I hope those of you who are reading this from the US have been enjoying an extra hour of daylight this week. I have high expectations that you have all been using that extra hour for reading. Even though I have to wait a few more weeks to put my clock forward I feel I have been quite successful in my pursuit of a good book. I have decided to mix it up a bit this week by only telling you about the 2 books I read that I really enjoyed. I will leave the ones I haven't yet or couldn't finish for next week. So what did I read?
I finished The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman (Tor Books, January 2015) which is the first book of the series. Irene isn't just any ordinary librarian. She belongs to a mysterious breed of librarians who spend their days retrieving works of fiction from countless alternative realities. Irene is sent on what seemed like a fairly standard mission but this time with an apprentice in tow - the equally mysterious Kai. Irene and Kai find themselves in an alternative London and what should have been a straightforward snatch and grab. Luck is not not her side as Irene finds herself in the midst of a murder mystery and on the run from a psychopath in a reality steeped in chaos.
I have to say that this is one of the best books I have read this year. I realise it is only mid-March but I am pretty confident I will be saying the same thing in December as I am now. Cogman has created an enchanting world in which the supernatural, magical and the mundane all combine into a fantastic story. She is also a bit of a tease and really only gives us the barest hint of what life is like inside the Library, how it came into being and who is really in charge. I want to know more, more, more! I didn't have much time to fixate on the Library itself as I was equally engrossed in discovering how Irene and Kai would survive an attack of killer cyborg alligators, a near drowning in the Thames and the many other near death experiences in the alternate London. Irene is joined by number of equally interesting characters including Vale who Irene believes this world's version of Sherlock Holmes, Bradamant a fellow, rival Librarian and finally, Kai who is Irene's apprentice and who seems to be keeping a few secrets of his own. It is almost hard to believe that this is Cogman's debut novel as she has a well balanced plot with great characters in a richly textured world (or in this case worlds). I could say more...a lot more but I will leave you with this ...one of my favourite of Irene's quotes:
"She just wanted - had always wanted - a good book to read."
Irene only needs to read the The Invisible Library.
The second book I am going to share with you this week is Omega by SM Reine. This is the first in the War of the Alphas urban fantasy series and will be released by Red Iris Books in April. This book is based in the same world as Reine's Sins of Eden (The Ascension 7) but according to the author this is a stand alone series. The War of Alphas series is set in a world where a cataclysmic event called Genesis has caused the death of hundreds of thousands of people but they didn't stay dead. Like Deirdre they woke the next day very much alive but very much changed either into shapeshifters, vampires or any number of supernatural creatures. Deirdre is an Omega, but unlike the powerful omegas in other series in Deirdre's world they are the lowest of the supernatural low. Deirdre is a shapeshifter and while unable to shift she also does not feel the power of the Alpha or the need to obey their every command. This is lucky for Deirdre as she is about to go undercover into the pack of the one man - a mad man and killer - a man who wants everyone to obey him as the only alpha - Everton Stark.
I was pleasantly surprised by Omega as I haven't read any of Reine's other books. I thought that Reine's post-Genesis world was an interesting twist on the post-apocalyptic and also on the role of the omega in a shapeshifter pack. Deirdre was essentially damaged by her experiences growing up in a foster system within a world where she was considered a second class citizen. Agreeing to help the current Alpha Rylie by planting herself in Stark's camp was a significant leap in faith for Deirdre and not just because Stark is a brutal killer who doesn't feel any guilt at brutalising an already victimised Deirdre. Many of Stark's beliefs are similar to her own but she is committed to doing the right thing even though at times she isn't actually sure what that is. Deirdre is written in a convincing way and her indecision is palatable. I kept trying to convince myself that maybe Stark was misunderstood but thankfully Reine kept her characters true to themselves. The book ends with a HUGE cliffhanger and Reine is quite mean to leave me and Deirdre hanging like that. I am really looking forward to find out what happens next.
That is all for me the week. I am hoping to finish off a few books this week and look forward to telling you about these next week but until then Happy Reading.