The Invisible Library is the first book in the long-running series by the same name written by Genevieve Cogman. I had been looking forward to reading this book because the series tends to have relatively high average ratings on Goodreads as well as a LOT of ratings. I ended up being somewhat underwhelmed by The Invisible Library as a whole. The world building is somewhat interesting and the main character is sympathetic (although definitely annoying at times). The story is based around a mission by a librarian named Irene who is given an apprentice named Kai and together the two travel to an alternate reality to retrieve a work of fiction that the interdimensional Library wants. There are all sorts of interesting aspects of the story which clearly can be developed further in subsequent volumes: there is a special "language" librarians use that allows them to do the equivalent of magic. The alternate realities have different manifestations of technology and magic. There is a dissident ex-Librarian who is now persona non grata but who clearly has special powers and disturbing information about the mysterious Library. But the plotting is uninspiring; this is one of the few books where I could clearly predict what was going to happen and had figured out key plot points dozens of pages before the characters in the books did.
However, the writing is spiffy and humorous and that’s why this is a solid 3.5 stars. But there’s something about the whole affair that just seems juvenile, in a way that made me feel that, as a middle-aged reader, I was most definitely NOT the target audience for this book. That’s fine, other books have provided me that feeling and I have still enjoyed reading them (most notably Rachel Caine’s The Great Library series which utilizes a somewhat similar premise of an all-powerful library dominating world events and also seems to be either eared towards young adult readers or at the very least is YA-adjacent).
I’m aware that this is the first book in a popular series and I’m happy that there are more books by the author that others are enjoying but I don’t feel a strong desire or need to read any more of them.
Title: The Invisible Library (Invisible Library, #1).
Author: Genevieve Cogman.
Paperback: 320 pages.
Publisher: Tor UK.
Date Published: November 15, 2015.
Date Read: March 20, 2018.
GOODREADS RATING: ★★★½☆ (3./5.0).
OVERALL GRADE: B (3.0/4.0).
IMAGERY: A- .