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.
©2015 Genevieve Cogman (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
I've never been compelled to write a review but at the end of listening to this book, I just have to. The story is fairly predictable in terms of plot line. Not unenjoyable, but certainly it's an easy read. You can listen to this while your brain is doing other things and not miss much. But that's ok. I expect that from this genre and I still enjoy the genre. What made me almost stop listening was the voice of the narrator. Her range of tone is so limited during the narration parts of the book (as opposed to the conversational parts) that it becomes something of a repetitive singsong riff. It just about drove me crazy as I tried desperately to ignore the tone and focus on the actual words. I don't understand it because when she does conversation voices, she's not too bad. I probably will not buy the next book (if there is one) in this series because it's just too irritating.
More character development and a completely different narrator.
Please see above. The world of speech has unlimited numbers of tones to use. Use more of them.
Just want to say I'm not new to Audible. I listen to books all the time, and have literally hundreds of books in my library. It's the first time I've disliked a narration so much I felt compelled to comment. Listen before you buy this one. I hope your experience differs.
"The City of Dreams"
In some ways I liked this story a little more then book 1: the fay and dragons are detailed better and the effects of order and chaos start to be clear.
Enjoy. PS the narration is improved quiet a bit.
A bit slow to get going. (Irene visiting the dragons didn't really grip me.) But the sequence in Venice was glorious and had some wonderful character moments and spectacle. I didn’t know Kai could do that either. I continue to be amused at the pretty people throwing themselves at (she describes herself as not bad to look at but prone to fading into the background ) Irene. Clearly she has Heroic Charisma and hasn't noticed yet.
The reader does great villain voices, but puts a little gush of enthusiasm into every! single! sentence! which I found a bit off-putting. There's no tonal range for when the story gets fraught.
"Great story, disappointing performance"
No. I honestly could not stand the reader. Her different voices in general were ok, although confusing when two men were speaking to each other. But I could not get over how melodramatic her reading was. Every. Single. Sentence. Was. Dramatic. Thus when things were truly heart-wrenching, it wasn't as dramatic as it should have been because it was all on the same level.
It would probably be good for lovers of Sherlock Holmes (even though I've never actually read a Holmes story and so can't really compare) because of the good quality, intellectual, clean adventure and mystery. And generally lovers of fantasy/sci-fi.
See first question.
Can't say much without spoilers, but I would love to see the water scene in a movie. You'll know it when you get there.
Great story! But pick up the print version instead.
"Non-Carnival in Venice"
I never got into reading the first volume of this (not yet finished) trilogy, but I enjoyed listening to it, so this time, I went straight for the audio book. The narrator, Susan Duerden, did a great job again in bringing this to life, it was a joy listening to her.
What more can I say? I enjoyed the story, the world was different this time (Venice, but without the foul smells), as we entered a totally chaos infested reality, where Irene had to go in order to save Kai.
We learn more about the Fae, and about Irene's strengths and weaknesses.
It is clear, that the story doesn't end here, however, although it doesn't end in a mean cliffhanger.
If you like fantasy with Fae, werewolves, dragons, librarians, and humans, this is your book.
"can't wait for the next"
I loved it even better than the first it really captured the imagination and pulled me in
I really enjoyed this second book in the "Invisible Library" and look forward to reading the next title in the set. Enchanting story involving books, time travel, magic.
"Susan Duerden tries to hard to sound dramatic"
While I like British narrators, Susan draws outs her words too much in what I believe is an attempt to sound dramatic and it is distracting.
I was really excited when I saw this was released, but now I'm disappointed. The 1st book was much better and am sad that this one was not as good. Irene, to me, does not seem like the type of person to want to be restricted to one location as her position of Librarian in Residence would imply. She seems the sort that wants to "be free". If Genevieve changes this in later books I may pick them up.
I would have to say yes for the most part, there were times Susan drew out a word for dramatic effect that slowed down the pace where it should not have slowed.
I actually took a break from this book and listened to 2 others before completing this one, the narration bugged me that much.
While I'm not one for changes in narrator in the middle of a series, if one can be found that won't draw out her words so often, go for it please.
"Librarian-Adventurer Irene is back"
Irene, agent of the Invisible Library, is now well established in an alternate London as the Resident Librarian. Together with her apprentice, Kai, she attends a dubiously legal auction to acquire a copy of a not actually illegal book for the Library, annoying some people in the process.
