Book Review

The Untold Story by Genevieve Cogman

Return to the world of the Invisible Library for Irene’s most perilous mission yet . . .

Librarian Spy Irene is heading into danger. Not for the first time, but could this be her last? She’s tasked with a terrifyingly dangerous solo mission to eliminate an old enemy, which must be kept secret at all costs. But even more troubling news emerges. Multiple worlds are disappearing – and the Library may have something to do with it.

Determined to uncover the truth behind the vanished worlds, Irene and her friends must descend into the unplumbed depths of the Library. And what they find will change everything they know. This may be Irene’s most dangerous assignment of her hazardous career.

The Untold Story is the unputdownable eighth book in the Invisible Library fantasy series by Genevieve Cogman.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of this series, and while it’s lovely to see the tale that started in The Invisible Library brought to a conclusion, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I’m going to miss Irene, Kai, and Peregrine Vale.  That said, while The Untold Story brings the series to a close for now, Genevieve Cogman’s acknowledgements make it clear that a return to this world is entirely possible in the future, so perhaps this is AN end, rather than THE end.  Also, I’m extremely excited about Cogman’s next project which promises vampires, a reimagining of The Scarlet Pimpernel, and mayhem galore, and I can’t wait for the release of Scarlet which is currently scheduled for December.

As this is the final book in the series, I’m not going to go into the plot at all.  The Untold Story picks up where The Dark Archive left off, and sees Irene and co. placed in a(nother) difficult situation where she is once again forced to choose between doing as she’s told and following her gut instinct and doing the right thing.  It puts her in many awkward situations which will take all of her ingenuity, guile, and perhaps a little diplomacy to see her through.  As this novel does bring the series to a close, the questions raised throughout the series are answered, and it’s so nice to have my theories validated (or otherwise), suspicions confirmed, and to see it all brought to a fantastic close. 

Throughout the series, Irene has proved herself to be a worthy hero.  Brave and daring, she does what she thinks is right, and while this has caused some contention with her superiors at the Library, she has – often against the odds – come out on top.  I’ve loved seeing her develop over the course of the series and it’s no exaggeration to say that she is one of my favourite characters ever.  I’ve also enjoyed the fact that, while she often has assistance, she’s never been overshadowed by her male counterparts. Her friends may have different skills and do some things better than she does, but she has plenty of skills of her own and has saved them as many times as they’ve saved her.  She’s proven herself capable time and again and is formidable in her own right. 

Of course, few heroes work alone, and Irene’s sidekicks come in the form of Kai and Peregrine Vale.  She couldn’t have done it without them, and they’ve become stalwart friends (and more!) over the course of the series.  While not an official sidekick, I have to admit that I’ve developed a certain fondness for the irrepressible Lord Silver as well.  I wouldn’t trust him, but he’s certainly made things interesting and while I’ve questioned at times who’s side he is on (his own, for the most part) he’s had his uses.  He’s another character I’ll miss, despite some of his antics.

The Untold Story brings a fantastic series to a satisfying close.  I’ve loved every page of every book, and I can’t recommend this series enough. 

The Invisible Library Series:

  1. The Invisible Library
  2. The Masked City
  3. The Burning Page
  4. The Lost Plot
  5. The Mortal Word
  6. The Secret Chapter
  7. The Dark Archive
  8. The Untold Story

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