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A blog about books and other things speculative

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Review: The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman


The Secret Chapter
Author:  Genevieve Cogman
Series:  The Invisible Library Novel 6
Publisher: Ace, January 7, 2020
Format:  Hardcover, Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages
List Price: US$26.00 (HC); US$16.00 (TP); US$11.99  (eBook)
ISBN:  978059317844 (HC); 9781984804761 (TP);  9781984804778 (eBook)

Review: The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman
Time-travelling, dimension-jumping, Librarian-spy Irene and dragon-prince Kai will have to team up with an unlikely band of misfits to pull off an amazing art heist—or risk the wrath of a dangerous villain with a secret island lair.

A Librarian’s work is never done, and Irene is summoned to the Library. The world where she grew up is in danger of veering deep into chaos, and she needs to obtain a particular book to stop this from happening. Her only choice is to contact a mysterious Fae information-broker and trader of rare objects: Mr. Nemo.

Irene and Kai make their way to Mr. Nemo’s remote Caribbean island and are invited to dinner, which includes unlikely company. Mr. Nemo has an offer for everyone there: he wants them to steal a specific painting from a specific world. But to get their reward, they will have to form a team, including a dragon techie, a Fae thief, a gambler, a driver, and the muscle. Their goal? The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, in an early twenty-first-century world, where their toughest challenge might be each other.



Melanie's Thoughts

This instalment of the Invisible Library series is a librarian version of Ocean's 11 meets the Italian job with a little of the Thomas Crown Affair thrown in for good measure. Irene is barely afforded the time to rest after the traumatic events of the last story where she helped to broker a deal between the dragons and fae. Her mission, this time, is to obtain a specific book or else the World in which she spent her teenage years will fall into chaos. Unfortunately, the key to finding this book rests in the hands of an information broker - Mr. Nemo. Before he gives up the secret to the book he wants Irene to steal a painting from another world. Irene won't be doing this on her own. She has a crack team at her disposal, each with their own specialism - a thief, a gambler, the muscle, a computer geek and a driver. If they return the painting to Mr. Nemo within a week he will give them something from his collection.  For Irene it's the book she desperately wants. Irene is not normally a 'team player' but she has to cooperate with the others or she has no chance of stealing the painting let alone surviving the mission.

This book seems to signal another change in direction for the series. Books 1-3 focused on the Alberich plotline. Then the direction changes in Books 4 and 5 which leads up to the confrontation between the fae and dragons. Then Book 6 (The Secret Chapter) is different again, where Irene is joined by Kai and a couple of 'players' in order to complete the mission. The only things that are consistent through all novels are Irene, the Library and Kai. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the story. I did. However, that is due to how much I like Irene and Kai and less about the plotline which I found quite predictable in comparison to other stories. Cogman really focuses on stereotypes and the roles that people play in life and the plot lends itself to this theme. I feel that if Cogman represented her characters in colour then everyone apart from Irene and Kai would been in black and white.

Cogam also introduces us to Irene's parents. They are both typical and atypical parents. Irene is unique as she has grown up with the Library but didn't spend a lot of time with her parents as they were off on their own book retrieval missions. The fact that they weren't always around doesn't stop Irene's parents from acting like typical parents and the scenes they are together are quite humorous. Typically being introduced to someone's parents gives you a better idea of what they are like as a person. As we have already spent 5 novels with Irene I don't think there is much about this character that we don't already know and while amusing it does seem more like her parents are a plot device rather than developing Irene's backstory and character.

Overall, this is another solid instalment in the Invisible Library series. I do, however, worry that Cogman has lost the over-arching plot arc. As much as I love Irene, Kai and friends I don't want this to continue to be one off, semi-standalone series with no end in sight.

Melanie's Month in Review - December 2018


Melanie's Month in Review - December 2018


I can't believe December has come and gone and we are now in 2019. I think time is flying at warp 9! Pretty soon it will be time to tell you what I read in January. I am a bit tardy with this post as too much merriment over the holidays meant that I didn't have time to write this when I thought I would.  I did however, manage to read a couple of good books so lets get to it!


Melanie's Month in Review - December 2018
First up is Genevieve Cogman's The Mortal Word which is the 5th instalment in her Invisible Library series. Irene is enjoying her new life - stealing books for the Library, helping her friend - the great detective Peregrine Vale and enjoying the company of her former apprentice/hunky dragon prince Kai. After almost dying at the hands of the evil Alberich things are looking up...well almost.

After centuries of fighting the Fae and the Dragons are going to make peace and the Library have been asked to mediate the summit where the historial peace treaty is due to be signed. When one of the Dragon delegation is found murdered Irene and the Great Detective are brought in to steal a book and solve the case. Sounds easy? It never is. Irene and friends are in a race against time to find the book, identify the murderer, get the treaty signed and not get killed in the process.

I do love this series, as who doesn't want to work for an invisible library that has portals to alternative worlds? Also, Irene is a great female lead and barely ever needs Kai or Vale to rescue her. However, I was a bit hesitant about reading book 5 as I didn't love book 4 - The Lost Plot. In my opinion, The Mortal Word is a stronger book than its predecessor as I felt the plot picked up elements of the 'Alberich' plot arc and used them effectively. Alberich has a small part to play in the nefarious happenings at the peace summit that both develop Irene as a character and highlight the changes in the Library since he tried to destroy it back in book 3 - The Burning Page. Through the plot we get to learn more about the background and society of the Fae and Dragon races and of the Librarians which makes Cogman's world (or worlds) much more rich and interesting. The ending does feel like it is the actual ending of the story but I believe Cogman will be publishing more books in this series so more opportunities for Irene to get into trouble. Overall, this book was very entertaining as it had just about everything you need for a satisfying read - great characters, a good murder mystery (I only guess quite near the end who 'dunnit'), the right amount of action, and some humour.


