Irene is an unusual librarian. Her job is to steal books and bring them back to the library, a place located between alternate worlds. The librarians are tasked with finding and retrieving special books that will be kept in the library for the librarians to study.
After successfully completing a difficult assignment, Irene is hoping for some rest. However, her supervisor, Coppelia, has other plans. Irene no sooner sends an email to Coppelia telling her of the successful completion of her mission than she receives a reply telling her to prepare for another top secret assignment and to get ready to receive an inexperienced trainee. Kai, the trainee, turns out to be quite a handsome young man, and Irene begins to think that having him along may not be so bad. On their way to get more particulars on the mission, they meet Bradamant, a beautiful librarian who tries to take over the assignment and the trainee.
The assignment lands the pair in an alternate version of London in the Victorian era with magical creatures and filled with chaos. Here the pair meet Vale, a detective, and start off on a search for the book of Grimm's Fairy-tales that becomes far more dangerous than Irene envisioned.
If you enjoy fantasy liberally laced with mystery, this is a wonderful book. Irene and Kai are likable characters, although Irene seems quite bossy at times, and Kai's background is mysterious. Vale is reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes but stands out as a unique character. Altogether this is a great cast of characters, including the wicked Bradamant.
The author makes the alternate reality come to life. The writing is clear and the plot, although somewhat unbelievable, is great fun.
I received this book from Penguin for this review.