- Release Date: June 14, 2106
- Page Count: 352
- My Rating: 2 stars
One thing any Librarian will tell you: the truth is much stranger than fiction…Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, a shadowy organization that collects important works of fiction from all of the different realities. Most recently, she and her enigmatic assistant Kai have been sent to an alternative London. Their mission: Retrieve a particularly dangerous book. The problem: By the time they arrive, it’s already been stolen.
London’s underground factions are prepared to fight to the death to find the tome before Irene and Kai do, a problem compounded by the fact that this world is chaos-infested—the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic to run rampant. To make matters worse, Kai is hiding something—secrets that could be just as volatile as the chaos-filled world itself.
Now Irene is caught in a puzzling web of deadly danger, conflicting clues, and sinister secret societies. And failure is not an option—because it isn’t just Irene’s reputation at stake, it’s the nature of reality itself…
Think Doctor Who meets The Infernal Devices + that tv show “The Librarians.” There are faeries, dragons, detectives, wizards, creepy skin wearers, and werewolves all thrown together in a sort of steampunk alternate world with zeppelins. Pretty sure every librarian just found their new dream job.
So basic plot overview: the Library exists outside of time & space to house unique fiction books from alternate dimensions, which in turn reinforce the library’s links to those worlds. Scientific discoveries are the same in every world while creative works of fiction can change, so the Librarians are these centuries-old badass spies who retrieve rare books. The story starts with the main character and her new sidekick going after a Grimm book owned by a bibliophilic vampire who was murdered by a catsuit-wearing burglar… aaaand a whole bunch of adventures ensue.
The premise of this story was super awesome, but it fell a bit short in execution. The writing felt kind of chaotic and I had a hard time connecting to any characters. I think my main problem was there was just so much information coming at the reader that it was hard to actually get into any story.
One point of confusion:
There was a lot of stuff about chaos, the stages of chaos infestations that affect reality, and how chaos uses creatures that obey illogical laws logically… and I was never entirely clear on what exactly chaos was. I got that the Librarians have their own language and if they enforce their connection with the Library strongly enough then there’s no room for the chaos forces within them and they can then heal or do stuff with their powers. So at first chaos seemed like magic but then it didn’t. But then there’s a bit about chaos magic being bound into a coherent whole? Maybe I was just tired when I read it.
Ok wait update on that front. I found this passage in response to a character asking if chaos is magic:
“There are lawful and chaotic forces active in all worlds. Sometimes they take on a physical form, appearing as entities – or personifications of law and disorder if you like. The lawful forces support reason and natural laws. The chaotic forces support impossibility and things that are blatantly irrational or disorderly. For example, dragons are lawful forces and the Fae support chaos.”
So basically there’s a bit of Dungeons & Dragons thrown in there too I thought this book was creative, but didn’t particularly like or connect with any of the story so I don’t think I’ll be checking out the sequel.
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy!