ARC Review: The Secret Chapter by Genevieve Cogman

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A Librarian’s work is never done, and once Irene has a quick rest after their latest adventure, she is summoned to the Library. The world where she grew up is in danger of veering deep into chaos, and she needs to obtain a particular book to stop this from happening. No copies of the book are available in the Library, so her only choice is to contact a mysterious Fae information broker and trader of rare objects: Mr. Nemo.
Irene and Kai make their way to Mr. Nemo’s remote Caribbean island and are invited to dinner, which includes unlikely company. Mr. Nemo has an offer for everyone there: he wants them to steal a specific painting from a specific world. He swears that he will give each of them an item from his collection if they bring him the painting within the week.
Everyone takes the deal. But to get their reward, they will have to form a team, including a dragon techie, a Fae thief, a gambler, a driver, and the muscle. Their goal? The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, in a early twenty-first century world, where their toughest challenge might be each other.

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Every new book in the Invisible Library always brings me delight and it was no different since the time I got to know the series would be extended. And obviously receiving the ARC made me very happy. What a great way to have some fun on a weekend.

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The one thing guaranteed in this series is that the story moves at a great pace, throwing one sticky situation after another at the characters, not giving them time to get complacent. This ensures that we as readers are always on our toes as well, worried what’s gonna happen next and never wanting to keep the book down. As always, there is another heist this time but involving a larger crew and I enjoyed seeing the typical heist tropes used so effectively. We get a 80s style Bond villain who is the mastermind, a master thief, a muscle, a hacker and the one running the show on the ground. It felt like watching a movie with lots of twists, not being able to guess initially who might betray whom, but ultimately figuring it all out and delighting in the knowledge. We also get us a bit more allusion to the dragon’s history which has been going on for the past couple of books now. And while I was enjoying an entertaining and predictable ride, the author completely blew my mind with the epilogue and I can only wonder what the long term consequences of those revelations are going to be.

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Irene has always been a favorite character of mine and reading more about her only made me happy. While she is her smart, witty and resourceful self when trying to get out of tricky messes, I liked getting to know her a bit more personally this time around. Her dysfunctional relationship with her parents and being involved in a task which means something personal to her showed us a bit of introspective and vulnerable side to her, and it definitely made me appreciate her more for being the kind and loyal person she is.

We see that her relationship with Kai is going well but as we’ve come to expect, it’s the slowest burn romance ever and I don’t expect that to change anytime soon. We also get quite a few Fae and Dragon cameos from the previous books, so that was fun but I missed having Vale again. The rest of the heist crew was fun to follow as well, but mostly I enjoyed watching Irene try to work with such a diverse team and figure out how to handle each of their idiosyncrasies.

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Finally, this is a thoroughly entertaining and sometimes predictable heist novel with an explosive ending and I promise you’ll have fun reading it. If you’re a fan of the series, then I would obviously recommend you to continue on this journey. If you have never read the Invisible Library series, but you love novels full of adventures and heists, supernatural creatures and an extremely smart Librarian protagonist, you should totally check this out. From the way the story ended, I hope we’ll get to know a lot more about the Library’s origins in the later books and I can’t wait.

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PS: Thank you to Ace and Netgalley for providing me with the advance copy. All opinions expressed here are unbiased and solely mine.

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