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The Invisible Library

(The Invisible Library #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  40,751 ratings  ·  5,295 reviews
Irene must be at the top of her game or she'll be off the case - permanently...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's under
Paperback, 329 pages
Published January 15th 2015 by Tor UK
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Cassandra It'll be in some of the alternate universes ;) ... and at the (Invisible) Library

Sorry, that's not very helpful of me. I hope you've read the book by…more
It'll be in some of the alternate universes ;) ... and at the (Invisible) Library

Sorry, that's not very helpful of me. I hope you've read the book by the time you read this answer. (less)

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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  40,751 ratings  ·  5,295 reviews

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Paige  Bookdragon
Reread as of 01/03/2016: Still as good as ever. Now, I'm ready for the book 2.

Dear Invisible Library,

Are you guys hiring?

I saw your book and I was highly interested in the position of a junior librarian. If I was correct,and assuming that I am because I'm rarely wrong when it comes to my obsessions, your job descriptions are as of follows:

1. To be able to retrieve (or steal, whatever) a certain book assigned to a particular mission.

2. To assist The Library at all times.

If so, what are the
Jan 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: libarians, YA adventurers
Titles with 'library' and 'bookstore' are irresistible to readers. Add in a cover that looks like faded and cracked leather with gilt lettering and it is like leaving a plate of freshly baked cookies in a work breakroom. Sure, you may have started a January diet, but really, just one won't ruin anything, right? I'm often adverse to YA, but a friend's enthusiastic review (thanks, Mikhail!) had me reconsidering. Plus, there's that cover. I gave it a shot and am pleased with how it went. Like a Pix ...more
“I am a librarian. I am a servant of the Library.”

With great ideas, comes great responsibility. Said no comic book character ever, but probably should have. Think about it as an avid reader. You see a book cover that looks gorgeous, you turn it around and read the summary and it tells you the story of a young woman, working for a secret library that recovers books from alternate realities. Add a Doctor Who comparison to the mix and you have one of the most interesting sounding books in a sor
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁
9/30/17 - ON SALE for $2.99:

So I'm only 12% into this thing, but as far as I can tell, it's about librarians. SPY librarians. Spy librarian THIEVES. Spy librarian THIEVES who can travel to PARALLEL DIMENSIONS for the express purpose of stealing books unique to that world.

And depending on how much chaos exists in an individual world, DRAGONS might show up to breathe firey order into said chaos. (<------I don't actually know yet how the dragons correct the balance, just

I LOVE THIS BOOK! It earned its place on my favourites shelf.

Yes, I am sucker for books about books and/or libraries and this novel very much satisfied my every need in this department. Throw in a bit of steampunk & dragons & sprinkle with detective fiction and an alternate-world Sherlock Holmes type of character & you have me floating on air with happiness.

It struck the same chords as The Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde and the magical Library of the Unseen University of the Discworld s
Jul 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
A little gem of a fantasy novel, The Invisible Library is smart and elegant and bewitching. It has lots of action, great characters and world building. Irene, the Librarian, with a capital L is tasked to seek out and deliver an important version of Grimm's Fairy Tales to the Library. The Library is the repository of all the best books in all the worlds, and there are many worlds.
The Librarians are a cross between secret agents and holy orders. They are trained not to ask too many questions and t
Richard Derus
Mar 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindled
ETA Charles Urbach's lovely artwork, "Not All Treasure Is Gold," epitomizes how I see Kai:

Rating: 4* of five

I want to be a Librarian.
The atmosphere of the place soothed her automatically; the rich lantern lights, the sheer scent of paper and leather, and the fact that everywhere she looked, there were books, books, beautiful books.
She was a Librarian, and the deepest, most fundamental part of her life involved a love of books. Right now, she wanted nothing more than to shut the rest of the wo
Liz Barnsley
This was absolutely the best fun I’ve had with a book in ages. Brilliant characters, magical world building and a whole load of adventure.

Irene is sent into one alternate London to retrieve a dangerous book – shadowed by new assistant Kai, this mission is anything but straightforward and what follows is a rip roaring race to find the book, involving Vampires, Werewolves, Fai and, well, alligators….

I absolutely adore the world the author has created here – it is a brilliant mix of mundane and mag
Lucy Langford
May 08, 2019 rated it it was ok
1.5** rounded up.