Melanie's Month in Review - December 2018
I discovered in my trawl through Kindle recommendations that the next instalment of Bec McMaster's London Steampunk: The Blueblood Conspiracy  - To Catch a Rogue had been released. With their leader captured by the ultimate baddy - Balfour the Company of Rogues find themselves in the Crimson Court all the way in Russia. Joining them on this dangerous mission is Lark who we meet in the original London Steampunk series. She has been brought onto the mission by the Rogues' youngest member Charlie who broke her teenage heart and who was responsible for the death of her beloved caretaker - TinMan. Lark also has a few secrets to hide herself and the Crimson Court is the last place that she wants to be. Can she keep her secrets and help to save the Duke before it's too late?

You can't beat one of McMaster's London Steampunk series if you need something quick to read that has a distinct formula so know what to expect. The Company are down to their nearly final member to get teamed up in a 'I used to hate you now I love you' romance. This time it was Charlie who needed to be paired up with some romantic entanglements and the only other teenager who fit the bill was Lark. While Lark's secret past had some depth to it the romance with Charlie was a bit lacking. Both characters are in their late teens so all the 'heaving and throbbing' was a out of place with these virginal teens. If I was the Duke I wouldn't have been too happy that my captivity at the hands of my arch enemy was lengthened because Charlie and Lark had some serious flirting to do.  One of my fave characters from the previous series plays a part but I won't let it slip who that is. This is a bit of a filler story and I wonder if this is down, in part, to how many books McMaster releases in a single year. The story felt bitty and rushed. I hope that she spends more time with book 5 and impassive Duke Malloryn.


Melanie's Month in Review - December 2018
The final book I have to tell  you about is Todd McAulty's The Robots of Gotham. This has been sitting on my TBR for some time and I thought I needed to give it some space between it and the last book I read about robots taking over the world - Sea of Rust. These two books are nothing alike, luckily!

In McAulty's world sentient robots have taken over much of the world forming governments in some countries and as dictators in others. The US has been torn apart by the war of the machines with Manhattan annexed into a robot monarchy and other parts are under foreign rule. Barry Simcoe is in occupied Chicago when a rogue machine almost kills him and many others. This attack set of a chain of events that will change Barry forever. During the drama that unfolds following the robot attack Barry befriends a Russian medic in the Venezuelan military and a damaged robot 19 Black Winter. Barry unwittingly discovers a robot conspiracy to kill off the rest of humanity by releasing a deadly plague. Barry and his two new friends need to work together to stop this from happening and to try to uncover who is behind it all. It's an epic race against time for not just Barry but the rest of the humanity as well.

I am still a bit tired out from reading The Robots of Gotham as there is so much action and intrigue that I couldn't put it down. The chapters are rather long and filled with action and plot developments so it isn't an easy book to read while commuting. I would often find myself reading while walking down the street so I could get to a natural break in the plot....not easy especially when you are walking down busy London streets!

I loved Barry as a character and he is supported by a great cast of both human and robot companions. 19 Black Winter was hardly your typical robot so prepare yourself for his caustic sense of humor and witty responses to some of Barry's questions. Apart from Barry, I thought it was the non-human characters in this story that are the most interesting. Even though you know who the ultimate baddy is McAulty keeps you guessing until the very last pages to find out if Barry will save the day. It's tense! You have been warned. This was a great book and bit of a surprise how much I liked it. Looking forward reading more about Barry and hopefully 19 Black Winter.


That is all for me for 2018. I hope you enjoyed this post and the new format to my mini-reviews. Until the end of January, Happy Reading!





The Mortal Word
An Invisible Library Novel 5
Ace, November 27, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

Melanie's Month in Review - December 2018
In the latest novel in Genevieve Cogman’s historical fantasy series, the fate of worlds lies in the balance. When a dragon is murdered at a peace conference, time-travelling Librarian spy Irene must solve the case to keep the balance between order, chaos…and the Library.

When Irene returns to London after a relatively straightforward book theft in Vienna, Bradamant informs her that there is a top secret dragon-Fae peace conference in progress that the Library is mediating, but that the second-in-command dragon has been stabbed to death. Tasked with solving the case, Vale and Irene immediately go to 1890s Paris.

Once they arrive, it seems that the murder victim had uncovered evidence suggesting that he may have found proof of treachery by one or more Librarians. But to ensure the peace of the conference, some Librarians are already hostages in the dragon and Fae courts. To save the captives, including her parents, Irene must get to the bottom of this murder – but was it dragon, Fae, or even a Librarian who committed the crime?”





To Catch a Rouge
London Steampunk: The Blue Blood Conspiracy 4
Lochaber Press, October 30, 2018
eBook, 409 pages

Melanie's Month in Review - December 2018
An impossible heist. A thief and a rogue. But will she steal his heart, instead?

The Company of Rogues finally knows the identity of the mastermind behind a plot against the queen—but their enemy is still one step ahead of them. When he kidnaps one of theirs, the Rogues plan a daring rescue mission that will lead them into the heart of the bloodthirsty Crimson Court.

It's a job for a master thief, and there's nothing Charlie Todd likes more than a challenge. To pull off the impossible, Charlie needs a crew, including the only thief who's ever been able to outfox him.

He broke her heart. But now she must risk it all to save his life...

Lark's spent years trying to forget her past, but the one thing she can't ignore is the way a single smile from Charlie still sets her heart on fire. When he proposes they work together again, it feels just like old times, but she has one rule: this is strictly business.

It's Charlie's last chance to prove he can be trusted with her heart. But Lark's keeping a deadly secret. And as passions are stirred and the stakes mount, it might be the kind of secret that could destroy them all...





