Bingo 21: Pandemic
Since the purpose of this square is “whatever I want”, I figured I’d go with the latest (released a while ago) installment of one of my favorite ongoing series’. I like the Invisible Library series overall, although admittedly some installments have been stronger than others. The Dark Archive (#7) adds some good stuff to the overall story, but as a novel itself isn’t the strongest in the series by a good bit.
I think the problems for me are that one of the major new character additions, Catherine, annoys me, and that the plot such as it is seems a bit thin as a self-contained story. Catherine is Fey and apprenticed to Irene as a part of events from a previous book, and her main challenge is that Fey have never gotten into the Library before, mostly because of the safeguards, which apply even when said Fey is invited in. She’s also really young for a Fey, and it shows in how immature she is; there is a lot of whining, pouting, and childishness that serves no real point other than to eventually get old and then irritating.
On the plot side, the main quest is to figure out who is really trying to assassinate Irene, and possibly Kai as treaty representatives. This leads to the discovery of two preciously thought defeated Fey adversaries, and I have to admit, the way that one of them is apparently brought back is actually interesting. The problem is though that they have no real motive other than vengeance for last time, and what’s going on, including some conspiracy stuff revealed at the end, really should have a stronger rationale given how the final confrontation and villain behind everything turns out. The inclusion of one of Kai’s brothers is kind of interesting since said brother actually has some personality and purpose in the story, and some of the technological additions, like the potential AI and personality transference stuff, could be interesting in the future and for the right now provides some world building.
I’m also a tad disappointed in Irene; she doesn’t change much at all or do anything especially new or interesting. She uses The Language a lot, and finds out some potentially massively important personal background information (although it’s not really that big of a twist if you think about it; I agree with vale on that one) towards the very end. The thing that really saves the novel for me is the epilogue; the suggestion for something really big behind the scenes the whole time is super intriguing and I’ve already got my suspicions about some of the implied who and what that I can’t wait to see confirmed or not.