The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
The Book Review/Summary:
I want to live in this world of the Invisible Library! If you are a Time Lord Lover you will love this book, and mystery lovers should enjoy it as well, as a few mysteries remain. This series can go on forever and I will remain happy if it does so, as long as the characters and alternate realities stay just as amazing as this first book.
Dragons, Fae, Vampires, Werewolves, and magic are in this alternative London, which means there is chaos. Irene, a Librarian at The Library, is sent on a mission to retrieve a book in alternate B-395 and into a world of mystery she and her apprentice step. Kai, a new recruit to the Library, accompanies Irene and some of his secrets are revealed. Vale, a detective met along the way, still has secrets that are yet to be fully revealed. In a world of chaos Irene, Kai, and Vale set off to find a copy of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale book and of course trouble follows them.
The adventures lead to alliances, friendships, and trust among characters. These characters become friends to the reader, well there might be a few you want to punch at random times in the book. The author does such a great job of creating a world that gives you enough details that you can imagine the world and the situation, but still leaves you room to imagine and fill in the details so readers can imagine the ballroom in slightly different ways depending on where their imagination takes them. Some mysteries are solved and more are left open for future books. As I finished the book, I quickly ordered books two and three. The reader will have ideas on who the baby is, who Kai’s family is, and look forward to more adventures from this group when they finish reading.
Irene (Ray) = a Librarian working undercover to retrieve books and go on mission for The Library, both her parents were Librarians, likes detective stories. Becomes infected and that impacts her ability to contact The Library, decides who is trustworthy to share information with in alternate B-395 (where she is sent to retrieve a manuscript of Grimm’s Fairy Tale)
Balan Pestifer = wrote Midnight Requiems, left it to his form school, Prince Mordred’s Private Academy for Boys.
Coppelia = Irene’s direct supervisor at The Library
Kai = new recruit to The Library, Coppelia wants Irene to mentor him, claims no living family (but that isn’t true), has a secret that is revealed when his life and Irene’s life is in danger takes loyalty seriously. Is loyal to Irene and willing to protect her.
Master Grimaldi = one of the Senior Librarians training Kai
Master Legis – one of the Senior Librarians training Kai
Master Schalken = trained Irene (liked to compare illustrations)
Bradmant = female colleague of Irene’s tries to steal the B-395 assignment, and Kai. Shocked to see Irene and Kai at the ball, keeping secrets from Irene about the assignment and her true identity in this alternative reality. Had been Irene’s mentor and not always the best at training or instilling trust with others.
Kostchei = Bradmant’s supervisor, has a reputation for not being nice and not always caring how jobs are done, just that the goal is met and the book is brought to The Library.
Mr. Dominic Aubrey = Librarian watching the quarantined alternative B-395, gives Irene and Kai some basic information. Dies before the end of the book, creating an opening as a resident-Librarian.
Edward Bonhomme = hoarder, had 1st edition Grimm, fell down the stairs and died, his collection went up for auction.
Lord Wyndham = general collector of expensive trifles, won the Grimm book at auction, had a love/hate (think Frienemy) relationship with Silver. A vampire, and was staked a few days before Irene’s assignment, and the book is not in his house.
Belphegor = cat burgler in B-395, Silver thinks it is Bradamant
Silver, Liechtenstein Ambassador = a Fae, not friendly all the time with Wyndham, tries to cut a deal with Irene, wants the Grimm book, but his motives are not entirely clear on why. Appears to have a distaste for Vale, knows about The Library.
Cathedral of Reason = secret society concerned with general scientific progress
Peregrine Vale, Fifteenth Earl of Leeds = Detective consulting with the British Museum on the theft of the book, does not have a good relationship with his family. Irene feels he can be trustworthy and agrees to form an alliance with him, shares some secrets, and in the end feels he is a good man. Does not appear to be a fan of the Faes and magic.
Alberich = the one Librarian who betrayed The Library and got away with it, he is still out there, and has not been nice to Librarians who cross his path. Irene does not know what he looks like, nor how he has managed to stay alive for so long, but suspects it is Fae magic somehow. Makes an appearance in B-395 and has a few run ins with Irene, Kai, and Vale.
Rebecca Todd = came to see Dominic Aubrey while Irene and Kai were searching his office, at least that is the name she gave
Aquila = Peregrine Vale’s younger brother
Yoruban Ambassador = does not approve of Vampires, was at Silver’s Ball
Iron Brotherhood = secret society that is anti-Fae, plans to attack the embassy during Silver’s ball as retaliation for a bombing, are in control of robotic centipedes
Elder Miss Olga Retrograde = part of the literary world, known for blackmailing people, was at Silver’s ball
Inspector Singh = Police officer from Indian Empire on formal officer exchange, doesn’t like Fae, works with Vale from time to time, seems to have a good relationship with Vale.
The Grand Hammer = woman now leading the Iron Brotherhood, Singh knows little about her (doesn’t like an unknown player)
Matthias = forger
Levandis = forger seen entering Wyndham’s house for work in study, stopped 3 days before Wyndham’s death
Hairy Jimmy = one of the Whitechapel Roaring Boys, a werewolf
Professor Amelia Betony = Department of Cryptidology at Natural History Museum, on assignment in Egypt
Mr. Ramsbottom = Professor Betony’s secretary
Mrs. Jenkins = pilot for zeplin
Jennifer Mooney = one of the more influential figures in the Iron Brotherhood