The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library

Book - 2016
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Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure--the first in the Invisible Library series!

One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen.

London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested--the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something--secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.

Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option--because it isn't just Irene's reputation at stake, it's the nature of reality itself...

FEATURING BONUS MATERIAL: including an interview with the author, a legend from the Library, and more!
Publisher: New York City : ROC, [2016]
ISBN: 9781101988640
Branch Call Number: FANTASY COGMAN G
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 21 cm.


From Library Staff

Irene, a professional spy and employee of the nefarious, shadowy Library, finds herself and assistant, Kai, on assignment in an alternate London. The book they are tasked with locating has been stolen, so they must brave a chaotic world where supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic is lurk... Read More »

From the critics

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Dec 23, 2020

Recommended by a book critic friend. Hard to begin, but soon I was there in this London alternate with the mains and off and running. Beginning book two .

Sep 16, 2020

It sounds like readers either love it or hate it and I really wanted to love it since it’s a big series but I hated it. I couldn’t get into it. Irene and Kai are secret agents of the Library which is a secret society that collects rare books from alternate realities. Add to that some vampires, werewolves, dragons, robot controlled alligators, zeppelins, and anything else you could possibly put in with a science fiction novel and here it is all scrambled up and not making any sense. I didn’t even finish it because it was just took much going on at once that I became uninterested and distracted. Big disappointment.

Jul 19, 2020

I had this on my TBR; however, I wasn't sure how excited I was to read it. And now I'm stoked I did. This is the first of a unique Fantasy Series which includes alternate European worlds, Dragons, Magik, the Fae and Librarians who are using secret language and archaic knowledge to seek out unusual books to preserve for what true purpose we are still unsure. Genevieve exhibits a knack for Storytelling, which I believe will blossom and become more nimble as the Series unfolds. A vivid read for the indulgent days of Summer.

Tigard_LindsayD Jul 07, 2020

A young alternate-universe-hopping, book-collecting librarian finds herself mixed up with the deeper questions, dangers, and conspiracies of the Invisible Library in this series intro full of dragons, fey, and Doctor Who-vibes.

Valerie_L Jan 11, 2020

Irene is a Librarian, but not like any you will find down at your local lending library.

Dec 14, 2019

This was a great book. The characters, plot and world were complex and entertaining. I will definitely be reading the other books in the series.

Aug 06, 2019

I really enjoyed this. It was simple and entertaining, and had a bit of Gail Carriger humor. I didn't realize it was a series but I look forward to reading the next books.

Apr 30, 2019

The book was: fascinating, surprising, funny with a dry sense of humor, insightful ideas about librarians and libraries, just a tad too long but worth the time to finish it. I'm ordering the next in the series! If you want to try a new genre, this is a good start.

Jan 28, 2019

When a Library connects alternate worlds encompassing magic and technology, anything can happen. In this case we have a hunt for a rare book, a murder mystery, and Librarian rivalry all mixed together with an ease that makes the story speed by. I finished this book in less than 24 hours and am about to start the sequel. Highly recommend!

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 24, 2018

It’s always nice to see book-loving librarians as heroes, although their lives in this book are more like that of Noah Wyle and the staff of the television show, “The Librarians.” *The Invisible Library* is a fun first novel, with plenty of adventure. “The Invisible Library” itself is a repository of books that is outside of time of space, between “worlds.” It turns out that there are multiple versions of Earth where history has gone differently. In some worlds dragons rule and there is extreme order. Some are ruled by the Fae (think the Celtic version of Faery) and are filled with magical Chaos. Neither extreme is safe for humans, who require a balance. The Library is somehow connected with that balance and that means buying or stealing unique copies of books from each world that somehow helps to define that world.

This first adventure takes place mostly in a steampunk world, where an unusual copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales seems to hold a key to balance. Of course, other people are looking for it, too.

I thought the beginning was a bit too cute and seemed like a teen novel, but by a third of the way in I was hooked in an adult way. The characters are clever, the world inventive, and the pace becomes furious.

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Add Age Suitability
May 25, 2018

JERICRUMLEY thinks this title is suitable for 69 years and over

Mar 11, 2017

humbleworm thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Taku Dec 22, 2015

Taku thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary
Mar 08, 2019

There are many worlds.
In these many worlds there are many unique books and manuscripts,
and between these worlds there is a great library.
A junior librarian is sent on an unusually dangerous assignment with another, even less experienced librarian. They must retrieve a text from an unstable universe, with a traitor following them. They almost immediately find that the book is missing and get entangled in the underground of the world they're in.


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