Harvesting fiction from different realities, as British author Genevieve Cogman puts it so well in the first book of this series, “The Invisible Library,” is grueling work, and the next four books from the pen of this veteran role-playing game writer put the exclamation point at the end of that sentence.
Fans of Cogman’s first three books will welcome the fourth, “The Lost Plot: The Invisible Library Novel” (Ace), an adventure tale soaked in 1920s-esque Chicago.
Caught in the middle of a dragon contest — read the series, or at least this book and you’ll know the significance of this — Librarian Irene and assistant Kai — note the capital L and see the previous clause — become snarled in the flapper scene after a young librarian manages to insert himself into the conflict.
That this is a no-no goes without saying, and the repercussions for the mysterious multidimensional Library, not to mention their own lives and those of the entire world in this alternate reality could be monumental.
As always, the arc of the story is a race to procure a rare book from a time out of time where chaos reigns supreme and magic is almost as rampant as the supernatural creatures that populate the earth.
Knowing that Cogman has a fifth book in the series — she teases on her website, www.grcogman.com, that as of Jan. 21 she’s turned in the first draft, solidified the title and has seen the cover art — does nothing to dampen the ending of this novel, released Jan. 9 in the United States. With a penchant for unnerving plot twists, Cogman keeps her readers guessing.
For those who like their fantasy infused with science fiction, or vice versa, Cogman’s series is a win-win. This series is not merely entertaining with its snappy dialogue, clever characterization and vast world building, it does much to entertain the subtexts of friendship, loyalty and curiosity.
Because of this, it’s in the books that “The Lost Plot” will find a solid home in the very visible libraries of her growing readership.