Irene is a junior librarian in a library that exists outside all worlds. Her job is to retrieve manuscripts from various alternate worlds so that the library may preserve them. She’s just come back from a tedious mission and is looking forward to some off-time for her own researches – but then she’s saddled with a trainee and a deceptive assignment that throws her into a chaotic world and up against one of the Library’s greatest enemies.
I came across this book via a recommendation from Kristen from We Be Reading. Back in April, I previewed this book along with a dozen others I had waiting on my to-investigate list, and decided that this was indeed one I wanted to read. During Readathon, I attempted to continue past my preview, but something didn’t click. I didn’t know if it was the book itself or the fact that I’d just finished a book that I’d found compelling and my brain didn’t want to switch gears yet. I put The Invisible Library aside for later perusal, and began it on audio in mid-June.
There’s one section near the beginning of the book – Irene meets her student, Irene looks up details on this mission, Irene meets a personal enemy who wants to take her mission from her – where once again, I almost stopped reading. Not sure what it is about this section, but something about it rubbed me wrong both times. However, I had the same experience with one little section at the beginning of The Raven Boys on my first and second attempts to read that one, and pushing through the second time helped. I acted on that previous experience, and I’m glad that I did. While I wouldn’t say The Invisible Library grew on me nearly as much as The Raven Boys, I did really enjoy the book. The plot was excellent and world-building very thorough. Irene was a wonderful strong female protagonist with enough individual quirk to keep her out of cliche circles. Her student/trainee/assistant Kai was fun in that he didn’t play by normal rules, and I liked the chaos-infested London that they’re sent to. (Though, sidenote, I do wish it was not always London!!) The ending was perfect – fully closed up yet open to further volumes – and I looking forward to reading further into the series.
Performance: The audio was read by Susan Duerden. I’ve experienced her audiobooks many times and I love the way she reads. It was finding out that she read this book that caused me to switch from print to audio, and probably the reason I was able to iron over that one rubbed-wrong spot in the story that got me both times. I imagine I’ll continue reading further volumes via audio.