Monday, 25 November 2019

The Secret Chapter

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.

I would like to remind everyone that we are not here just to obtain books for our personal reading lists. The Library is tasked with maintaining the balance between order and chaos, between the dragons and the Fae, and is bound to protect the alternate worlds they claim, and the humans living in them.

The Secret Chapter is the 6th book in the Invisible Library series and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous books. They are loads of fun though, so you should check out the series if you haven't already.

The world where Irene attended boarding school is at risk of being lost to chaos...in ten days' time. Fortunately, there's a unique book that can help anchor that world to the Library. Unfortunately The Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor is in the collection of a mysterious Fae who lives on a top secret island. When Irene and Kae secure an invite to Mr Nemo's island, they are to discover the payment required for the book is the theft of a painting and the Fae has assembled an unlikely team to perform the heist.

Irene had seen dungeons, bloodstained theatres, battlefields and conflagrations - but now she had truly experienced hell. And it was inside a minibus with four Fae and two dragons.

The Secret Chapter vibes are a mix of Bond villainy and heist plot, with the usual charm of this series. The theft of The Raft of Medusa takes the team to Vienna in a world apparently plagued by supernatural creatures. They need to keep out of the sights of CENSOR, the government organisation that hunts down all things that go bump in the night. Irene's not sure if that includes her but she doesn't want to risk finding out.

Also on the heist is an estranged dragon from Kai's extended family, they are not pleased to see each other, and four Fae representing the archetypes of gangster, gambler and getaway driver. This leads to plenty of opportunities for cheesy lines as they live up to their Fae narratives, but they also have they're touchingly "human" sides at times. The flung together team soon become a real team.

He was such a truly perfect example of the genus Thug, species American Thirties Gangster, that he had to be Fae.

However all is not as it seems and this instalment is sort of a join between series arcs. It picks up a loose end from the treaty that was signed in the previous book, but also hints at what may be in store for the future. It's quite a standalone plot though, so you could probably enjoy it by itself, even though you should read all the others. Who wouldn't want to read about Librarians hopping between alternate worlds?

You are tough dragon, You will break less easily than puny Librarian.

The Secret Chapter is published by Pan Macmillan and is available now in paperback and ebook formats. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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