Have you ever read a book title and went, “Well, this is going to be cheesy,”? That’s how I felt about this one. It is also listed as YA on Goodreads which was off-putting as that certainly wasn’t what I was in the mood for. For some reason I was drawn to it anyway so I off I plodded to the local library, toddler in tow. Have you ever taken a young child to a library? It is an adventure unto itself and inevitably ends in tears or giggles, there is no in between on that one.
First thing I want to mention is that this book really shouldn’t be listed as YA due to themes as well as vocabulary. Our leading lady, Irene, works for the invisible Library and she with her associates throw words around with more syllables than I have fingers. I actually had to look up the definition of a word while I was reading this. That hasn’t happened in a while. It was exciting.
The invisible Library (I’m using capitals with that on purpose, it’s not a silly error) is an expansive, well, library that exists outside of normal time and space. It is enormous and can take days to travel from one section to the next on foot. From there the librarians travel to different dimensions and alternate realities to collect unique books of historic value. Irene, a junior librarian, is given the task of going to one of these alternate realities to collect a particularly sensitive book. Little does she know how much trouble her assignment is going to be.
Irene is given an initiate librarian, Kai, on his first mission to take with her and train. There was some definite sexual tension sparking between those two which made for some amusingly uncomfortable moments. They quickly learn that the world their mission sends them to is listed as a major no-go-zone. That world is considered one of the most dangerous and unstable in the entire Library network. There the concepts of logic and reason often have little meaning. In their quest for this elusive book they encounter creatures that would have no place in the general concept of a “normal” world including, but not limited to, giant mind controlled crocodiles.
Okay, here we get to the cheese factor. Several mythological creatures are thrown at you and they can feel out of place at times. I think that is part of the point, though. They are supposed to feel out of place. Irene stresses often how this world defies logical rules which allows these creatures to thrive. They are meant to feel out of place because they don’t truly belong. Once you wrap your mind around that and accept it the book has a much better flow.
They battle crocodiles, a shape shifter that can steal someone’s skin, werewolves, and a bevy of other creatures in their attempt to retrieve this book. They do eventually tell you why the book is so important and the reason itself was also interesting. There was not much in this read that wasn’t interesting or entertaining.
Overall it was a very good book. The action didn’t take a back seat and the characters you meet are entertaining if a little odd. For the last third or so I couldn’t put it down because I had to know what happened. The conclusion was also satisfying. Now, there are going to be things left unresolved and a few plot points that may rub the wrong way but as this is the first book of a series I let that go with the expectation that those points would be explained in a later book. It was a quick read and highly enjoyable and I fully intend on picking up the rest of the series.