by Genevieve Cogman
Series: Invisible Library Novel #2
Publication Date: December 3, 2015
Publisher: Pan Books
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.
I finally remembered MT had checked out a few library books for me before we went north, and that they’d be due back soon. I’d re-read The Invisible Library while we were away so I’d be freshly caught up for The Masked City.
The list of reasons I should love, love, love this series is long: the out-of-time library itself, the librarians tasked with collecting books for its collections, the magic of it all. But I don’t love it, never mind love, love, love it. I do like it, though, enough to keep reading them to see if anything grows between the series and I.
I can’t quite put my finger on what isn’t clicking with me – I’m just not connecting with the characters on a love level, I suppose, but the writing is good, the pacing is quick and there’s a lot of action. The Masked City”s plot was a disappointment to me though; other than a quick auction at the beginning, books play no part in the story – it’s all about rescuing the MC’s intern and fae/dragon politics. The former is a trope I actively dislike and the latter. fae politics, leaves me cold.
These hinderances were made up for with the setting: an alternate Venice, where the canals are clean and its always Carnivale. Cogman created a vividly drawn world that I could see play out in my head as though it were a movie. I was also captured by the author’s interpretation of the Horse and Rider, and Irene’s interactions with it at the end.
I have the third book in my library pile, and I hope it’s more book oriented than this one, but even if it isn’t, I know I can at least expect a fast paced, well written story set in a fabulous backdrop.