The Robots of Gotham
John Joseph Adams/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, June 19, 2018
Hardcover and eBook, 688 pages
Trade Paperback, June 4, 2019

Melanie's Month in Review - December 2018
A thrilling adventure in a world one step away from total subjugation by machines.

After long years of war, the United States has sued for peace, yielding to a brutal coalition of nations ruled by fascist machines. One quarter of the country is under foreign occupation. Manhattan has been annexed by a weird robot monarchy, and in Tennessee, a permanent peace is being delicately negotiated between the battered remnants of the U.S. government and an envoy of implacable machines.

Canadian businessman Barry Simcoe arrives in occupied Chicago days before his hotel is attacked by a rogue war machine. In the aftermath, he meets a dedicated Russian medic with the occupying army, and 19 Black Winter, a badly damaged robot. Together they stumble on a machine conspiracy to unleash a horrific plague—and learn that the fabled American resistance is not as extinct as everyone believes. Simcoe races against time to prevent the extermination of all life on the continent . . . and uncover a secret that America’s machine conquerors are desperate to keep hidden.

The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman - GIVEAWAY!!!


The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman - GIVEAWAY!!!


Penguin Random House is celebrating the upcoming release of Genevieve Cogman's next novel, THE MORTAL WORD, with a giveaway of the entire Invisible Library series to one lucky winner. 

This giveaway runs from November 12th - November 23rd, 2018. Read the rules and enter at Penguin Random House HERE!





The Invisible Library Series

The Invisible Library
An Invisible Library Novel 1
Ace, June 14, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman - GIVEAWAY!!!
Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.

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…

FEATURING BONUS MATERIAL: including an interview with the author, a legend from the Library, and more!




The Masked City
An Invisible Library Novel 2
Ace, September 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman - GIVEAWAY!!!
Librarian-spy Irene and her apprentice Kai are back in the second in this “dazzling”* book-filled fantasy series from the author of The Invisible Library.

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….




The Burning Page
An Invisible Library Novel 3
Ace, January 10, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman - GIVEAWAY!!!
Librarian spy Irene and her apprentice Kai return for another “tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure,” (A Fantastical Librarian) third in the bibliophilic fantasy series from the author of The Masked City.

Never judge a book by its cover…

Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency of finding both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle…

Irene’s longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.

With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her…




The Lost Plot
An Invisible Library Novel 4
Ace, January 9, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman - GIVEAWAY!!!
After being commissioned to find a rare book, Librarian Irene and her assistant, Kai, head to Prohibition-era New York and are thrust into the middle of a political fight with dragons, mobsters, and Fae.

In a 1920s-esque New York, Prohibition is in force; fedoras, flapper dresses, and tommy guns are in fashion: and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon political contest. It seems a young Librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can’t extricate him, there could be serious repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war.

Irene and Kai are locked in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They’ll face gangsters, blackmail, and the Library’s own Internal Affairs department. And if it doesn’t end well, it could have dire consequences on Irene’s job. And, incidentally, on her life…




The Mortal Word
An Invisible Library Novel 5
Ace, November 27, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 448 pages

The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman - GIVEAWAY!!!
In the latest novel in Genevieve Cogman’s historical fantasy series, the fate of worlds lies in the balance. When a dragon is murdered at a peace conference, time-travelling Librarian spy Irene must solve the case to keep the balance between order, chaos…and the Library.

When Irene returns to London after a relatively straightforward book theft in Vienna, Bradamant informs her that there is a top secret dragon-Fae peace conference in progress that the Library is mediating, but that the second-in-command dragon has been stabbed to death. Tasked with solving the case, Vale and Irene immediately go to 1890s Paris.

Once they arrive, it seems that the murder victim had uncovered evidence suggesting that he may have found proof of treachery by one or more Librarians. But to ensure the peace of the conference, some Librarians are already hostages in the dragon and Fae courts. To save the captives, including her parents, Irene must get to the bottom of this murder – but was it dragon, Fae, or even a Librarian who committed the crime?”




About Genevieve Cogman

Genevieve Cogman is a freelance author, who has written for several role-playing game companies. She currently works for the NHS in England as a clinical classifications specialist. She is the author of The Invisible Library, The Masked City, The Burning Page, and The Lost Plot.

Website  ~  Twitter @GenevieveCogman

Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018


Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018


Welcome to 2018! I hope that everyone had a great time on New Year's Eve and that 2018 will bring health, happiness and some really great books. I am also sending warm wishes to all my North American chums who are experiencing the weather bomb (get it..warm wishes?& tee hee). I hope that the power stays on and stay tucked up at home under a duvet with a good read.

I would love to be able to tell you about a book that was published in 2018 that I have read in 2018 but alas, I am not that organised. Instead I have books that were published last year that I either read last year or just finished. I have also been busy reading the SPFBO 2017 finalists from other blogs so bear with me!


Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018
I am a big fan of the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. I have reviewed each of the previous three books and have loved the very notion of an invisible library where the librarians like Irene work as covert operatives obtaining rare books. The first three books built up the plot arch of the evil Alberich who wanted to bring down Irene and the Library however, that plot was resolved at the end of book 3. In this instalment Irene and Kai are caught in the middle of two dragons who are competing to obtain a rare book and a prominent place in the dragon hierarchy. Irene is determined to keep the Library neutral and maintain the balance of power between the dragons and the fae, if it kills her....and it just might.

