Reviews tagging Death

The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman

4 reviews

columnclub's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.75

3.5 stars, or maybe a little above. I reread it since I have the next one in the series, and it was as intriguing but messy as I remembered -- there's always so much going on, and there are so many wider groups/forces at play that it wouldn't be possible to develop them all sufficiently. That being said, it's a lot of fun! The characters are likeable (though I kind of wish Irene hadn't programmed herself to be so allergic to feeling or reacting to anything; I actually found Bradamant more entertaining). I'm curious to see if the later series adds depth and clarity to what's already there, or if it's zany fast-paced antics all the way down.

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meganpbennett's review

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adventurous funny mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

A fast-paced adventure featuring a semi-mythical Library and its Librarians, who use Language to help them navigate alternate realities. It's part steam-punk adventure, part detective story, part urban fantasy and it works in a way that it really shouldn't. 

Irene works for the Library, and after just barely surviving collecting a rare book from one reality, she's sent off on her next mission, with a mentee named Kai. This alternate reality is contaminated with Chaos and has all the usual urban fantasy creatures - vampires, werewolves, the Fae - to make life interesting. Irene and Kai are after a rare and specific copy of Grimm's tales from that alternate reality. 

But when the urban legend from the Library shows up and turns out to be both very real and very dangerous, things have a way of getting even more complicated than they appear from the outside. 

Edit: August 10, 2021 : A reread of The Invisible Library was very interesting, and the clues left about several things are very, very well done. 

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leahlovesloslibros's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

As a Librarian, your main duty is to collect and preserve various books from different realities. Irene and her new assistant, Kai, are assigned to bring back a mysterious book back from a dangerous alternative London, only to arrive and find that the book that seems to already have been taken. Along with Irene and Kai, there are several other secret societies and individuals who are also interested in obtaining this book, and they are willing to fight to the death for it. Can Irene and Kai find the book and bring it back to the safety of the Library, before this chaos-infested alternative London kills them both?

It's hard to put my review of this book into words. I didn't dislike it, but it isn't a book that really grabbed my attention, either. The story was good, I enjoyed the character interactions, and I totally loved the idea of a secret Library where individuals are literally lifelong Librarians solely dedicated to retrieving books and bringing them to the Library for safekeeping and preservation. 

The progression of the storyline was written at a good pace, and I appreciated that the interactions between the characters seemed realistic.
SpoilerI especially liked that Irene didn't give in to Kai's attempts at advances, even if she did feel a physical attraction to him.
I liked the magic system combined with some science fiction/technology; it was a nice twist on a normal fantasy story.

Overall, I did enjoy this story, but it didn't constantly keep me coming back for more. I can't pinpoint any particular issues that I had with the book; it just wasn't anything "special," in my opinion. I wouldn't read it again, and I likely won't read the several other books in the series. 

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ghosthermione's review

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adventurous funny lighthearted mysterious fast-paced
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

Woah, that was something, wasn't it? 
I usually write reviews right after I close the book but I felt like I needed a bit more time to digest this one.
It had me from the first page (well, it had me from the blurb) and it did not disappoint. This is the story I've always wanted to be told, even as a kid, and I don't think 5/5 even covers it. I always wanted there to be a Library, and to be a Librarian like Irene. I've dreamt of writing this book. Except this book is even better than what I coulda done. 
It took a while for it to arrive to my local library (COVID and all) and that built up a lot of anticipation... then I didn't really dare open it in fear of disappointment, but disappointment was not what I got!
It starts fast-paced, and you learn more and more as the story goes but it never slows down. There's enough worldbuilding in this first book to fill quite a few novels, and yet it's only hints at a much larger universe, really. The main character, Irene, is really likeable, and so are her two sidekicks. I loved to hate Bradamant and I'm really hoping we see more of her. But what really got me was the worldbuilding. It's complex and layered and you can feel there's so much more the author's not telling us. It can feel a bit too much at times, but after all the centre of this novel is a chaos infestation, so it wouldn't be that good without a bit of overwhelm and, well, chaos. 
Now, if you don't like weird crawly insects, or spoilers, don't read behind the cut but
Spoiler I really, REALLY hate silverfish. I know they're harmless, but I've never lived in a place without the occasional silverfish in the bathroom at 4am and they disgust me. make my skin crawl. And you know what, whenever I read a book, there's mice and cockroaches and stuff, but I've never read a book that even acknowledges the existence of silverfish. Before this one. And let me tell you, it worked VERY WELL at giving me that horrific shudder. I was right there with the characters and would've very much jumped on the table. 10/10 horror mastery.

Now I gotta get my hands on the next volume. And the next...

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