A Fun Romp Through the Canals of Venice

Posted on February 6, 2017 «
Categories: 2016-2017 COYER, book review «
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book review masked city genevieve cogman

Book Review
The Masked City
by Genevieve Cogman

How lucky could a blogger get? I was happily approved for The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman which I enjoy quite a bit and then the publisher surprisingly approved me for book two, The Masked City, which I delayed reading for no good reason.

Where The Invisible Library fell short—lots of world building explanations that drug down the action bits—The Masked City soared. The Masked City doesn’t waste anytime jumping right into the action with Kai and Irene who are immediately swept up in dastardly Fae plot to start a war. Kai, Irene’s apprentice, is missing for most of the book and this allows Cogman to explore Irene’s character and motivations in a deeper fashion. Throughout the story, Irene is challenged and becomes quite resourceful in this latest installment in The Invisible Library series.

There are just two bits about this latest installment still niggling in the back of my head.

  1. In book one, I caught hints that the Library’s power was perhaps too powerful—that there was a bigger story behind the story. I was hoping Cogman would explore that a bit more in book two, but it was missing.

  2. Sometimes Cogman uses big words that are archaic. It is almost as if she is showing off her knowledge of the English language. I wouldn’t mind this so much if one of the Library characters, such as Irene, was using these words, but since it happens in the general text and not character dialogue or thoughts, it feels snooty.

    Some examples where I felt less than knowledgable about vocabulary.

    lambent: (of light or fire) glowing, gleaming, or flickering with a soft radiance

    demitasse: a small coffee cup

    pettifogging: placing undue emphasis on petty details

Despite these two points, I did thoroughly enjoy Cogman’s romp through a magic-infused Venice with its gondolas, masks and conniving Fae. Irene is becoming a fleshed out strong female character who is starting understand her power and place in the world. And with the world building out of the way, The Masked City flies with action and adventure.

A version of this review also appeared in The Gazette. Read it now.


The Quick Book Review

A Fun Romp Through the Canals of Venice

The Masked City

Author: Genevieve Cogman
Published on: September 6, 2016
Pages: 372
Series: The Invisible Library #2
Genres: fantasy, adult, mystery
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up
Also in this series: The Invisible Library, The Burning Page, The Lost Plot (The Invisible Library, #4)


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

About Genevieve Cogman

Genevieve Cogman got started on Tolkien and Sherlock Holmes at an early age, and has never looked back. But on a perhaps more prosaic note, she has an MSC in Statistics with Medical Applications and has wielded this in an assortment of jobs: clinical coder, data analyst and classifications specialist. Although The Invisible Library is her debut novel, she has also previously worked as a freelance roleplaying game writer. Genevieve Cogman’s hobbies include patchwork, beading, knitting and gaming, and she lives in the north of England.

(from GoodReads)



2 responses to “A Fun Romp Through the Canals of Venice

  1. Oh, yes! Thank you for reminding me to look for this! I loved The Invisible Library but didn’t realize the sequel had already been published, too, by the time I read it!