While I really enjoyed the premise of the book and Irene, the library spy, as a main character. The actual story just fell completely flat for me and I found it difficult to keep up interest.
Lois Bujold
Jan 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy readers who like a steampunk vibe or Awesome Librarian tales
Recommended to Lois by: assorted random internet recs
This was fun. A librarian/secret agent for a library that exists between dimensions (and rather outside of time) is sent in pursuit of a rare edition of the Grimm tales in an alternate steampunk world; hijinks ensue. An alternate Sherlock-Holmes avatar from the local world and the librarian's apprentice who is more than he seems add a lot of interest.

While sequels could obviously go to many alternate worlds if the writer gets bored with this one, I gather the immediate sequel returns to this fir
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Speaking as someone who loves to read, I just can’t help but get these warm fuzzy feelings for books about libraries. After all, what could be better for an avid bookworm, than being immersed in a story about a place filled with books, books, and more books?

Well, Genevieve Cogman’s The Invisible Library does one even better.

Oh, this book has libraries, all right—interdimensional libraries, established across multiple wor
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-read-on-shelf
I am really impressed by this book. It is a solid 4 stars, impressive in its flow and writing.

The book (view spoiler) feels like a tribute to two extremely relevant British authors, Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
To some extent is a book about
Mel (Epic Reading)
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had been told by many, many people (in particular my 'buddy' Mary S.R. comes to mind!) that I needed to read this series. They were all so very right! Let me start this review by saying if you like fun, clever fantasy novels that feel a little like a Doctor Who episode then go read this immediately! Don't even read the rest of this review; just go get The Invisible Library.

Like Doctor Who
I don't know if it's because the opening description of the Library made me think of the Doctor Who episod
Irene is an agent for The Library, a timeless place balanced among many parallel universes. Their goal: to collect all the stories ever put into print, everywhere … by whatever means it takes. When Irene and a handsome young newly-minted agent are assigned to seek a collection of Grimm’s fairy tales from a steampunk Victorian London replete with vampires, werewolves, and Fae, it seems like a standard run -- until the Library’s arch-enemy appears, seeking the same book, and chaos ensues, literall
Nick Borrelli
Jul 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm really bummed about how this one turned out. When I first picked it up it seemed like a book that would be right up my alley. I was under the impression that it would be a combination of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and Death of a Necromancer. Add the library aspect and I should have enjoyed this so much more than I did. As it happens, I did not care for it very much. For me, the writing was just so-so and I felt that the library served as simply a vehicle where the author could introduc ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was such a fun start to a new series that I know I am going to love (four books so far with the promise of a fifth soon!).

Irene is an undercover librarian in a secret library that exists between alternate worlds. The role of the library is to collect important books from the worlds to compare and protect them. Irene is sent into a dangerous world where chaos is unregulated, steampunk rules and the Fae are attempting to take control. The owner of the book she is to find (a vampire) has just
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
THE INVISIBLE LIBRARY is a book that I've been curious to read for a while now and I was quite happy when I got the chance to read it. I mean how can you not, if you are a bookworm, find the description of the book tantalizing? A Library that collects fiction from different realities. The book is intriguing right from the start as we get to know Irene who is on a mission to retrieve or rather steal a book. Finding rare books is what Irene and others that work for the Library do, they blend in an ...more
Robin (Bridge Four)
Sale Alert: Kindle Daily Deal 14May20 $2.99

I’m not sure how this book fell through my radar.


It has so many things I love.

ღ - Libraries (Duh)
ღ - Dragons, seriously hot dragons (Um…Double Duh)
ღ - Fae (It is a love/hate thing)
ღ - Sherlock Holme’s type character (Elementary, dear Watson)
ღ - Steampunk Alligators (So much more scary than regular ones)
ღ - A murder mystery (see above like of Sherlock Holmes)

So I should have found this book forever ago. But alas, we just found each other now. Still we
I absolutely adored this book. :)

One part Doctor Who, one part Steampunk, one part Chronicles of St Mary's... toss in dragons and fae. Stir vigorously. Voila! The Invisible Library!
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
The existence of a secret library set between alternate worlds is a very pleasing idea and it made for some great fun and games. This story has a bit of everything-magic, dragons, werewolves, vampires, fae and more. I enjoyed the book and read it pretty fast but felt that it trailed off a bit by the end. There were pages of Agatha Christie type denouement and then it just fizzled out. Nevertheless I will be back for more because I have to find out what happens next to our intrepid librarian and ...more
2019 Re-read

When life gets complicated, my reading needs simplify. Ms. Cogman’s Invisible Library series had seen me through a challenging week. Our February here in Alberta was a bitterly cold one, and it has seen a lot of frozen water pipes as the frost went deeper than usual. Just before the Easter weekend, there was a water main break as the result of frozen, split pipes on the road just outside my building. Hauling water from a tank on the street to my apartment became a several-times-a-day
Althea Ann
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
'The Invisible Library' feels like the author made a conscious effort to Include All The Cool Things. Starting with, of course, a secret extra-dimensional library with All The Books, connecting parallel universes, and librarians who are secret agents traversing these worlds in search of rare manuscripts. I mean, would it be POSSIBLE to write a book with that concept and have it be a bad book? I'm not sure, but it would be Very, Very, Difficult. This is absolutely a very enjoyable book.

