The Invisible Library is a bit of a rare find in the world of genre serials. Reality-hopping adventure stories are hard enough to come by as it is, but they rarely tend to be both accessible and also filled with all sorts of fun literary references. These books deliver all that and more.
The series runs on a fairly charming premise. Reality is divided up into an infinite number of worlds. Realms that have too much order tend to be stagnant, lifeless things. Add a little chaos and you get life and typically, gritty, dystopian worlds that fit quite well in thrillers. Dragons, the lords of order, lurk in these places. The more chaos a world has, the more likely magic and weird things will pop up. Add science and magic and you get steampunk, or even a standard Dungeons and Dragons fantasy world. Add too much chaos and it becomes impossible to live there. Fairy beings lurk in chaotic realms. Slap bang in the middle is the Invisible Library. These trans-dimensional book thieves lurk across the multi-verse, stealing rare editions of rare books. After all, in an infinite multi-verse, every possible edit of a book exists. They are neutral, avoiding the conflict between Order and Chaos, caring only for the books those worlds create.
The series focuses on one particular Librarian, Irene; a highly capable young lady who spends most of her time in a steampunk-style world, trading in books and dealing with monsters.
The Lost Plot is the latest book in the series so far, with a fifth novel (and possibly more) planned. The previous three formed a complete story of sorts, diving into the machinations of the fey and a rather unique threat to the library. Throughout the series, she was aided by Kai, a dragon in mortal form who also really likes books. This fourth novel concentrates more on the machinations of the forces of order, dipping Irene and Kai into a struggle between the dragon courts. The steampunk background is swapped for a 1920s gangster-style world, and we learn much more about the dragon courts than we did in the arc plot.
As a follow-up to the story so far, it’s a strong book. It essentially begins a new set of intrigues (whilst still keeping some of the unanswered questions of the last book on the boil). Irene does seem a little handy with her language-based special powers, but at times these hinder as much as they aid her, so the pace doesn’t suffer for it.
Overall, The Lost Plot is a great addition to the series. More of the same please, and soon.
THE LOST PLOT / AUTHOR GENEVIEVE COGMAN / PUBLISHER: PAN / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW