“The only problem is that it’s difficult to imagine something entirely new. We use the words and definitions of the past to shape our ideas. Something that is genuinely the next evolutionary step is unlikely to resemble anything we can imagine.”
I may, or may not be, ashamed to admit it but this is the first book I have finished in over a month. Yikes. First it was the reading slump, then a book hangover, after that I was sewing my daughter’s Halloween costumer together and let me tell you folks that was no easy feat. After that was NaNoWriMo preparations and then NaNoWriMo itself. Reading for pleasure just didn’t top my priority list.
Be that as it may, The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman still caught my attention. I had read the first two books in the series, The Invisible Library and The Masked City, previously. While the first one pulled me in and sent my imagination soaring, the second left me wanting. Still, I had high hopes for the third book, The Burning Page.
It begins with the same cast of characters that we encountered in the first two books. We have Irene, a Librarian to a magical Library that collects special, one of a kind literary works from different versions of Earth. Kai, a Librarian in training that is actually a dragon. Vale, a sleuth that brings to mind images of Sherlock with a severe alcohol problem and an attitude. Zayanna, a Fae with a penchant for the dramatic. And Alberich, the former Librarian who went bad and is now the Library’s arch nemesis.
Irene has been demoted within the Library because of her previous exploits in The Masked City. Only the most meaningless tasked are being assigned to her and Kai and, while they continue to do their jobs, they both feel a little slighted. Kai more so because he is a bit of a pompous dragon. There is a sentence I never thought I would type.
Alberich has a bone to pick with Irene. She foiled one of his previous attempts to destroy the Library and now he is out to get her. He has begun contacting her and sending vague, threatening messages as well as sending werewolves and other baddies to abduct and harm her.
Irene, with the help of Kai and Vale, must again attempt to stop Alberich once and for all. She will be betrayed by someone she thought she could trust, someone she knows she shouldn’t will try to earn her trust, and she will still have to find the fortitude to complete her task and save the place in the universe that means most to her. The Library.
On a personal level, I did have fairly high expectations for this story. I very much enjoy Cogman’s writing and think she crafts a good story. However, I did find that in this story there were a few gaping holes that were left unfilled. I’m hoping it was just buildup and background for the next upcoming book in the series, The Lost Plot. But, whether it was buildup or not, I still was annoyed by these voids. I hate getting to the end of a book and getting left feeling like there was too much unresolved.
I will still be picking up The Lost Plot but I don’t think my expectations will be as high for that one as they were for this book. My interest has been left fizzling.