Irene is sent to retrieve a book from a chaos-infested alternate world for The Library with the help of her assistant/trainee Kai. She belongs to a secret organization called The Invisible Library that collects books and stores them in a massive library complex located somehow adjacent to the many alternate worlds to which its operatives may travel. These alternate worlds all apparently have the same physical laws but they range from the more orderly worlds where magic isn’t a thing to the more chaotic worlds where you can encounter vampires and werewolves and somehow this leads to more steampunk-style technology.
The concept here is interesting but I never really connected with the book or its characters. There’s a revelation about a dragon that has little impact on the reader because the reader just doesn’t have the information to know why Irene reacts the way she does. It misses, the mark, basically. There are also several plot points that feel like the characters are required to be a bit slow on the uptake (the twists weren’t all that surprising) or it felt like a plot hole until it was finally explained (to be fair, these things were mostly explained).
The other thing that bugged me was the question of timeframes. The library has been around for at least several hundred years and possibly for several thousand. There seem to be a lot of Victorian-era steampunk worlds and there’s nothing to say that we’re not modern day or later (cell phones are a possible technology for the worlds). If we’re modern day or later (to give the library more “time” to exist), why are so many worlds “stuck” in what feels like earlier times? Do they actually get stuck technologically based on the level of chaos in them? Are there futuristic more orderly worlds? If so, has more time passed or did technology just progress faster? These questions kept bugging me all throughout the book and the origin of the library is a mystery. I’m not sure if I’d be disappointed with the answer.
Basically, this book just wasn’t quite fun enough to warrant a full three stars so I’m sticking with 2.5. I am somewhat curious to find out more about The Library so I may read the next book although I’m not certain I’ll actually get any answers, so I won’t be rushing out to get find it.
I read this for booklikes-opoly square Frontierland 4 “Read a book where…the letters in the title can be used to spell RIVER”: The Invisible Library. Since this is the second time I’ve landed on this square since the shake-up, I get a location multiplier of 1.5 for this 328 page book, which gives me another $9 for my bank.
New Bank Balance: $214