I was certain I’d talked about this book and its series before but apparently I didn’t! The library audiobook app only had book 6, but I thought the cover was absolutely amazing, so I got the first few volumes from the, well, library actually! But in physical form. And then bought the next few. I needed a cozy read so I’ve just started book 4, and I thought it’d be a good time to tell you all about this fun series!
Irene must be at the top of her game or she’ll be off the case – permanently…
Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she’s posted to an alternative London. Their mission – to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it’s already been stolen. London’s underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.
Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested – the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene’s new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.
Soon, she’s up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option – the nature of reality itself is at stake.
Woah, that was something, wasn’t it?
I usually write reviews right after I close the book but I felt like I needed a bit more time to digest this one.
It had me from the first page (well, it had me from the blurb) and it did not disappoint. This is the story I’ve always wanted to be told, even as a kid, and I don’t think 5/5 even covers it. I always wanted there to be a Library, and to be a Librarian like Irene. I’ve dreamt of writing this book. Except this book is even better than what I coulda done.
It took a while for it to arrive to my local library (COVID and all) and that built up a lot of anticipation… then I didn’t really dare open it in fear of disappointment, but disappointment was not what I got!
It starts fast-paced, and you learn more and more as the story goes but it never slows down. There’s enough worldbuilding in this first book to fill quite a few novels, and yet it’s only hints at a much larger universe, really. The main character, Irene, is really likeable, and so are her two sidekicks. I loved to hate Bradamant and I’m really hoping we see more of her. But what really got me was the worldbuilding. It’s complex and layered and you can feel there’s so much more the author’s not telling us. It can feel a bit too much at times, but after all the centre of this novel is a chaos infestation, so it wouldn’t be that good without a bit of overwhelm and, well, chaos.
Now, if you don’t like weird crawly insects, or spoilers, skip this paragraph,
but I really, REALLY hate silverfish. I know they’re harmless, but I’ve never lived in a place without the occasional silverfish in the bathroom at 4am and they disgust me. make my skin crawl. And you know what, whenever I read a book, there’s mice and cockroaches and stuff, but I’ve never read a book that even acknowledges the existence of silverfish. Before this one. And let me tell you, it worked VERY WELL at giving me that horrific shudder. I was right there with the characters and would’ve very much jumped on the table. 10/10 horror mastery.
I wrote this review last September, I’m 4 books in now (mainly because the library closed and I had to get my hands on physical copies) and I’m still having the best time! It’s cosy, and they’re good fantasy mysteries involving books, what more can you ask for!
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