Thursday, July 7, 2016
The Invisible Library
Imagine a library existing outside of space or time, where a group of dedicated librarians travel to alternate worlds to recover rare texts. Some of these worlds are contaminated with chaos magic, however, and are populated by vampires, werewolves, fae creatures and the like. This is the premise of The Invisible Library. The library itself is a mysterious place- it's huge for one thing, taking librarians sometimes days to traverse its halls. We're not told how big it is, and this is just one of the mysteries that will hopefully be explored in future books.
I thought this was a good book with lots of interesting ideas. The idea of a conflict between Law and Chaos is not a new one but it's nice to see it reappear in fantasy, especially in a YA. One of my favorite tropes. And I also like the idea that underneath the surface the library may serve its own purposes and its servants are unaware of this. That is certainly hinted at here as Irene, a junior Librarian, has to go a Victorian era world with elements of chaos and clockwork tech, to find a book that turns out to be very important indeed.
Along the way Irene will be tested and forced to look at her role in a new light, and to consider the ethics of what she does. What gives her the right to enter a world and take a book that may affect the lives of many? I liked the character growth here in Irene as she starts to re-examine some of her assumptions, and there are a lot of intertwined plot strands that made this a fulfilling read. I especially enjoyed Bradamant, a rival with superior rank who shows up to make her life miserable- her inclusion and the intrigue associated with it made the plot more fun.
The book starts off with Irene on a mission, so we jump right into the action. Even so it took me a while to get into this story- I actually spent a few days away from it and wasn't sure I was going to like it- but I stuck with it and as soon as Irene got to her world and her mission began I was hooked. There are some neat concepts here, and the idea that Librarians are basically immortal- they don't age when they're in the Library- is just one of them. I'm looking forward to the next book to see what more we can learn and what Irene gets herself into next- judging from this it should be a wild ride.
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Just with the way you described the premise, I'm IN. If this wasn't already on my tbr shelf, it would be now. As bookish people, magical libraries are impossible to resist! At least, with your input I'm prepared for a slower start but I think I'll be hooked before long too :D Great review as always Greg! xReplyDelete
Oh yes you should read this! It's really good and imaginative- I just had to get through a slow beginning (it might have been me, and not the book). But yeah there are so many cool ideas here...Delete
This sounds really good. I have to admit that since the book cover doesn't stand out I wouldn't have taken a glance at this book. But your review sold me and I added it to my TBR. Great review Greg!ReplyDelete
Great- I hope you enjoy it! If you like the premise I think you'll have fun w/ this one. :)Delete
I've been wanting to read this one! I'm glad that even though you couldn't get into it at first, you stuck with it and ended up enjoying it. I agree, I love the whole law Vs chaos trope too. Excellent review!!ReplyDelete
Yes read it! I think it's good, and it's so wide open for sequels too. I', so glad I stuck with it, it gets good!Delete
Hmm, I guess this is a matter of personal reading preference, and what genre this book falls into.ReplyDelete
Definitely fantasy... but YA, MG, anyone? I don't usually read MG or much YA so I might not read this one, but it sure does have some good buzz and the idea of traveling from a library book--wow-- sounds fun!
I'd say this is YA, although there is one gruesome sequence that not everyone may like... but it's not bad (not like ana dult thriller, say). It is very imaginative, I will say that.Delete
Cannot wait to pick this one up! I love the sound of this one and because of the library and am intrigued by the moral issues and character growth. I'll definitely be picking this one up!ReplyDelete
Yes I think you would enjoy it- this is a good YA with lots of imagination. And the moral issues too- I liked that as well!Delete
Love the whole idea behind this book! Plus character growth is always something I love to see. Glad you got past the slow start. Great review!ReplyDelete
I liked the character growth a lot, and there's a lot to build on. It's a lot of fun!Delete
I am looking forward to reading this one. I am glad it ended up picking up for you, despite the slow start.ReplyDelete
Once I got going on it I was really into it, so I had to just stick with it a bit. I ended up really liking it!Delete
I've been seeing this title around and thought it sounded like something I would like. After reading your review I'm definitely going to have to give it a read.ReplyDelete
I am at 80% so hope to finish it tonight. I am really enjoying despite the slow start it had. I do think this book would have worked better for me if I did the audio and I am thinking of trying the audio for the second book. :)ReplyDelete
So it's a series? At first I thought of The Librarians (tv show), but this sounds a lot better.ReplyDelete
Great review! I really enjoyed this one and the next book too (they're already out here :P) and I found it really easy to get into the story, probably because I liked Irene immediately? I really like the mystery surrounding Kai too!ReplyDelete
Oh I haven't heard of this one but it sounds like my kind of read. The concept is really cool. Great review!ReplyDelete
I am really glad that you mentioned the slow start, so that I will be prepared if I read it! I hate to get toooo stabby with a book if it is going to redeem itself 😉 I like the idea of the book, and the morality piece- that is very appealing! I think I will definitely need to check this out, fabulous review!ReplyDelete
I'm always intrigued by books involving libraries and librarians, even fantasies. I'm curious to see how this compares with Ink and Bone which I loved.ReplyDelete
I'm glad you liked this one even if it took some time to get into the story.
Still want to read this one!ReplyDelete
I watched the tv series The Librarians and the set-up of the library there is similar to the one in this book, although they rarely travel in time. For us booklover a focus on a library is always fun. I am glad to hear you ended up enjoying this one even though the start was a bit slow.ReplyDelete
A controlled sandbar party sounds amazing!ReplyDelete
A controlled sandbar party sounds amazing!ReplyDelete
It sounds Doctor Whoish! I love that. I was unaware this was YA and cluless it was not a standalone. I have wanted to read this based on the title alone, now I really want to read it! Thanks for the review. :)ReplyDelete
I'm all for the classic law vs. chaos trope. This one sounds good. I'm glad that you enjoyed it. It's one I've been thinking about picking-up.ReplyDelete
There were some really neat concepts in the story, lots of potential. Underneath the action, there are some interesting ideas about morals, ethics, decisions, and consequences. Good review!ReplyDelete