The Invisible Library #4
by Genevieve Cogman
Published on January 9, 2018 by Ace
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
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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...
I wasn’t really sure where The Lost Plot would take this series. After finishing The Burning Page last year, I felt like the series had all but wrapped up (I think it was only supposed to be a trilogy at first?).
There was a bit of a disconnect with this fourth book. Part of this may be from the length of time between reading the last book and this one, but more than that, the story felt. . . off compared to the first three books. Like when a TV show storyline wraps up but gets renewed for another season (*cough* Supernatural). Irene and Kai are still out doing their Librarian duties by obtaining rare books but this time around there are a LOT more dragons involved and all the action that comes with it.
Irene, as always, remains one of my favorite heroines. She’s cool, calm, collected, and plays a very good crime boss when she wants to. Throwing her into an alternate 1920’s New York was just plain fun to read. So far, most of the settings have either been steampunk London or a fantastical Vienna where she plays very similar roles, but this era of New York forced her to step out of her comfort zone. But I can’t say she grew much as a character beyond that, at least in my eyes. She reminds me more of a sitcom character that has something new happen each episode but you can always rely on that character to act a certain way.
You’d think that’d make this book boring but in all honesty, I absolutely loved reading it!
Cogman has a way of combining a unique idea with intriguing characters into a story you can’t put down. The Lost Plot has gangsters and dragons and Librarians (who are basically book thieves so not your typical bookworms), and in all that I never felt like it lost out on the world or character dynamics. I did miss Vale, though. If you’ve read the previous books you’ll remember him as the Sherlockian detective of Irene’s AU London. Unfortunately he only makes a brief appearance this time around so I didn’t get his quick wit thrown in the mix but that’s alright. We get Kai still.
Oh, Kai. I’ve been shipping him and Irene since book 1 and nothing’s ever come of it. The Lost Plot continues to reinforce their dynamic as work partners with a strong bond of friendship. There are hints of both wanting something more and, y’all, this is literally the SLOWEST slow burn romance I’ve ever read. Four books later and I got SOMETHING which was amazing and I just needed that so much (fingers crossed for book 5)!
In terms of the story, as I said I felt a disconnect from the first 3 books. But the Library is still in potential trouble and dragon politics become a central point. As a dragon lover, I was a fan. It expanded on the world only brought up here and there and I can see the dragons playing a role in the next book (yay!) due to a certain character and a decision made.
I don’t think this book was quite as good as the previous 3 but it was still a fabulous read and I can’t get enough of this series. Y’all definitely should check out The Invisible Library to find out where it all begins!