RogerBW's Blog

The Secret Chapter, Genevieve Cogman 26 February 2024

2019 alternate-world fantasy, sixth of its series. The world where Irene went to school is threatened by chaos, and only a particular book will save it. But that means she's going to have to deal with the Fae…

So on one level this is "the Library series does a heist plot", which could be great fun. But Cogman seems determined that her characters will never get a chance to enjoy their lives, and everyone is betrayed from all quarters, with some characters changing sides multiple times. Someone is introduced as a great traitor whom nobody should trust… and turns out, with no complication at all, to be a great traitor whom nobody should trust.

It's interesting to see more exploration of the idea of Fae gaining power but losing freedom of action as they hew closer to their chosen stereotypes, but it's a side note to the usual pattern of Irene feeling inadequate, taking charge anyway because someone has to, and ultimately prevailing. In this case the main stereotype is the James Bond villain, complete with shark tanks.

It's OK? I guess? Cogman seems to be building a Spellman-style family background of mutual distrust and spying for Irene, which Lisa Lutz did better. There's nothing here that makes me especially keen to pick up the next one, but the writing's decent and there are only two left in the series. Still, if you start getting irked about book 4 or 5 as many readers seem to have, it may be worth stopping there. (Future Roger would like to point out that he felt things improved sharply with book 7.)

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog. ["As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases."]

See also:
The Spellman Files, Lisa Lutz

Previous in series: The Mortal Word | Series: The Invisible Library | Next in series: The Dark Archive

Add A Comment

Your Name
Your Email
Your Comment

Your submission will be ignored if any field is left blank, but your email address will not be displayed. Comments will be processed through markdown.

Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action advent of code aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech aviation base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chris chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 crime cthulhu eternal cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics en garde espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 essen 2022 essen 2023 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo genesys geocaching geodata gin gkp gurps gurps 101 gus harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo 2022 hugo-nebula reread in brief avoid instrumented life javascript julian simpson julie enfield kickstarter kotlin learn to play leaving earth linux liquor lovecraftiana lua mecha men with beards mpd museum music mystery naval noir non-fiction one for the brow opera parody paul temple perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics postscript powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs ruby rust scala science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance the weekly challenge thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1