Irene is a Librarian, but not for just any library. The Library she works for is actually another dimension that has access to many, many others. When a specific book or iteration of a work is found, the Librarians are sent to the dimension to recover it. Sometimes Librarians are left in these dimensions as watchers, people who keep tabs on a world for when another Librarian is sent in search of a book. For this case, Irene is sent with an apprentice, Kai, to a world where chaos is a lot more prevalent than she would like. Naturally, something goes very, very wrong.
This was a genuinely delightful read. The world alone is completely fascinating to me. The notion of the Library as kind of an axis dimension where all others are in contact with it. The idea of Librarians protecting rare books and using a rare magic called The Language. Dragons being creatures of pure law and order. Fae being creatures of pure chaos. Magic combined with technology and steampunk. There was nothing about this world that I did not absolutely love!
The inclusion of the chaos made the world so much more fun, too. Just some of the very random elements that came into play would make me laugh out loud. Sometimes it was delightful absurdity, other times it was genuine "what the heck am I reading" laughter. Who could have predicted that one of the detective's enemies would have attacked him with a giant robotic centipede?
There was one scene in the book that completely derailed the story for me. I won't get into too many details but it was Irene and Kai's first full night after things went so very wrong. Suffice it to say, the dialogue, the situation, just the entire scene felt really out of place and awkward and I was tempted to put the book down at that point. Still, I am glad I continued as the rest of the book was on track and interesting.
If you are at all interested in worlds with chaos, magic, steampunk, technology, mystery, dragons, fae, evil villains and, of course, lots and lots of books, I highly recommend The Invisible Library. It has a stumbling spot or two, but is ultimately a fun read.