I finished The Invisible Library on Saturday and I had almost completely forgotten about it by today, which is Monday. It’s not that the book is bad, because it was perfectly enjoyable to read, it just didn’t really stand out much. This was, I think, my local Vaginal Fantasy chapter’s pick to read for February and or March. It’s either this one or A Curious Beginning- but fortunately I have time to read that one before the meeting as well. At any rate, I’m struggling to say anything about the book and feel like my contribution at the bookclub will mostly be listening to everyone else.
Irene is a junior librarian for an interdimensional Library, and part of her job is retrieving unique works of fiction from the various alternate universes connected to the Library. At the start of the book she is sent to a pseudo-Victorian steampunk type world with an apprentice in tow. This world is classified as highly dangerous due to it’s high chaos infestation (the universe as a whole being divided into order (the library and dragons) and chaos (with fairies representing here). This pseudo-Victorian world, where women don’t wear corsets (and there’s no real reason given except that women just don’t wear them anymore-I guess the bra got invented a lot earlier in that alternate world), also contains werewolves and vampires. Irene gets tangled up in various murder and assassination plots as she attempts to locate the book she was sent to retrieve.
My biggest issue with the book is how predictable it was. I knew, chapters before the characters did, where the various plot points were headed. It’s not a terrible thing, but it doesn’t make for memorable reading. I’m also annoyed, because there the existence of the Library in this series seems like it would allow for so much creativity on the part of the author, so many universes to explore. But it seems like we’re going to stay put in this Steampunk Victorian England for a while. It’s not even a particularly unique version of Steampunk Victorian England. In fact, I’m far more intrigued by the brief glimpse of the world Irene is in when she’s first introduced.
All in all, it’s fine. It was entertaining enough and I sped through it quickly, it just wasn’t much more then fine.