There is a lot to like about the Invisible Library series: interesting premise, a heroine who is not a total stereotype, dragons and Fey, dimensional travel and trouble, adventure and fun, and some humor. The Secret Chapter is book 6 in the series and it has a lot to add to the series.
The biggest add to the series is some further world building on the dragon side of things. Previous installments have built up some context for the library and the Fey, and now it would seem it’s the dragons’ turn to get some complexity in the form of potentially questionable history and practices in building power.
The premise this time is that Irene and Kai, now a couple kinda, have to go on a mission for the Library to secure a special book from Mr. Nemo, a Fey in the tradition on a Bond villain/ procurer of all sorts of rare items. His price is that Irene and Kai must work with several Fey and another dragon to pull off an art heist, Ocean’s Eleven style. Naturally the members of the group don’t all get along for all kinds of reasons. There’s a tech expert, a gambler, the muscle, the transportation, the thief, and then Irene.
The world they go to is under the control of an organization called CENSOR which is basically the police who go after supernatural beings and activities, so of course our group has to outwit and escape them.
Some of the characters have some interesting personality to them, and there are even some surprises about who people really are and their motivations. The painting once stolen naturally presents an interesting secret, and Irene then has to decide to pursue that secret at considerable risk, or to pursue her original objective of the book, and as a result of her choices and reveals earlier there are some interesting suggestions made about the history of the dragons, which makes Irene’s connection to Kai interesting.
If I had any complaints, it’s that some characters get more development than others (Felix for example doesn’t have as much to do with the story as the rest of the team), and that there are several reminders about Irene and Kai finally getting together (near the end of the last book), yet very little development along those lines here. I’m a big fan of keeping romance out of entertaining adventure, and I don’t need the love story so much as if that relationship is going to be emphasized, why isn’t it displayed or considered by the two individuals involved?
There’s plenty of good set up and possibility for the next book though, so now it’s waiting time again to see what happens next.