REVIEW: The Burning Page (The Invisible Library novel #3) by Genevieve Cogman
Burning page (Invisible Library book three)
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 to find 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…
As the blurb tells you, in this book Irene is initially stuck on probation, which has been imposed on her by the Library — by one of the Senior Librarians, actually, but this appears to be the same thing. It is book three and I still have no idea if Library as an institution has some sort of intelligence or people acting in Library’s name pretty much means that these people ARE Library. What this means is that she and Kai get the suckiest /most dangerous jobs for several months. Have I mentioned how happy I was that Kai was with Irene instead of being tortured as he was in the whole second book? I guess I really like him as a character.
This book is just as action-packed as the others. Very early in the book Irene realizes that something is wrong with the Library because she and Kai are having a lot of trouble trying to get back after an assignment. Somebody is blocking the entrance points between this world (and as it turns out from other alternate worlds as well) to the Library.
Eventually they make it back and learn that the whole Library is under attack. Alberich is back, and as we know from the first book, he has shown himself to be a very dangerous and evil adversary, somebody whose knowledge and skill outmatch Irene’s.
After attending an emergency meeting of the Librarians, Irene and Kai have to attempt another dangerous assignment. They now know for sure that while Alberich is happy to destroy the whole Library, he is also specifically targeting Irene because of what he thinks she may have learned from a certain book she had in her hands in Book One. Alberich thinks that Irene learned something about his past which he himself really wants to know as well. Irene does not possess this knowledge, but she also realizes that if she were to insist on that, Alberich is not likely to believe her.
Irene and Kai are reluctant to leave their friend inspector Vale alone while they go on assignment because after rushing to help Irene save Kai in Book Two he is not in the best shape – the worlds where Chaos is strong are dangerous for humans and Vale is struggling to overcome his chaos contamination. Irene and Kai do not have much choice, however, and they have to go. One of Irene’s Librarian colleagues promises to visit Vale and there are other people who supposedly will keep an eye on him.
I am not going to tell you how Irene and Kai’s assignment plays out, but I do not think it is a spoiler to tell you that in this book Irene has another confrontation with Alberich. I really like that it was made very clear in the first book that Irene is no match to him skills-wise, and Irene was and is afraid of him after what he did to her in Book One, but she is still trying to hold her ground and fight him.
I have heard that supposedly five books are planned in these series, but I think the story could easily conclude after this third book. Except for hints of romantic attraction between Irene and Kai and Irene and Vale (which did not go anywhere), the story seemed quite complete to me.
To be honest, even though I am happy that Irene takes her role of Kai’s mentor seriously and does not sleep with him for that reason, I am at the point where I would not mind a secondary romance storyline if there are more books in this series. And considering that there were clear mentions that Irene is attracted to Vale as well, I would be okay with books without a main romance – yes, I hate love triangles very much.
I was very happy that the author continued to include humorous touches in the narrative. All of the books have some extras – instructions to the librarians, or some extra trivia about this universe — and this is part of the instructions to the librarians:
“We also wish to make it absolutely clear that Librarians should not attempt to use the Library to transport dinosaur eggs. And if they do disregard this rule, under no circumstances should they draw official in-world attention while doing so. In fact, we wish to remind all Librarians that they are here to collect books, not dinosaurs. Those Librarians who have problems distinguishing between the two should take a refresher course in Library basics.”