The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman

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A librarian – Irena and Prince Kai – a dragon, are sent on a mysterious dangerous mission to acquire an old book from Mr Nemo, a well-known collector. Irene and her companion are told they must succeed to realign and stop probable chaos in their world.

Irene and Kai are sent on this adventure to secure a deal for a rare book from Mr Nemo, they do not know why it is so important  but they have been told they have only 10 days to do it. This however, doesn’t go quite to plan and now they are in Vienna with a ragamuffin mix of dragons and fae to steal a huge painting from a high security museum for Mr Nemo. All untrustworthy individuals all have their own agenda, and reasons to complete this job.

They go about trying to organise themselves and devise a plan while avoiding detection from the security forces in Vienna. Irene is uneasy, something is not right but she has no choice but to go along with the plan, even if time is running out.

They manage to steal the painting, but predictably Irene and Kai find themselves saving not only their own skins but those of Librarians, fae and Dragons alike.

This book is a little different from the rest. It is one of a collection of books, which I have not read before, however this wasn’t problem. The author very cleverly immerses the reader into the Librarian world easily and quickly and I became enamoured both with Kai and Irene. This book is action packed with adrenaline chases equivalent to any James Bond mission.

Cogman has devised a wide selection of interesting characters, Irene especially – the strong woman protagonist is a welcome change. The rest of the characters are all weird individuals tussling with one another to plan the theft of the painting. Mr Nemo is also fascinating, a somewhat an enigma, offering minimal but exceptional clues to his true character.

This book is well written and has a fast pace to it. It is filled with humour throughout and the relationships between the characters interchange constantly with action packed adventures including heists, gambling, dragons and car chases all in equal measure. The conclusion was not at all predictable and a great ending to an enjoyable book.

The Secret Chapter is published by Pan and is available here.

Genevieve Cogman

Genevieve Cogman started on Tolkien and Sherlock Holmes at an early age, and has never looked back. But on a perhaps more prosaic note, she has an MSc in Statistics with Medical Applications and has wielded this in an assortment of jobs: clinical coder, data analyst and classifications specialist. Although The Invisible Library is her debut novel, she has also previously worked as a freelance roleplaying game writer. She is also the author of The Masked City and The Burning Page, both in The Invisible Library series. Genevieve Cogman’s hobbies include patchwork, beading, knitting and gaming, and she lives in the north of England.

Reviewed by Amanda Brightman

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