The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
In this first volume of The Invisible Library series, we are introduced to Irene, a Librarian at the Invisible Library, which is located between alternate worlds and collects important books from those worlds.
Sent on a mission to retrieve a volume of Grimm’s Fairy Tales from a steampunk, Victorian-era London, Irene arrives to find the book’s vampire owner murdered and the book missing. Teaming up with consulting detective Mr. Vale, Irene soon finds she is in a race to find the missing volume with not only the local Fae, but also the semi-mythological, Librarian-gone-rogue Alberich. Throw in werewolves and the Iron Brotherhood, with their giant mechanical insects, and Irene’s mission soon goes from bad to worse. Oh, and there are dragons, too.
This first novel from Genevieve Cogman is a delightful romp through an alternate, steampunk-style world, where magic is real and supernatural creatures are part of everyday reality. Irene is a thoroughly likeable protagonist with a snarky wit, and the supporting characters are also well realised and likeable. The plot clips along nicely, giving that ‘just one more chapter before putting it down’ feeling, leading the reader to crave the next instalment when the end inevitably arrives too quickly.
An excellent start to the series which cannot be more highly recommended.