The Burning Page

By Genevieve Cogman

I did not expect this book to hit me as much as it did, but wow. My hands were shaking when I finished it, and I just hugged it against my chest for a bit, trying to process the powerful ending. The Burning Page is the incredible third book in the Invisible Library series, and so far the best yet.

Summary29612879

Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency of finding both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle…
 
Irene’s longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.
 
With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her…

I thought this was going to be the last in the series, so I was ready for a final showdown. Or, at least, I told myself I was ready: I didn’t want the fun to end.  But the great news is that there are at least two more books in the works, so we can keep enjoying it! It also means that while there is a brilliant showdown, it will not be the last.

Those of you who have read my reviews of The Invisible Library and The Masked City know the gist of why I love this series so much: the idea of secret-agent-book -lover-librarians is just so brilliant! I love the universe that Cogman has created, with multiple alternate realities all connected by this library, with logic and reason at one end of the spectrum, and chaos at the other. You have Order, or reality, incarnated by the Dragons, and you have Stories and Narrative, embodied by the Fae. The library maintains balance by collecting important books from these worlds, and the Librarians don’t always retrieve them legally.

Irene and Kai are brilliant characters whom I love to follow in their adventures. They’re smart and resourceful, and above all,  they love their books. But since the events of the Masked City, they’ve been getting the worst assignments: punishment for Irene leaving her post to save Kai, and stop a war. But now they’re in for an adventure they never expected: the library is under siege, by the evil traitor Alberich, and it could very well die. Not to mention someone has been trying to kill off Irene and Kai!

The pacing is so much faster in this third installment: it’s as if every book was speeding up. There’s love and betrayal, there’s magical worlds and terrifying words, huge twists and an enormous reveal at the very end. Some of our favorite characters are back, and hinting at a large secretive plot that runs through the novels so far. There’s mystery and intrigue, and magic and danger. And an ending that will leave you clutching your bookshelf and whispering promises of love and devotion to it.

All in all – this is the best book of the series so far. It’s fast paced and breathless, with lives on the line. And I seriously can’t wait for more.

Expected publication: January 10th 2017 by Roc. Thank you Roc for sending me a copy!

fullsizeoutput_9f62

Advertisements

The Masked City

By Genevieve Cogman

Well this is embarrassing! I read this book on the plane a few months back and completely forgot to review it, even though I loved it. So I reread it yesterday to give it the attention it deserves, right before I read the third book and share it with you. Oops!

Librarian Spies. Alternate realities. Dragons, Fae, and high technology. Heck yes, I absolutely love the universe Cogman has created in the Invisible Library series. We reviewed the first one not too long ago and I admit, I could not shut up about it (and still can’t!).  So, needless to say, I was excited to return to it as fast as I could. She did not disappoint: The Masked City – a direct sequel to The Invisible Library – was fun and exciting, a fast read I could not put down.

Summary28186364

Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he’s been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.

Kai’s dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people – and the forces of order and chaos themselves.

Irene’s mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it’s always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

Musings

We return to the beloved characters of Irene and Kai, as they continue their work in the slightly Chaotic London. Irene, as Librarian in residence, has a lot of responsibility, but has begun making friends, and continues to train Kai as her apprentice, keeping his Dragon heritage a secret. I was afraid we would be ‘stuck’ in this universe, since Irene was assigned to it, and wondered how the author could make it exciting, but trust me, we do not stay there long. That London has already told its story, and we’re going on a thrill ride threw new and exciting alternates, ramping up the excitement from the last book.

Kai’s been kidnapped, and it’s up to Irene to find him before the Dragons declare war on the chaotic worlds, or the Fae declare war on the dragons – whichever comes first. With the balance of the universe at stake, Irene has very little time, and very little help. While she continues with the support of both Kai’s uncle, Ao Shun, a powerful noble dragon, and of the library, she’s still alone and running head first into a chaotic universe. There’s going to be danger.

It’s so evident this novel was written by a book lover. While in the first novel we were introduced to the Library, an institution that collects and stores the most important works across all alternate universes, the sequel delves into the world of Fae, who feed off the drama they create amongst humans. Their lives revolve around story: how exciting is theirs? Irene is dragged in and out of the stories of so many Fae, making it near impossible to save Kai, though exciting to say the least. The care and importance Cogman gives to the love of Narrative really shows in her own work as well as the lives of the characters she creates. It’s a clever way of putting stories within stories.

And I just adore the locations. The Venice Irene visits is a perfect version of the place, like the stories you hear from friends: it’s always carnival, everyone’s in beautiful masks and riding gondolas around the city from expensive palace to cozy taverns. The High tech home of Kai, and the sudden trip to Marseille (mah home!) made me giddy and excited. And the Train… oh my gosh, the Train deserves its own book.

One thing I still don’t really like (same as in the first book) is just how much talk there is. Just in the sense that Irene has to talk out all of her ideas with others, going through every possible question and answering them. “Why did you do this?” “Why wouldn’t you do that?” etc gets tedious, and you wonder why she won’t just get on with it. As a reader, I can determine a lot for myself, and sometimes, it’s just better to move on. It’s just a stylistic choice I don’t really like, but it doesn’t make the book any less enjoyable.

But gosh, this is a fun series. The ending is a sharp cliffhanger and I’m so excited to read the next one ASAP. I love this universe, and I can’t believe more people aren’t talking about it!