The setting of this instalment, The Lost Plot, is an alternative 1930's style Chicago with a heady mix of the mob and prohibition thrown in for a dash of authenticity. Irene and Kai's race against time to stop the Library becoming embroiled in dragon politics is well developed and executed. The allies, enemies and frenemies that help and hinder their progress are delightfully stereotypical and I couldn't decide which enemy I liked more. Irene and Kai's relationship takes a new turn and one that kind of surprised me given the events of a slightly romantic nature during book 3. While I thoroughly enjoyed this instalment it felt like it was out of sequence with the other books as the plot arch was resolved in the last book. It felt like Cogman had more of Irene's story to tell but hadn't done that planning upfront. It was just a bit jarring with all the build up to the resolution to the Alberich plot and then he barely features in this one. While you can't/shouldn't read books 1-3 out of sequence The Lost Plot could really be read at any point or as a stand alone novel. I really liked this book but can't say that I loved it. If Cogman had taken elements of The Burning Page and merged it with The Lost Plot then it would have been the perfect book.


Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018
The second book I would like to tell you about is Bec McMaster's Heart of Fire which is the first instalment in her new Legends of the Storm series. I read quite a few of McMaster's books and I like some more than others. I have to admit that I wasn't really that drawn to this book based purely on the book description. I was on a city break to Oslo and doing a lot of travelling and really needed something that didn't need 100% of my concentration. Heart of Fire fit that bill.

In this instalment we are introduced to Freyja is her town's social outcast who spends her time taking care of her invalid father. When the local dreki (aka dragon) steals her last ram Freyja decides to take action and puts herself on a dangerous path. Freyja doesn't realise that the very dreki that steals her last ram is the very same hotty (Rurik) that she meets in a local village. It's not long before Rurik ingratiates himself into the beautiful Freyja's life, while keeping his real identity secret places her in great danger. Will love survive? Will they survive? I will leave it to you to find out.

Heart of Fire is one of those books that you don't need to invest a lot of time or effort into as the plot is quite straight forward and the characters rather one dimensional. The 'goodies' are very good and the baddies are very bad but it is a very quick, easy read and sometimes your brain just needs something that is nice and easy to digest.


There you go, my first WIR of 2018. I hope to be back next week to tell you about what else I have read so until then Happy Reading.





The Lost Plot
An Invisible Library Novel 4
Ace, January 9, 2018
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018
After being commissioned to find a rare book, Librarian Irene and her assistant, Kai, head to Prohibition-era New York and are thrust into the middle of a political fight with dragons, mobsters, and Fae.

In a 1920s-esque New York, Prohibition is in force; fedoras, flapper dresses, and tommy guns are in fashion: and intrigue is afoot. Intrepid Librarians Irene and Kai find themselves caught in the middle of a dragon political contest. It seems a young Librarian has become tangled in this conflict, and if they can’t extricate him, there could be serious repercussions for the mysterious Library. And, as the balance of power across mighty factions hangs in the balance, this could even trigger war.

Irene and Kai are locked in a race against time (and dragons) to procure a rare book. They’ll face gangsters, blackmail, and the Library’s own Internal Affairs department. And if it doesn’t end well, it could have dire consequences on Irene’s job. And, incidentally, on her life…


Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018
Book 1
Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018
Book 2
Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018
Book 3





Heart of Fire
Legends of the Storm 1
Lochaber Press Pty. Ltd., December 14, 2017
eBook, 260 pages

Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018
The old eddas speak of dreki—fabled creatures who haunt the depths of Iceland's volcanoes and steal away fair maidens.

Freyja wants none of such myths. Dreki seducing young ladies? Ha. They probably eat such foolish girls. But when the local dreki steals her last ram—costing her any chance of feeding her ill father through the winter—Freyja intends to confront the fearsome myth.

Sentenced to a life of exile from his clan, Rurik is fascinated by the furious woman who comes to claim her ram. She reeks of mysterious magic and challenges him at every step. He intends to claim the passionate firebrand, but to do so he must take mortal form. It's the only time the dreki are vulnerable, and with a dragon-hunter arriving on the shores of Iceland, he can barely afford the risk—but lonely Freyja, with her elf-cursed eyes and pragmatic soul, tempts him in ways he's never felt before. Is she the key to reclaiming his heritage? Or will she be his downfall?

Don't miss any of the Legends of the Storm books!
1. Heart of fire
2. Storm of Desire (coming 2018)
3. Clash of Storms (coming 2018)

Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017


Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017


Happy January! I can't believe that is my first WIR of 2017 already. Hopefully, I will have lots of fantastic books to tell you about this year. I am going to give you the review 'sandwich' again. For those of you who aren't familiar with this it's the same concept as giving feedback - good news, bad news, good news. I have used this before on my WIR and here it is again. So what did I read?


Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017
I will admit that I read Genevieve Cogman's The Burning Page back in October when I received it via NetGalley. However, I couldn't tell you about it as it won't be published until January 10th. I was really having to bite my tongue not to let anything slip out....or should I say bite my fingers? Anyway, I was really looking forward to the next instalment of the Invisible Library series and Cogman doesn't disappoint.

In this instalment The Library is in lockdown. Librarians are being killed, doors to the library are being rigged to explode...and worse and it's all down to Library's arch nemesis Alberich. Our favourite Librarian Irene is still on probation after the events of the previous book but that doesn't stop her and her side kick Kai from finding themselves in more danger than they can handle. Alberich is determined that the Library dies and Irene with it so she will need every trick up her sleeve and the help from her friends to keep both herself and her beloved Library from falling to Alberich's malevolent plot.

I love this series and The Burning Page is very good. I enjoy the growing friendship between Irene and Kai and we learn more about the inner workings of the Library in this instalment. It is very action packed with Irene pulling off one escape after another from the evil Alberich. However, I didn't love it as much as I have loved books 1 and 2. Where I felt the teeniest tiniest let down was Irene's dubious choice of romantic partner. It just didn't seem like something she would do or someone she would be attracted to and came out of the blue. I also thought it could have easily been the final instalment of the series so I am a bit concerned what future books will hold when the over arching plot seems to be wrapped up. I am really splitting hairs though as it was quite good.


Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017
For the middle of this review sandwich was Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners by Larry Correia and John Ringo. I started this new spin off series focussing on the memoirs of the monster hunter Chad back in December and I found book 1 Grunge a bit disappointing. However, I almost gave up on book 2 partway through. What I liked about the original series was that Owen was very likeable and I liked him and the other supporting characters. In contrast Chad is egotistical, maniacal womaniser and quite frankly a bit of a jerk. The plot consisted of - kill monster, eat bourbon chicken or barbeque (he has moved to New Orleans now), pick up a lady, kill monster, repeat. It was just a tad dull. I don't think I will continue with this series.


Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017
Book 3 of this WIR was a real book! The lovely Qwill sent me a care package and in it was Belle Chasse by Suzanne Johnson. I don't often read actual books anymore so this was a real treat..plus it was hardback so made it even more 'treatier'. This is book 5 of the Sentinels of New Orleans and the now unemployed wizard DJ has been shot, has a death sentence hanging over her and is in hiding in the Beyond. A war is about to break out between the wizards, the Fae and the Elves and guess who is caught in the middle? DJ is desperate to clear her name, keep her pregnant friend safe and get back in the arms of her hunky shapeshifter boyfriend.

I enjoyed Belle Chasse and I definitely loved the cover. I don't think I liked it quite a much as the other books. I felt this was a bit of a filler book and not a lot happens until the final few pages and even so this didn't really advance or resolve the over arching plot that much. I am not saying that nothing happened but I felt that Johnson could have been a bit bolder in drawing this series to a close. I am a bit worried it will continue and continue and continue with not much happening apart from DJ saying how much she misses New Orleans. Although, Johnson doesn't mess around and bad things still happen to good people in this instalment so definitely worth a read. Plus love the cover!


That is it for me for my first WIR of 2017. I have read a couple of crackers this week that I am looking forward to telling you all about next week. Until then Happy Reading!





The Burning Page
The Invisible Library Novel 3
Roc, January 10, 2017
Trade Paperback and eBook, 368 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017
Librarian spy Irene and her apprentice Kai return for another “tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure,” (A Fantastical Librarian) third in the bibliophilic fantasy series from the author of The Masked City.

Never judge a book by its cover…

Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency of finding both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle…

Irene’s longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.

With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her…





Monster Hunter Memoirs: Sinners
Monster Hunter Memoirs 2
Baen Books, December 6, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 304 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017
A NEW NOVEL IN THE MONSTER HUNTER MEMOIRS SERIES. TWO AUTHORS, WHO COMBINED HAVE OVER FOUR MILLION BOOKS IN PRINT AND 10 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERS, TEAM UP TO EXPAND LARRY CORREIA'S MONSTER HUNTER UNIVERSE!

NIGHTMARE IN THE BIG EASY

With New Orleans out of control, Chad Oliver Gardenier, one of Monster Hunter International’s premier hunters, has been dispatched from Seattle to reinforce the beleaguered members of MHI'S Hoodoo Squad in their fight against the darkness.

Chad had once taken a werewolf while wearing only jogging gear. With half a dozen or more loup garou appearing every full moon, mysterious shadow demons, houdoun necromancers, fifty-foot bipedal crocodiles showing up every couple of months and more vampires than a Goth concert, New Orleans in the '80s gives a whole new perspective to the term “Hell on Earth.” In fact, more monsters are popping up than crawfish at a fais do do! Chad may be able to collect enormous bounties for the monsters he kills. But there’s one catch: he has to stay alive to do it!





Belle Chasse
A Novel of The Sentinels of New Orleans 5
Tor Books, November 8, 2016
Hardcover and eBook, 336 pages

Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017
Suzanne Johnson's "strong and intriguing" (Publishers Weekly) urban fantasy series continues with Belle Chasse. The Sentinels of New Orleans series has earned starred reviews from Library Journal ("a resourceful heroine who relies on her magical ingenuity") and PW ("vivid...a lively tale jam-packed with action, magic, and intriguing plot twists").

With the wizard-elven treaty on the verge of collapse, the preternatural world stands on the brink of war. Unless former wizard sentinel DJ Jaco manages to keep the elven leader, Quince Randolph, focused on peace and not personal matters.

With no one on the throne, Faerie is in chaos, with rival princes battling for power. The still-undead pirate, Jean Lafitte, is building his own army of misfits, and DJ—stripped of her job and hiding in the Beyond to avoid the death sentence handed down by the wizard Council of Elders—can’t get anywhere near her beloved New Orleans or her significant something-or-other, Alex.

It's time to choose sides. Friends will become enemies, enemies will become allies, and not everyone will survive. DJ and her friends will learn a hard lesson: sometimes, even the ultimate sacrifice isn’t enough.

Interview with Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library


Please welcome Genevieve Cogman to The Qwillery as part of the 2016 Debut Author Challenge Interviews. The Invisible Library made its US debut on June 14th and is published by Roc.



Interview with Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library




TQ:  Welcome to The Qwillery. When and why did you start writing?

Genevieve:  I think the first time I consciously wrote a story for no other reason than that I wanted to write it was when I was somewhere in my teens at school. It was a story about half a dozen famous detectives (Holmes, Miss Marple, Sir Henry Merrivale, Ellery Queen, etc) being murdered one by one by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle so that he could write a new bestseller. It wasn’t a very good story…



TQ:  Are you a plotter, a pantser or a hybrid?

Genevieve:  Hybrid. I generally know the beginning and end and what the story’s basically about, and I have some of the major scenes roughly sketched out, but a lot of other parts are “to be filled in” or “at this point Irene escapes by some clever method I have yet to work out” or similar.



