Written by Genevieve Cogman, The Invisible Library follows Irene and Kai as they try to retrieve a specific edition of Grimm’s Tales from an alternate universe with vampires, werewolves, fae, steam punk, and odd magic, and return it to the Library. The Library being a giant library that connects alternate realities/universes.
First – I am not the only person who didn’t really like this book. Go check the Goodreads reviews.
Second – I will be reading at least the second book in this novel.
Third – I honestly have no idea who the audience is supposed to be for this book.
Alright, so, what did I like? Kai. He was an interesting character, and honestly the reason I want to read the second book. His character was still lack luster, but when you find out more about him, his odd actions at least make sense. Kind of.
What I didn’t like. Sometimes, an author throws you into the middle of the world, and unravels it as you go at just the right pace. Not this time. I am still confused by what I read. Between not having any explanation for the worlds and how they work, and the jarring way the dialog is written, I just couldn’t really get into the story.
Clearly, the author was trying to be very proper with her writing, but it just missed the mark. Again, at times it was like reading a script, the subtleties that are normally written in were missing and would have been filled in by a director on set.
And everything was just SO random. I felt like I was reading a skit from a cartoon.
The writing wasn’t engaging. It was too jarring, and I just wasn’t a fan of the grammar.
Yet. Yet, I am planning on reading the second book. Because I want more of Kai.
Who would like this? If you REALLY want a book version of the Librarian, or really love alternate universes…. go ahead. Give this a shot. I know my local librarian loves this series, so it could just be a small portion of us who aren’t into this book.
But, these are discussion points.
Irene and Kai. Clearly, Kai has feelings for her. I cannot figure out if his “possessiveness” is because she is his friend or because he has stronger feelings. The fact that he wanted to sleep with her I think indicates the latter. And I think the author, at the end, was trying to say that Irene also has feelings for him.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND MOST OF THE CHARACTERS INTERACTIONS. Like, why was the bad librarian there? Two upper librarians will send their people after the same book? That doesn’t make a lot of sense. And Irene’s interactions with her supervisor at the end? What? Also, so the supervisor has prosthetics? Is that what I am supposed to understand, because it wasn’t clear.
The world just didn’t feel real. When other authors write in this style, they are doing so with a solid previously made/described world. Yours feels like it is still changing, because I have no idea what is going on. And it isn’t like the characters really discover things as they go, they are pulling from some knowledge that we are not privy to.
I get it, you were trying to write like this book was a classic that would need to be analyzed because it is a book about books and usually, for classic literature, you analyze to understand the deeper meaning.
I am sorry, but you didn’t accomplish that type of writing. I am very glad I won’t be paying for your books. Libraries are an amazing thing.