Cool as a
Spencer Orey
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
A multiverse of earths with fae invasions, steampunk machines, dragons, and evil Wizards, all bound together by a secret and possibly infinite library. Oh and a book heist. What else can you ask for?

I feel like I've been reading a lot of fun books lately, and this was extra fun. The pacing is a little uneven, especially at the beginning, but mostly I'm in awe of the author for pulling together so many elements and making them look totally cohesive.
Allison Hurd
This was one of the most painful books I've read in recent memory. The book I'd compare it to most is something I can't remember the name of, and while I think it's still in my attic, looking for it feels like a waste of energy. Anyways, this was bad.

I don't have anything good to say about it. The story didn't make sense, the character motivations were non-existent, the asides (in parentheses) were obnoxious, the logic was completely fallacious. The main character was the worst undercover detect
This is a wild mashup if there ever was one. Just the list of elements is freaking weird and the way it's pulled off makes it a really fast read.

Multidimensional library association, linking texts to fulcrum points across worlds. Check.
Spies and thieves and detectives, a heist novel focused on a book. Check.
Dragons and Fae and chaos necromancers and Library Words that function as Words of Power. Check.
Worlds of magic and worlds of steampunk and worlds of cybernetics and mixtures all in-between.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Public Service Announcement: This book is not Steampunk. It's Fantasy.

Liked it, but am not a fan of the narrator for the audiobook. She did ok, and her voice is pleasant enough, but she reads in a breathy style with inflections that seemed wrong sometimes. I got used to it though. Just an FYI if you're considering the audio version, might check the sample first.
I like books. If you are reading this you probably like books too.

A lot.

You also probably realize that there is not nearly enough time in the world to read all the amazing books out there. We have to pick and prioritize what books we spend our precious free time indulging knowing there will always be another series or author we will never actually get to as our TBR shelf grows exponentially. Reality can be so aggravating like that.

But Irene, the heroine of this story, doesn't have to worry about
Rebecca Carter
Irene works for the library, a mysterious society based between alternate worlds. She is sent on missions to retrieve books from different worlds for her superiors and faced with a variety of obstacles.
As the book begins we are thrown in at the deep end of her world, without knowing anything about the library, librarians, the alternates, or the people and beings that occupy these places. It's all very mysterious and the reader only starts to discover more as the book unfolds, which could be why
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Firstly, big thanks go to the wonderful Gordon at Grab This Book and Tor Books for my copy of The Invisible Library. Gordon kindly suggested I should be introduced to this series, and Tor Books agreed so I was thrilled to be sent a copy.

The Invisible Library is brilliant. It’s so far removed from anything I would normally read but I found myself completely and utterly immersed in it from the beginning.

An excellent cast of characters, magic, mystery and so much bookish wonderment make The Invisib
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Genevieve Cogman got started on Tolkien and Sherlock Holmes at an early age, and has never looked back. But on a perhaps more prosaic note, she has an MSC in Statistics with Medical Applications and has wielded this in an assortment of jobs: clinical coder, data analyst and classifications specialist. Although The Invisible Library is her debut novel, she has also previously worked as a freelance ...more

Other books in the series

The Invisible Library (7 books)
  • The Masked City (The Invisible Library, #2)
  • The Burning Page (The Invisible Library, #3)
  • The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library, #4)
  • The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library, #5)
  • The Secret Chapter (The Invisible Library, #6)
  • The Dark Archive (The Invisible Library, #7)

Articles featuring this book

Calling all bibliophiles! What better way to celebrate the joy of reading than with a book about, well, books? To create this list, we took...
217 likes · 61 comments
“The atmosphere of the place soothed her automatically; the rich lantern lights, the sheer scent of paper and leather, and the fact that everywhere she looked, there were books, books, beautiful books.” 47 likes
“Johnson! Have I committed any illegal actions?'
Johnson checked his watch. 'Not within the last three minutes, sir.”
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