The Invisible Library

The Invisible Library

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author. One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction... Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested--the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something--secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself. Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option--because it isn't just Irene's reputation at stake, it's the nature of reality itself.."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York City : ROC, [2016]
ISBN: 9781101988640
Branch Call Number: F COGMA-G
Characteristics: 341 pages ; 21 cm


Featured Blogs and Events

LibraryReads Top 10 June 2016

Nothing says “must read” quite like a Librarian’s stamp of approval! Every month Librarians across the country vote for their favorite newly published books and releases the top 10 picks for the month. Subscribe to Tacoma Library’s e-Newsletter service and get the Library Reads picks and more delivered straight to your inbox. Check out the Library Reads picks for June 2016… (more)

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Valerie_L Jan 11, 2020

Irene is a Librarian, but not like any you will find down at your local lending library.

Dec 14, 2019

This was a great book. The characters, plot and world were complex and entertaining. I will definitely be reading the other books in the series.

Aug 06, 2019

I really enjoyed this. It was simple and entertaining, and had a bit of Gail Carriger humor. I didn't realize it was a series but I look forward to reading the next books.

Apr 30, 2019

The book was: fascinating, surprising, funny with a dry sense of humor, insightful ideas about librarians and libraries, just a tad too long but worth the time to finish it. I'm ordering the next in the series! If you want to try a new genre, this is a good start.

Jan 28, 2019

When a Library connects alternate worlds encompassing magic and technology, anything can happen. In this case we have a hunt for a rare book, a murder mystery, and Librarian rivalry all mixed together with an ease that makes the story speed by. I finished this book in less than 24 hours and am about to start the sequel. Highly recommend!

IndyPL_SteveB Nov 24, 2018

It’s always nice to see book-loving librarians as heroes, although their lives in this book are more like that of Noah Wyle and the staff of the television show, “The Librarians.” *The Invisible Library* is a fun first novel, with plenty of adventure. “The Invisible Library” itself is a repository of books that is outside of time of space, between “worlds.” It turns out that there are multiple versions of Earth where history has gone differently. In some worlds dragons rule and there is extreme order. Some are ruled by the Fae (think the Celtic version of Faery) and are filled with magical Chaos. Neither extreme is safe for humans, who require a balance. The Library is somehow connected with that balance and that means buying or stealing unique copies of books from each world that somehow helps to define that world.

This first adventure takes place mostly in a steampunk world, where an unusual copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales seems to hold a key to balance. Of course, other people are looking for it, too.

I thought the beginning was a bit too cute and seemed like a teen novel, but by a third of the way in I was hooked in an adult way. The characters are clever, the world inventive, and the pace becomes furious.

Oct 10, 2018

I was so delighted, after giving this book a try, to discover an entirely new world concept within this genre. It is a little difficult to pinpoint the genre, actually, as The Invisible Library has elements of fantasy, science fiction, and steam punk. The fact that it pulls off that mash-up would be enough to recommend it, in my opinion. The author doesn't just pull it off, though. She nails it. There are no lengthy descriptions of concepts, background information, or even setting, for that matter. The book moves at a brisk pace from the beginning, with the reader gradually becoming an expert on the world and its underpinnings, without even realizing it. Best of all, the author has created a main character that you can admire as well as enjoy.

Jun 01, 2018

I really enjoyed "The Invisible Library" for fast-paced action, great heroine, interesting and intriguing world, and good story. It's a solid summer read! And Cogman left enough unanswered questions (especially about the world of The Library) that I'm eager for the next book, "The Masked City." I'm always glad to discover a new writer/series *after* several are out. There are 3 more titles currently published and another coming in November 2018!

Oct 24, 2017

This book, and its sequels, is composed of many parts that appeal to me: librarians, hidden libraries, secret societies, multiverses, time/space travel, strong female lead (in fact, it skirted dangerously close to the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde). I wanted to love it, but the writing just wasn't there. As noted by others, the pace and amount of detail were too frenetic and overwhelming. Also, I kept getting taken out of the story by lapses in logic. During conversations, Irene, the protagonist, would react to things that didn't seem to me to have been said. I couldn't follow her leaps of assumption (emotion? intuition?), and every time, I broke out of the action and puzzled over it. By the end of the book, I was grudgingly interested in the sequel, but it felt like an obligation to follow the story and not engagement in how the characters evolve. I do hope the inconsistencies smooth out in future books, because the story holds promise.

Sep 28, 2017

I discovered this author with book 3 and have returned to the first to learn the background. I agree with others that the plot isn't as tight in this first book, but hold in there because the third is a whammy and the pen is polished! A magical world with life and death danger and destruction like Harry Potter, but totally literary. The possibilities are endless and the alternate worlds and importance of books to different cultures and time periods is fascinating. I have book #2 on my next to read list, and am looking forward to more from this author.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability
May 25, 2018

JERICRUMLEY thinks this title is suitable for 69 years and over

Mar 11, 2017

humbleworm thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Dec 22, 2015

Taku thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Summary
Mar 08, 2019

There are many worlds.
In these many worlds there are many unique books and manuscripts,
and between these worlds there is a great library.
A junior librarian is sent on an unusually dangerous assignment with another, even less experienced librarian. They must retrieve a text from an unstable universe, with a traitor following them. They almost immediately find that the book is missing and get entangled in the underground of the world they're in.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at TPL

To Top