This book was a lot of fun, if not quite as good as I expected. I think a lot of that is due to it being consumed by world-building, as the first book of a series, so I’m eager to see if the second one improves on that as far as plot goes.
“And she didn’t want great secrets of necromancy, or any other sort of magic. She just wanted—had always wanted—a good book to read. Being chased by hellhounds and blowing things up were comparatively unimportant parts of the job.”
Basically, our main character, Irene, works for the Library as an agent. She, and the other Librarians, are tasked with retrieving special books from the alternate universes that the Library can access. In this particular story, Irene is given a new agent to work with, Kai, and sent to collect a book that was stolen by a cat burglar. She gets tangled up with nefarious characters, including some fairies, in an alternate version of London. They team up with a Sherlock Holmes-ish detective, whom I liked quite a bit, to try to solve the case while another agent of the Library seems to be interfering at every turn. It’s a lot of fun, and I’m eager to find out more about Kai as this series goes on, but as a first entry in the novel it gets way down a bit with exposition.