Sunday, February 24, 2019

The Mortal Word

The Mortal Word is the 5th entry in the Invisible Library series by Genevieve Cogman. Released 27th Nov 2018 by Berkley/Penguin on their Ace imprint, it's 448 pages and available in paperback, audio, and ebook formats.

This book combines everything I love about crossworlds fantasy, timeslip, and murder mystery with superb world building, well written dialogue, and suspense. The heroine, Irene, is a Librarian, imbued with limited power to bend reality in the alternate worlds to which she travels on assignment.

The book series has an overarching long term story arc, and though the books are all self-contained adventures, they wouldn't fare well as standalones. I heartily recommend seeking out the books in order. This is a superlative 'binge reading' series and to be honest, despite having a couple hundred books in my TBR pile, I took the time to read all 5 books in order again before starting a review.

One thing which emerged after re-reading them in order at once as opposed to reading the series piecemeal over a period of years is that Ms. Cogman has a near surgical control over the story arc. I don't have a clue what her plotting and story arc work looks like in her creative process, but there are foreshadowings from the first book on about things that eventually develop in later books. I hadn't really appreciated that when I was reading them one-per-year as they were released.  I love and admire the control and expertise which this undoubtedly requires.  On the other hand, the stories aren't rigid or tick-tock precise. There's a lot of suspense (and humor).

They're very well written with an ensemble cast of characters. The books are full of wit and humor and bookish in-jokes.  Wonderfully intelligent entertainment.

Five stars for The Mortal Word, and five stars for the series. More, please!

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes

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