The Invisible Library – Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library, by Genevieve CogmanThe Invisible Library is the first book in a series from Genevieve Cogman featuring female protagonist Irene and her handsome sidekick Kai.

Irene is a Librarian, attached to the titular organisation which is a secret society of book collectors, spies, and peacekeepers of many alternate Earths. The Invisible Library is an invisible-to-the-common-man collection which links and stabilises these alternate worlds via significant editions of influential literary works.

In her first adventure, we join Irene on the search for a particular copy of Grimm’s fairy tales and are introduced to the rules of the Library and its Librarians, of whose motivations we can never be entirely certain nor can be comfortably trusted.

It is an ideal blend of science fiction, magical yarn and swashbuckler, in no small way influenced by the author’s background in writing role playing games. Genevieve Cogman’s is an imagination I can happily spend time with and if you enjoy the idea of many dimensions being inextricably linked by their literature then you too will love this world.

Cogman is clearly a lover of books and Irene’s dedication to the comfortable nostalgia of paper and ink endears her to any avid reader.

Here, we have a lead character that we can believe in and root for, not just in her professional search for the Grimm collection, and personally in her career with The Library, but also as we follow her heart and her will-they-won’t-they relationship with Kai.

The Invisible Library is a story that takes us from the dusty shelves and strange time zones of The Library itself to a Victorian London with Zeppelins in its skies and hell bent steampunk machinery under its streets. There’s magic, intrigue, and spy games, friendships won, lost and fought for. Cogman’s dialogue is clever and funny, and her characters delightfully flawed. With this book she has crafted an exciting, fast-paced introduction to a world you will yearn to revisit; and since she has at least two more novels yet to come you will, all going well, certainly get the chance.

Published by Tor, The Invisible Library is Genevieve Cogman’s début novel and arrives at a time when we once again have a taste for adventure (thank you RL Stevenson), not only in our literature but also in those works being adapted for screens big and small.

Books such as The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games series are paving the way for stories like this one to follow. Cogman conjures visuals that scream to be brought to life by ILM and brought to the masses who – for reasons unfathomable – bypass the book stores.

Get in early and make sure you get on the I-read-the-book-before-it-was-a-movie side of the fence, you know how us readers like to be smug…

The Invisible Library, by Genevieve Cogman, is published by Tor on January 15th 2015.