Genevieve Cogman has certainly found her stride with “The Invisible Library” series. “The Burning Page,” book three in the series, takes us back to the alternate London where Irene and Kai are stationed after book one. That’s isn’t to say there is less action or that we aren’t learning about other alternates. In fact, Cogman takes us inside the inner workings of The Library itself and Kai and Irene journey to an alternate Russia.
Book three in this series is focused on Irene with Kai and Vale settling into supporting roles that seem to suit them quite well. Where book two was about Irene figuring out who she is as an individual, The Burning Page focuses on Irene the Librarian and Irene the Friend. She is dealing with moral decisions that affect The Library and its connection to the world. These decisions also force her to confront her desire to have a romantic relationship. Will Irene focus on her career or her love life? It is a question many women, real and fictional, face. While romance isn’t necessary to drive the plot forward, some of the most humorous (and embarrassing) points in the books are men fawning over Irene in their own unique ways. Cogman plays the romantic tease quite well.
The pain points from book two (the hints at a bigger plot involving The Library and the archaic language) are no longer pain points. Alberich (Irene’s Moriarty) is back and dropping hints about The Library — bringing back into question The Library’s ideals and power. And since there is a hint of romance in the air, further questions are being raised about Irene’s parentage. Perhaps this is a preview of ground that will be covered in book four.
“The Burning Page” is could be done at the conclusion of book three. While there are hints of a larger story with Alberich, The Library and Irene’s parents, Cogman did an excellent job of wrapping up the story and leaving a satisfying conclusion.
Note: Ace Roc Book shared on Twitter on March 15 that book four in the series, “The Lost Plot,” will be available for sale in late November 2017.