I found the concept of The Invisible Library to be absolutely wonderful. It is a beautiful mash-up of traditional fantasy, paranormal, and steampunk with a dash of murder mystery thrown in.
There is a good bit of exposition at the start of the book but it was woven into the story really well and I was impressed with the author’s ability to introduce a unique and complicated world, how the Library works and is connected to every other world outside of time, in a way that made sense.
I think what bother me about this book more than anything else was the several times a group of characters would end up sitting around discussing whatever had recently happened. It’s hard for me to describe what I didn’t like about this. I realize that when a lot happens it can be helpful to the reader for a few characters to make some connections that might help to make sense of things. Here though, it almost always seemed to make it more confusing.
Also, I did not understand Vale’s reason for assisting Irene and Kai. At first it kind of made sense. He is an investigator and was looking into the murder or Lord Wyndham. As Lord Wyndham was the last owner of the book the Library sent Irene and Kai to retrieve, their paths naturally crossed. But as it went along he seemed to adopt Irene and Kai’s mission as his own and he sort of lost his personal motivation, instead becoming little more than a sidekick.
In the end, I can’t decide if I liked this book or not. I was really excited about the set-up of the universe and the sheer imagination it took to make it work. The story itself felt really lacking. This is something that can be fixed in future books, so I may one day pick up the sequel and give it a shot.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the copy of this book!