The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is a wild mashup if there ever was one. Just the list of elements is freaking weird and the way it's pulled off makes it a really fast read.
Multidimensional library association, linking texts to fulcrum points across worlds. Check.
Spies and thieves and detectives, a heist novel focused on a book. Check.
Dragons and Fae and chaos necromancers and Library Words that function as Words of Power. Check.
Worlds of magic and worlds of steampunk and worlds of cybernetics and mixtures all in-between. Check.
All these worldbuilding features are great. The potential for really huge blowout effects and stories is enormous. I'd like to say it comes pretty close, too, but for all the potential, it really just reads like a simple heist novel with all the ups and downs and mishaps associated with a heist gone wrong. Repeatedly.
That's not to say the leading character is at fault in any of this. In fact, she's always got her eyes on the prize and puts aside rivalries and other annoyances for the sake of finishing the mission with a noob who is more than he seems in tow and a rival who seems dead set on bringing her down. Our leading lady takes the high road.
It's fun. It reads like a very fine UF that spans all SF and F in potential with a love of literature at its roots.
I may not be squealing about this first novel, but the potential is really there. Chances are, I'm going to start squealing very soon. :)
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