of alternate works of fiction in alternate worlds with different forms of magic; there is endless possibilities for Librarian adventures.
The Invisible Library is a treasure of a book bursting with imagination and creativity that will enlighten and entertain you from start to finish.