This 2016 publication by Genevieve Cogman is a fantasy novel, the first in a series. It has been called, “… a stunning work of art that has me absolutely begging for more…” by The Fantasy Book Reviewer. I have to agree that it left me begging for more, and I have already ordered the second book which came out in September. I cared about the characters and would certainly like to continue following them and their adventures/misadventures.
Irene, one of the protagonists, is the daughter of Librarians and a “professional spy for the mysterious Library”, which is an organization that collects important works of fiction from all the different realities.
Kai is Irene’s assistant, and the mystery as to his secret/identity left me reeling as I read.
The two are assigned to an “alternate London,” whose world is “chaos infected”–meaning the laws of nature are bent by “supernatural creatures and unpredictable magic.” Irene and Kai are sent to retrieve a special book, but when arrive, they discover it has already been stolen. Mystery upon mystery and calamity upon calamity occur, including mechanical, giant alligators and the sticky business (literally) of a massive silverfish invasion which starts underfoot and climbs the walls and anything (including Irene and Kai) that gets in its way.
Beset by “sinister secret societies,” the pair learns more about their alternate world, the motivation and politics behind their mission, and each other.
This is a perfect opportunity to get in at the ground floor of an exciting, spectacular series.