TQ:  What is the most challenging thing for you about writing?

Genevieve:  I think it would be sitting down and actually doing it. I could daydream all day. (People will probably say that I *do* daydream all day.) Actually putting it into words on paper is harder.



TQ:  What has influenced / influences your writing?

Genevieve:  I am afraid this involves a really long list. Everything from classical crime fiction (Sherlock Holmes, Judge Dee, lots of Golden Age stuff) to Tolkien, to other fantasy writers (Zelazny, Le Guin, Moorcock, others…), to Hong Kong martial arts movies and wuxia, to Japanese anime, to English tv series like Doctor Who and The Avengers and Sapphire and Steel … I will pick up good ideas and good style wherever I can find them.



TQ:  You've written for several role-playing companies. How has this influenced (or not) your novel writing?

Genevieve:  It’s improved my writing style in general, and it’s helped me think in critical ways about what I want to achieve in a piece of text, or how I want to convey an idea. It’s also helped me think about the wider implications of ideas which I include in the story. This is because you may put something into a role-playing supplement as a minor detail, but then find that the people actually using that supplement for play will follow it through to game-affecting conclusions. This has led me to be careful when making definite statements about character abilities or background history of the universe – I don’t want to write myself into a corner later, or to have a situation where I have to explain why character X can’t take obvious course of action Y.

Also, in more pragmatic terms, previous writing for role-playing companies has helped me to learn how to accept and use an editor’s comment, and how to set myself writing quotas and stick to them.



TQ:  Describe The Invisible Library in 140 characters or less.

Genevieve:  Heroine librarian steals book with dragon and Sherlock Holmes while dodging libertine Fae, unscrupulous colleague, and skin-stealing traitor.



TQ:  Tell us something about The Invisible Library that is not found in the book description.

Genevieve:  There are few book thefts that cannot be conveniently arranged, and without loss of time, either by posing as a housemaid, enlisting London’s greatest detective, or attending the Ambassador to Liechtenstein’s ball while claiming to be a newspaper reporter. (to misquote Ernest Bramah)



TQ:  What inspired you to write The Invisible Library? What appeals to you about writing Fantasy with Time Travel and Adventure?

Genevieve:  I’ve always liked multi-world concepts. The idea of a mysterious library with connections across time and space (well, space at least) has come up in many sources: Terry Pratchett (L-Space), Neil Gaiman, the French role-playing game INS/MV… I added my own twist to it, putting it midway between order and chaos (again, other people like Michael Moorcock and Louise Cooper have used those tropes) and I hope I’ve created something new and amusing.



TQ:  What sort of research did you do for The Invisible Library?

Genevieve:  Mostly online, for details about Victorian London, the British Museum, and so on: though since this was a steampunk world with other scientific advances, I only kept the bits which I felt suited the story. I did also do some reading about crime and about the police force in Victorian London, but to be honest those were books which I already had and which I’d read for enjoyment rather than for specific research in this case.

I also reread my way through the Sherlock Holmes stories, to try to get a grip on a certain character’s speech patterns…



TQ:  Who was the easiest character to write and why? The hardest and why?

Genevieve:  In many ways Lord Silver was the easiest character to write, since he is a walking stereotype. (And proud of it.) Vale was often the hardest, because I was specifically imitating a famous fictional character, and I wanted to get it right.



TQ:  Which question about The Invisible Library do you wish someone would ask? Ask it and answer it!

Genevieve:  I did wonder if anyone would ask about the relationship between Vale and the elder Miss Olga Retrograde. She’s actually a distant cousin of his. Vale dislikes her as much as he dislikes almost all of his family. He was avoiding her as much as possible during Silver’s party.



TQ:  Give us one or two of your favorite non-spoilery quotes from The Invisible Library.

Genevieve:

“I should hope so,” he [Silver] said. “I’ve invited all the best people. Lords, ladies, authors, ambassadors, debauchers, grave-robbers, perverts, sorcerers, courtesans, deranged scientists, and doll-makers. And a few innocent socialites, of course, but generally I receive polite notes of refusal from their parents – or invitations to be horsewhipped.”
“Invitations?” Irene said.
“Notes offering to horsewhip me in front of my club if I even approach their daughters.”



TQ:  What's next?

Genevieve:  I’m currently writing book four and planning book five. Book three (The Burning Page) is in the copy-edit stage. It’s astonishing to think that I’ve come this far. Irene and her friends continue to get into trouble. Fae are not always bad: dragons are not always good: Librarians frequently end up running away from things. (I could tell you more, but the ninjas would come after me.)



TQ:  Thank you for joining us at The Qwillery.

Genevieve:  Thank you for the questions, and I hope that you enjoy the book.





The Invisible Library
The Invisible Library Novel 1
Roc, June 14, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

Interview with Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library
Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.

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…

FEATURING BONUS MATERIAL: including an interview with the author, a legend from the Library, and more!


See Melanie's review of the UK edition here.





About Genevieve

Interview with Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library
Genevieve Cogman is a freelance author who has written for several role-playing game companies. She currently works for the NHS in England as a clinical classifications specialist. She is the author of the Invisible Library series, including The Burning Page, The Masked City, and The Invisible Library.


Website  ~  Twitter @GenevieveCogman






Upcoming

The Masked City
The Invisible Library Novel 2
Roc, September 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 384 pages

Interview with Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library
Librarian-spy Irene and her apprentice Kai are back in the second in this “dazzling”* book-filled fantasy series from the author of The Invisible Library.

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….




