The Lost Plot by Genevieve Cogman
Published by Ace Books on January 9th 2018
Series: The Invisible Library #4
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Steampunk
Length: 384 pages Source: NetGalley
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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...
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from NetGalley and Ace Books in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Anybody who loves books simply must love Irene Winters and the Library. In this fourth installment of The Invisible Library, Irene once again finds herself tangled in a mess. The setting? 1920s America. The players? Two dragons who are keen to steal a book and win a place of honor in their court. What follows can only be madness and mayhem, as well as all the delights followers of Cogman’s series have come to expect in these books.
I would like to preface the rest of my review by confessing a grave mistake. I have never read The Invisible Library. Or any of the books in this series. When I requested this ARC, I was short-sighted enough to miss the part where it said “fourth installment”. I want you all to know I am going into this review with no background whatsoever, because context is important. Ready?
I will admit, it took me a little while to get into the swing of things. The Language, for example, drove me bonkers until Amanda from Literary Weaponry explained to me that it was all well and covered in books 1-3 (again, I would like to repeat shame on me for requesting book 4). Once the plot was well and running and we were in the 1920s, I was completely on board. I always turn into the most obnoxious person about period books, so of course I found myself cross-referencing the internet to see if landmarks truly existed. If anyone is wondering – Genevieve Cogman does her homework. She has perfectly and brilliantly captured the Big Apple in the Jazz Age, right down to prohibition and women’s rights.
It’s not just the 1920s she gets right, however. We start in a rainy mansion surrounded by vampires, and that is properly dreary and troublesome. Followed up by the Library, which has a sense of dusty paranoia, all the settings are unique and striking. And the dragon realms are truly fantastic.
Irene is brilliant.
A particular highlight of this book was Irene getting up on a podium and lecturing about the evils of alcohol to stall for time. It’s an amazing, hilarious scene and it’s just such an excellent example of Irene’s resourcefulness. Loved it. Irene is boisterous and clever, a perfect companion to Kai’s cautious and reserved dragon personality. Really, I couldn’t be more pleased. She’s like Rey from Star Wars, like Elizabeth Bennett from Pride and Prejudice, and you really can’t help but to love her.
Of course, not every book is perfect. Compared to Irene’s shenanigans, I found Kai’s scenes fairly flat. And that is unfortunate, because in the middle of the book Kai is actually following the proper storyline while Irene’s episodes are filler. Is there something wonderful that makes fans fall for Kai in previous books? I was not entirely impressed.
Did I Like It?
You know what? Yes, yes I did. I really thought at the beginning I was going to end up hating it, but instead I got looped into Irene’s shenanigans. It was absolutely not what I was expecting.
I was also at a disadvantage, not reading the previous books, but with a little suspension of disbelief and acceptance of the fantasy elements, I’m not sure that impacted my read. I think it’s safe to say anyone could pick up The Lost Plot and be enchanted by it. I’m definitely going to add the first book on to my TBR, because I am now invested enough in Irene Winters that I want to know her whole story.
The Lost Plot will be available on January 9, 2018.
To pre-order, click any of the links below.