When they are waylaid on the way home, they're puzzled by several aspects of this attempt to, apparently, get the book--especially by the fact that, when overcome and questioned, the thief admits to being sent by a member of the Fae, associated with the Lichtenstein embassy. It gets stranger when Lord Silver, an old adversary among the Fae, the next morning gives them an oblique and confusing warning about possible danger.
They take their limited information and set out to investigate, working separately to cover the most ground. But they've made a mistake; they've misunderstood who the threat is to. It's not Irene, either personally or as a representative of the Library, who's at risk.
It's Kai, son of a dragon king, And when Kai is lured into a trap and carried off deep into Chaos, Irene has to find and rescue him--and that means working with Lord Silver, who is no friend, but who may be, for certain limited purposes, a temporary ally.
This is a really fascinating fictional universe. The Fae represent Chaos; the dragons represent Order. Too much of either isn't good for ordinary human beings--and the Library works to maintain a stable balance between the two, in part by collecting in the Library important books from all alternate realities. The Language of the Library is the language of truth, and with it Irene can command anything non-living--with appropriate focus, and knowledge of their proper names. To some extent, she can also influence people, to a limited degree, for short periods of time, with the expenditure of a lot of energy.
None of this really prepares Irene for the alternate Venice where Kai is imprisoned, nor does it help her in dealing with Kai's rather angry uncle--another dragon king.
I bought this book.
"Fabulous series, second book is even better!"
It's possible that The Masked City was even better, that The Invisible Library. I'm positive about it. Again the narrator has done a stellar job with the character voices. Irene, Vere and Kai are fabulous, but there is just so much yumminess in this book, the whole experience is like one very decadent cake.
Irene and Kai work as stationary librarians in the dimension they helped protecting in the previous book, when a new fae player sweeps in and kidnaps Kai. Irene is frantic as Kai is dragon royalty and if something happens to him not only The Library is in trouble big time, even the world they are in is in danger from dragons' wrath. You don't mess with them, full stop. Never mind her own worry and desire to bring her friend back.
An unexpected ally helps her track Kai down, but he is in an impossible dimension at the deep end of chaos, and no one really can help her there, so her infiltration of the enemy camp is a solo mission. Enter Venice full of magic, an enchanted train and making a new legend as you go along.
The writing is lush, the action is non-stop, and the plot is devilishly clever. Irene is an awesome, resourceful but not all-powerful protagonist, and her friends are just as good in their own unique way..
I enjoyed The Masked City immensely. It wasn't afraid to go big and open our minds to many possibilities. Highly recommended to fans of Ilona Andrews duo. Something about the writing reminds me of them.
I love reading these books but I just can't stand the voice of the narrator -it's absolutely monotonous, totally void of emotion, and I keep checking that there isn't anything wrong with the recording. I had to give up and return the title. Back to the actual book!
"I couldn't stop!"
Irene's loyalty to Kai and the Library shines through this second novel. Her bravery in facing Dragons and Fae alike, speaks of her love for Kai - even if she's not ready or willing to acknowledge it.
The Masked City, just like the Invisible Library, was jam packed with action and danger leaving the reader to hold on and hope for the best.
Irene's ability to think on her feet and consider most of the consequences ahead of her actions make her a unique character, destined to become beloved among readers and formidable amongst the most powerful players of the different realities.
I cannot wait for what comes next. There is, after all still Alberich to deal with once and for all and she and Kai cannot forever ignore their attraction- but willingly have a HEA? Well, I certainly hope so! There are many successful heroes and heroines out there who have a personal and professional partnership.
Definitely another Must Buy due to the story and narration!
"Great Story, Poor Narration"
ThreThe book, definitely add it's a great story. audiobook, no add the narrator is really poor
The characters and settings are really well defined by the author
Every single line inflects up at the end add if the narrator is asking a question. Is very off putting and, for me, ruins the whole story.
"A fascinating view of a fae world"
This book exposes Irene to infiltrating a fae world, which details much about the fae nature.
Really looking forward to the third book.
"Delightful story, excellent narration"
Delightful follow up with much more focus on our intrepid heroine but corresponding less about libraries. Some of the prose was rather woolly, could have done with firmer editing.
Loved the narration, brought the chapters alive for me.
Excellent narration - you definitely come to love it if you don't at first. Never again will I read a book from a series as yet unfinished, I cannot wait for the next one. Better than the first, more surreal, clever, personal.
"loved this story"
well performed well written great and very interesting story in a fascinating series, waiting for more
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