Invisible Library & Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

September 9th, 2016 Kimberly Review 39 Comments

9th Sep

Today I am excited to share my thoughts on Genevieve Cogman’s Invisible Library and Masked City. These are the first two books in the fantasy series The Invisible Library. Filled with mystery and suspense we travel to alternate London and worlds filled with FAE, Werewolves, automatons, Dragons and more. This series is positively delightful.

Invisible Library & Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
The Invisible Library
by Genevieve Cogman
Series: The Invisible Library #1
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

The first installment of an adventure featuring stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies - think Doctor Who with librarian spies!

Irene must be at the top of her game or she'll be off the case - permanently...

Irene is a professional spy for the mysterious Library, which harvests fiction from different realities. And along with her enigmatic assistant Kai, she's posted to an alternative London. Their mission - to retrieve a dangerous book. But when they arrive, it's already been stolen. London's underground factions seem prepared to fight to the very death to find her book.

Adding to the jeopardy, this world is chaos-infested - the laws of nature bent to allow supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic. Irene's new assistant is also hiding secrets of his own.

Soon, she's up to her eyebrows in a heady mix of danger, clues and secret societies. Yet failure is not an option - the nature of reality itself is at stake

ADDICTIVE fantasy FED-THE-NERD mystery

In the Invisible Library, a mysterious Library exists between multiple versions of the same world that collects books. Fans of Fringe, Harry Potter and Doctor Who will slip into this world filled with spies, Fae, steampunk technology and mystery.

Five Caffeinated reasons to grab The Invisible Library

  • The stunning world building from the secret library to Irene’s quest to recover a copy of the Grimm Fairy Tales from an alternate London will have readers devouring this tale. Cogman’s writing has a delightful flow that slowly pulled me in and held me captive.
  • The characters are well-developed and unique. Irene is a professional spy for the library who is quick to piece together clues and Kai is her assistant who hides a secret. (Think Sherlock and Watson) These two work well together and more often than not I found myself laughing aloud.  She is aided by A London detective, a member of the FAE, and another librarian who wants all the glory.  Did I mention a dark nemesis spoken of only in legends who emerges testing all the players?
  • The case to recover the Grimm brother’s fairy tale led us on an exciting quest across London. We even travel in a blimp and run for our lives to avoid shifters. Cogman gave us villains, betrayal, book bugs, automatons and more that will feed your inner nerd.
  • The Library and portals, with a touch of magic had me eager for more and excited about the possibilities for this series.
  • While we learn a lot about the Library, and the case with the Grimm book was completed we are left with questions leaving me eager to return. The Invisible Library kicked off this adventurous fantasy series is a brilliant way.


Invisible Library & Masked City by Genevieve Cogman
The Masked City
by Genevieve Cogman
Series: The Invisible Library #2
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Fantasy
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The written word is mightier than the sword—most of the time...

Working in an alternate version of Victorian London, Librarian-spy Irene has settled into a routine, collecting important fiction for the mysterious Library and blending in nicely with the local culture. But when her apprentice, Kai, a dragon of royal descent, is kidnapped by the fae, her carefully crafted undercover operation begins to crumble.

Kai’s abduction could incite a conflict between the forces of chaos and order that would devastate all worlds and all dimensions. To keep humanity from getting caught in the crossfire, Irene will have to team up with a local fae leader to travel deep into a version of Venice filled with dark magic, strange coincidences, and a perpetual celebration of Carnival—and save her friend before he becomes the first casualty of a catastrophic war.

But navigating the tumultuous landscape of fae politics will take more than Irene’s book-smarts and fast-talking—to ward off Armageddon, she might have to sacrifice everything she holds dear...

ADDICTIVE mystery outofthisworld SUSPENSE

The Invisible Library continues in the Masked City as Genevieve Cogman takes us on a dangerous assignment to save not only Kai, her assistant but also whole worlds. Fast paced, with magnificent scenes the Masked City was a carnival for my soul.


Five Caffeinated reasons to read Masked City today:

  • Irene and Kai are warned by Silver that danger is afoot. While returning her latest retrieved book to the Library, Kai goes missing and Irene must begin her most dangerous assignment ever. Save Kai, save whole worlds and avoid war. She must do this all while obeying the rules of the Library. Easy peasy right?
  • Before traveling to an alternate Venice where every day is Carnival Irene visits the world Kai is from. Her she meets his Dragon Uncle. Or is it his Aunt?  Much of the book is spent with Irene as she tries to navigate a chaos-filled world. I welcomed time spent with Irene as Cogman shared the inner workings of her mind. We witnessed her invoke the language of the library and saw for ourselves its power.
  • Cogman writes vividly descriptive worlds and alternate Venice was AMAZING. From the opera house to the unique prison and waterways, it was both eerie and enchanting. She also gave us a solid understanding of the FAE and their chaos-filled worlds. It was interesting to see the political maneuvering, hierarchy, and interactions of the FAE and humans in this Venice. Wait until you see the train…and learn its story. (Squee)
  • While some complained about the pacing of the Invisible Library, such is not the case with the Masked City. The tale is action packed from the first page and at times, I was so caught up in the conflict I forgot to breath. Irene’s mission is completed so we are rewarded with a solid ending, but are left to wonder Irene and Kai’s fate.
  • The Masked City surpassed the Invisible Library from the world building to the non-stop adventure. Fans of Harry Potter will love Cogman’s imagination as we solve cases, and visit new worlds. For those who love to feed their inner geek, but are not interested in learning quantum physics, you will love the gadgets, rules, and discoveries this world has to offer.

The Masked City was completely addictive. If I close my eyes, I can still see Venice.

Magical, suspenseful and addictive! Invisible Library & Masked City by Genevieve Cogman Click To Tweet

About Genevieve Cogman

Genevieve Cogman

Genevieve Cogman got started on Tolkien and Sherlock Holmes at an early age, and has never looked back. But on a perhaps more prosaic note, she has an MSC in Statistics with Medical Applications and has wielded this in an assortment of jobs: clinical coder, data analyst and classifications specialist. Although The Invisible Library is her debut novel, she has also previously worked as a freelance roleplaying game writer. Genevieve Cogman’s hobbies include patchwork, beading, knitting and gaming, and she lives in the north of England.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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39 Responses to “Invisible Library & Masked City by Genevieve Cogman”

  1. Bookworm Brandee

    I’ve never heard of these books but I’ll be looking for them. I really like the sound of the characters and the vivid world-building. I could tell from your first sentence about Masked City that its pace was more exciting. I’m so happy you enjoyed these and introduced me to them, Kim!

    Bookworm Brandee recently posted: Review ~ Lady Luck ~ Kristen Ashley
  2. Heidi

    I am really happy to hear that you liked the second better than the first. I enjoyed the first, but I felt like it was a bit slow, I do have the second and now that I know it exceeds the first I am much more excited to read it.

  3. Greg

    I liked the first one and now I’m anxious to get to the Masked City! An alternate Venice with fae and all that- yes please. 🙂

    Greg recently posted: Night School
  4. Cyn

    This series is new to me but it sounds amazing! Because seriously, as if mystery and suspense and alternate London wasn’t enough, there’s werewolves, automatons and dragons?! (and Faes, but I don’t usually care for them too much haha). Glad to see this was a great read! Lovely review, Kim!