The Burning Page
The Invisible Library Novel 3
Roc, December 6, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 336 pages

Interview with Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library
Librarian spy Irene and her apprentice Kai return for another “tremendously fun, rip-roaring adventure,” (A Fantastical Librarian) third in the bibliophilic fantasy series from the author of The Masked City.

Never judge a book by its cover…

Due to her involvement in an unfortunate set of mishaps between the dragons and the Fae, Librarian spy Irene is stuck on probation, doing what should be simple fetch-and-retrieve projects for the mysterious Library. But trouble has a tendency of finding both Irene and her apprentice, Kai—a dragon prince—and, before they know it, they are entangled in more danger than they can handle…

Irene’s longtime nemesis, Alberich, has once again been making waves across multiple worlds, and, this time, his goals are much larger than obtaining a single book or wreaking vengeance upon a single Librarian. He aims to destroy the entire Library—and make sure Irene goes down with it.

With so much at stake, Irene will need every tool at her disposal to stay alive. But even as she draws her allies close around her, the greatest danger might be lurking from somewhere close—someone she never expected to betray her…

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman


2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman


The Qwillery is pleased to announce the newest featured author for the 2016 Debut Author Challenge.


Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library
The Invisible Library 1
Roc, June 14, 2016
Trade Paperback and eBook, 352 pages

2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman
Collecting books can be a dangerous prospect in this fun, time-traveling, fantasy adventure from a spectacular debut author.

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…

FEATURING BONUS MATERIAL: including an interview with the author, a legend from the Library, and more!

Melanie's Week in Review - December 20, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review  - December 20, 2015


Despite the hubbub of getting ready for Christmas and travelling for work I did actually manage to finish a couple of books this week. Hurrah! It means I am back on Santa's 'nice' list. So what did I read?


Melanie's Week in Review  - December 20, 2015
I was very excited when I found The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman on NetGalley. You may remember back in March I read Cogman's UK debut The Invisible Librarywhich I loved. I was really excited when I discovered that the second instalment was available. Book two starts in the same chaos filled alternative London where the last adventure was set. The action starts early when Kai is abducted by a mysterious fae who has plans to use him to start a war between the fae and the dragons. As Kai's family aren't able to enter the world where he is being held means that Irene and the inspector Vale are his only chance at rescue. Irene is determined to save him and stop a war regardless what the cost. Saving Kai will take every skill that Irene has honed while in service of the Library in the highly chaotic alternate Venice where Kai is being held and where the carnival never stops.

I thoroughly enjoyed The Masked City although the Library seemed to feature less in this book than it did in the previous and although Irene is too busy rescuing Kai to have time to 'procure' books for the Library. Cogman treats us to a background of the dragon race and Kai's family. We also learn more about the fae and their societal hierarchy which was interesting as a contrast to the dragons. This is done mainly through Lord Silver who featured in book 1. Silver is your fairly typical creepily arrogant antagonist who you can't help but enjoy reading about. Inspector Vale is also back in this alternative London's alternative Sherlock Holmes. There seemed to be a lot more action in this instalment with Irene's many and frequent brushes with the story's various baddies. Cogman doesn't make it easy for Irene in her search and rescue of Kai and she does something that I found surprising and out of character. I thought this was an interesting turning point for Irene and demonstrates that Cogman has plans to fully develop her lead character. My one tiny criticism is that I thought the book ended too abruptly. If I had been reading a paperback I would have checked that a few pages hadn't fallen out. I guess this must makes me start to look forward to book 3. A great read nonetheless.


Melanie's Week in Review  - December 20, 2015
Book number 2 is a December debut -  The Lady Who Lived Again by Tomasine Rappold, which is the first novel in the Sole Survivor series. Madeline Sutter has been leading a sad and lonely life after being the only young girl to survive a tragic accident that kills all but one of her friends. Rather than celebrating that she survived the inhabitants of the small town of Misty Rivers have treated her like an abomination when she appeared to come back from the dead. Madeline didn't just survive she developed an extraordinary ability to heal injuries and illnesses. Already an outcast Madeline has kept this new skill a secret. Madeline is determined to be alone until a handsome new doctor Jace Merrick comes to town. Fate plays a big hand in ensuring Madeline doesn't stay alone when she ends up in a sham engagement to the hunky doctor. Can she keep her secret hidden or more importantly can she resist her growing affection for Dr. Merrick?

I was looking forward to a nice easy read and >The Lady Who Lived Again certainly fit the bill on that front. Madeline's story was certainly a sad one but I didn't really warm to Jace as his backstory made him sound like a bit of a whiner. I also thought that given the time period that it would be highly unlikely that Madeline would have started a sexual relationship as quickly as she did. Although the limp that she had for most of the story seemed to disappear after she jumped into the good doctor's bed. He must have incredible powers in the boudoir! Overall, I found the story a little bit dull and didn't really buy into Madeline and Jace's romance. I love the cover though...gorgeous!


That is it for me this week. Don't forget about my teeny tiny survey about the future of my Week in Review. Don't miss out having your say. I hope everyone has a super fantastic holiday. Just one more WIR for 2015 so until then Happy Reading and Happy Holidays!


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The Masked City
The Invisible Library 2
Pan, December 3, 2015
Paperback and eBook, 368 pages
(Not yet published in the US)

Melanie's Week in Review  - December 20, 2015
The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman is a wonderful read for all those who enjoyed Mr Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan, Jasper Fford's The Eyre Affair or Ben Aaronovitch's Rivers of London.

Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he's been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.

Kai's dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people - and the forces of order and chaos themselves.

Irene's mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it's always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

* CONTAINS BONUS EXTRA CONTENT - SECRETS FROM THE LIBRARY*


Note that The Invisible Library will be published in the US/Canada on June 14, 2016 by Roc and is eligible at that time to be featured in the 2016 Debut Author Challenge. It will be followed by The Masked City on September 6, 2016, and The Burning Page on December 6, 2016.




