The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies – think Doctor Who with librarian spies!
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.
I was drawn to this book for two main reasons: I am a huge lover of Warehouse 13 and am getting into The Librarians (series two is currently airing on Sci-Fi). I was hoping for something mildly like it… and I’m not really sure what I got, so I’ll list them here: we have Irene, heroine and Librarian; alternate worlds connected by the Library; more than one mystery; bad guys of more than one variety; vampires, werewolves, fae, dragons and magic; unique language that can only be used by Librarians; fairytales and books.
I wanted to love this book. Everything about it screams that it’s something that I would enjoy but with all the added detail there was just too much going on. I think that the amount of ideas and concepts that the author included made it harder to connect with the story at all to be honest. For instance, if this was a series where we were introduced to the concept of the Library, and have an adventure to ease the reader into the world(s) rather than throwing everything and everyone into it, including a sort of Voldemort-esque character. There was also something that didn’t let me connect to Irene who should have been an awesome heroine, but she was so frequently second guessing herself and questioning why/what ifs with the actions that she was carrying out.
This is one of those books where there’s just so much going on, and at the same time it feels like there’s nothing happening except for a bit of tea drinking and discussing events. Because of this it made the narrative feel really quite disjointed. A lot of stuff happened, but I didn’t feel as though there was any consistency to it. There was one time where I thought that only a day and half had passed in the book but then Irene mentions to Kai that they’ve been in that world for five days. Because of the nature of the writing this isn’t clear, and doesn’t help that disjointed feel to it. I think the only comparison I can draw here is when reading a book like Angels and Demons you know that Dan Brown follows a formula and it’s clear in the book that only 24 hours passes, and the same with Da Vinci Code etc.
Overall this was an interesting read, and I think the story had a lot of potential which makes me consider the possibility of reading the next story in the trilogy, but it’s not one that I’m going to hurry and buy on it’s release date. This first novel could have done with a great deal of tidying up, if you like, in order for me to completely click with it.
Is this one you’ve read? What did you think? My next book is Fangirl!