Did you ever wonder how all the books in the “Silence of the Library” and “Forest of the Dead” got in the Library? It might have gone something like this: Irene the junior Librarian for the Invisible Library, a secret organization that seeks out rare and unique books to collect in the library by traveling through different parallel dimensions with various degrees of technology and magic, goes on missions to retrieve them. She’s a pretty good secret agent, but sometimes she runs into unexpected adventures. Especially when she gets an apprentice.
Take the Librarian movies, add in some elements of the tv show (multiple librarians), add in magic abilities from the Read-Or-Die manga and anime series’ (the abilities aren’t the same, but there’ still unusual powers), and the existence of parallel worlds from A Darker Shade of Magic (even so, I’m not sure why-how the British Library and Museum seem to be the same organization- they haven’t been in this reality for 20 years), and you’ve got some of the key components of The Invisible Library. Then add in a mysterious apprentice by the name of Kai. Send Kai and Irene off to a world being destabilized with Chaos to retrieve a book that the local vampires and Fey also want. They soon meet a gentleman detective whose current case intersects their own. Throw in a femme fatale-esque rival for Irene and a seemingly invincible villain who is the stuff of Librarian legends (Librarian gone bad used as boogeyman who turns out to be real). There’s also dragons, agents of reality (the opposite of chaos).
This book is soon much fun! Irene and Kai are both good characters on their own, and they have good chemistry together. Bradamant is a thoroughly misnamed love-to hate rival Librarian (The Librarians get to choose their own pseudonyms). Peregrine Vale is the Holmes figure who unlike his literary parallel works well with others. Alberich is the evil former Librarian who is not fully destroyed by the end, although he is soundly defeated. Even Coppelia (her name is fitting but not suitably explained until towards the end), Irene’s supervisor, is a great M to Irene’s Bond. There’s plenty of action and humor (no distracting romance- a pet peeve of mine- although a few characters try), and this plot wraps up in a satisfying way but there’ still plenty of bigger mysteries hinted at, and I can hardly wait for volume 2 to be out in a couple of months.