The Lady Who Lived Again
Sole Survivor 1
Lyrical Press, December 8, 2015
Trade Paperback and eBook, 256 pages

Melanie's Week in Review  - December 20, 2015
Madeleine Sutter was once the belle of the ball at the popular resort town of Misty Lake, New York. But as the sole survivor of the community’s worst tragedy, she’s come under suspicion. Longing for the life she once enjoyed, she accepts a rare social invitation to the event of the season. Now she will be able to show everyone she’s the same woman they’d always admired—with just one hidden exception: she awoke from the accident with the ability to heal.

Doctor Jace Merrick has fled the failures and futility of city life to start anew in rural Misty Lake. A man of science, he rejects the superstitious chatter surrounding Maddie and finds himself drawn to her confidence and beauty. And when she seduces him into a sham engagement, he agrees to be her ticket back into society, if she supports his new practice—and reveals the details of her remarkable recovery. But when his patients begin to heal miraculously, Jace may have to abandon logic, accept the inexplicable—and surrender to a love beyond reason…

Melanie's Week in Review - March 15, 2015


Melanie's Week in Review - March 15, 2015


I hope those of you who are reading this from the US have been enjoying an extra hour of daylight this week. I have high expectations that you have all been using that extra hour for reading. Even though I have to wait a few more weeks to put my clock forward I feel I have been quite successful in my pursuit of a good book. I have decided to mix it up a bit this week by only telling you about the 2 books I read that I really enjoyed. I will leave the ones I haven't yet or couldn't finish for next week. So what did I read?

Melanie's Week in Review - March 15, 2015
I finished The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (Tor Books, January 2015) which is the first book of the series. Irene isn't just any ordinary librarian. She belongs to a mysterious breed of librarians who spend their days retrieving works of fiction from countless alternative realities. Irene is sent on what seemed like a fairly standard mission but this time with an apprentice in tow - the equally mysterious Kai. Irene and Kai find themselves in an alternative London and what should have been a straightforward snatch and grab. Luck is not not her side as Irene finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery and on the run from a psychopath in a reality steeped in chaos.

I have to say that this is one of the best books I have read this year. I realise it is only mid-March but I am pretty confident I will be saying the same thing in December as I am now. Cogman has created an enchanting world in which the supernatural, magical and the mundane all combine into a fantastic story. She is also a bit of a tease and really only gives us the barest hint of what life is like inside the Library, how it came into being and who is really in charge. I want to know more, more, more! I didn't have much time to fixate on the Library itself as I was equally engrossed in discovering how Irene and Kai would survive an attack of killer cyborg alligators, a near drowning in the Thames and the many other near death experiences in the alternate London. Irene is  joined by number of equally interesting characters including Vale who Irene believes this world's version of Sherlock Holmes, Bradamant a fellow, rival Librarian and finally, Kai who is Irene's apprentice and who seems to be keeping a few secrets of his own. It is almost hard to believe that this is Cogman's debut novel as she has a well balanced plot with great characters in a richly textured world (or in this case worlds). I could say more...a lot more but I will leave you with this ...one of my favourite of Irene's quotes:
"She just wanted - had always wanted - a good book to read."
Irene only needs to read the The Invisible Library.


Melanie's Week in Review - March 15, 2015
The second book I am going to share with you this week is Omega by SM Reine. This is the first in the War of the Alphas urban fantasy series and will be released by Red Iris Books in April. This book is based in the same world as Reine's Sins of Eden (The Ascension 7) but according to the author this is a stand alone series. The War of Alphas series is set in a world where a cataclysmic event called Genesis has caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people but they didn't stay dead. Like Deirdre they woke the next day very much alive but very much changed either into shapeshifters, vampires or any number of supernatural creatures. Deirdre is an Omega, but unlike the powerful omegas in other series in Deirdre's world they are the lowest of the supernatural low. Deirdre is a shapeshifter and while unable to shift she also does not feel the power of the Alpha or the need to obey their every command.  This is lucky for Deirdre as she is about to go undercover into the pack of the one man - a mad man and killer - a man who wants everyone to obey him as the only alpha - Everton Stark.

I was pleasantly surprised by Omega as I haven't read any of Reine's other books. I thought that Reine's post-Genesis world was an interesting twist on the post-apocalyptic and also on the role of the omega in a shapeshifter pack. Deirdre was essentially damaged by her experiences growing up in a foster system within a world where she was considered a second class citizen. Agreeing to help the current Alpha Rylie by planting herself in Stark's camp was a significant leap in faith for Deirdre and not just because Stark is a brutal killer who doesn't feel any guilt at brutalising an already victimised Deirdre. Many of Stark's beliefs are similar to her own but she is committed to doing the right thing even though at times she isn't actually sure what that is. Deirdre is written in a convincing way and her indecision is palatable. I kept trying to convince myself that maybe Stark was misunderstood but thankfully Reine kept her characters true to themselves. The book ends with a HUGE cliffhanger and Reine is quite mean to leave me and Deirdre hanging like that. I am really looking forward to find out what happens next.

That is all for me the week. I am hoping to finish off a few books this week and look forward to telling you about these next week but until then Happy Reading.


Review: The Secret Chapter by Genevieve CogmanMelanie's Month in Review - December 2018The Invisible Library Series by Genevieve Cogman - GIVEAWAY!!!Melanie's Week In Review - January 7, 2018Melanie's Week in Review - January 8, 2017Interview with Genevieve Cogman, author of The Invisible Library2016 Debut Author Challenge Update - The Invisible Library by Genevieve CogmanMelanie's Week in Review  - December 20, 2015Melanie's Week in Review - March 15, 2015

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