Review: The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman || Drug withdrawals, random kisses and annoyance

The Burning Page

The Invisible Library #3

Genevieve Cogman

book review 27.1

Librarian spy Irene has professional standards to maintain. Standards that absolutely do not include making hasty, unplanned escapes through a burning besieged building. But when the gateway back to your headquarters dramatically malfunctions, one must improvise. And after fleeing a version of Revolutionary France astride a dragon (also known as her assistant, Kai), Irene soon discovers she’s not the only one affected. Gates back to the Library are malfunctioning across a multitude of worlds, creating general havoc. She and Kai are tasked with a mission to St Petersburg’s Winter Palace, to retrieve a book which will help restore order.

However, such plans rarely survive first contact with the enemy – particularly when the enemy is the traitor Alberich. A nightmare figure bent on the Library’s destruction, Alberich gives Irene a tainted ‘join me or die’ job offer. Meanwhile, Irene’s old friend Vale has been damaged by exposure to Chaotic forces and she has no idea how to save him. When another figure from her past appears, begging for help, Irene has to take a good hard look at her priorities. And of course try to save the Library from absolute annihilation. Saving herself would be a bonus.

Irene’s adventures feature stolen books, secret agents and forbidden societies – think Doctor Who but with librarian spies.

Publisher: Pan

Published: December 15th 2016



Possible Spoilers For: The Invisible Library; The Masked City

Trigger Warning




Drug Use, PTSD

“I have spent most of my life preferring books to people,’ Irene said sharply. ‘Just because I like a few specific people doesn’t change anything.” 

I’m… disappointed. Sad. AngryI was so ready for awesomeness. Maybe it was my lack of enjoyment, but this book was significantly slower than the last two. Characters specifically two disappointed me. It was still fun, but I did put it down a few times. Took breaks. Ranted a bit. A constant plus is, of course, the covers.

Coming back from a mission gone wrong, Irene and Kai find The Library gateways aren’t working. Assigned to retrieve the book to fix this problem, they head to St Petersburg’s Winter Palace. On the way there Alberich, hell bent on getting Irene to switch sides, is causing problems. On top of all this, Vale is suffering chaos poisoning from helping rescue Kai in the last book.

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“This sense of possibility might not last, of course Nothing ever did. But she wasn’t going to spoil it by looking too far ahead. They were safe in the Library, and the Library would endure.” 

So much was happening; we get a little more dragons, we have some more Fae and so much overuse of The Language- this was annoying. I was on board with this book in the beginning. It started good, until Irene and Vale have a moment. This infuriated me. 

This one a major reason that I dropped a star. It was so unnecessary and we get one tiny chapter of Vale vaguely wondering what happened and  questioning her character which btw, what the actual fuck? Dislike of his character increased by 37%. And it is never brought up again. It is known that I don’t really care for Vale. Any affection I could have conjured disappeared completely. I just… I feel Irene’s fascination with Sherlock would make any romantic development between them unauthentic considering he’s a supposed embodiment of the character. It’s a good thing he was barely in the book.

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“Redefining oneself is something we all have to do … The only person who could ever set bounds on you should be yourself.” 

Other than this, Irene was still her smart, level-headed self. However, like I mentioned above, the overuse of The Language made situations less nail biting. Kai was also in the book, dealing with PTSD from the events from the last book.

Although… it didn’t feel like it? I don’t wan’t to sound ignorant, but I feel like suffering from PTSD is more than being obnoxiously protective of Irene and having extreme anger towards the Fae. And even then, that didn’t really last long. He’s not really in the book either, but he does save her a few times in his dragon form which was cool to see.

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We meet up with the Fae Zayanna, which I wasn’t expecting. Their dynamic in the last book interested me, though I knew it wouldn’t last since Irene was lying to her the whole time. However, I liked their weird friendship in this book. Zayanna’s character development was again unexpected but great. Even the ending between them made me a bit sad.

I haven’t really talked about the villain, Alberich, because he’s a bit forgettable. There’s a few things hinted about his and Irene’s relationship, but I need concrete facts. We still get nothing about Irene’s past or her parents and with two more books in the series, I hope it’s not info-dumped or rushed. I’m going to continue, but my hype for the next book has decreased quite a bit.


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