Review: The Masked City by Genevieve Cogman

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*This is the second book in this series. My review of the first book can be found here.

Overall Score: 9/10

Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Steampunk, Young Adult

Publisher: Roc

Release Date: September 6, 2015

Source: Bought

Book Summary (From GoodReads)

Librarian-spy Irene is working undercover in an alternative London when her assistant Kai goes missing. She discovers he’s been kidnapped by the fae faction and the repercussions could be fatal. Not just for Kai, but for whole worlds.

Kai’s dragon heritage means he has powerful allies, but also powerful enemies in the form of the fae. With this act of aggression, the fae are determined to trigger a war between their people – and the forces of order and chaos themselves.

Irene’s mission to save Kai and avert Armageddon will take her to a dark, alternate Venice where it’s always Carnival. Here Irene will be forced to blackmail, fast talk, and fight. Or face death.

Review

I loved the first book in this series, The Invisible Library, and was incredibly excited to read this one. After devouring it in one sitting, I can safely say that the sequel does not disappoint.

The story begins with Irene and Kai going about their business as Librarian-in-Residence and her assistant when the story opens. There is a small time lapse between the end of the first book and this one, however I believe that it shows how the characters have adapted to their new situations. After a successful book retrieval mission, Kai is kidnapped and the real story begins.

As Irene is forced to negotiate with dragons and Fae alike, the reader is given an in-depth view of the world that builds upon the foundation established in the first novel. It was very interesting to see how Irene navigated the world of the Fae, using their own magic to her advantage (well, most of the time). This book takes us far outside of the sphere where Irene and Kai have made their home and it is utterly fascinating to see the contrast between the dragon and Fae controlled spheres.

Much like the first novel, Irene accomplishes her goals using mostly her intelligence with a little help from magic. I think what I enjoyed the most about this book is that the damsel in distress trope was given a role reversal. The male dragon was taken captive and was powerless to escape on his own and Irene had to undertake a quest to free him.

Overall, this was a highly enjoyable book and I would highly recommend it (although I do suggest reading the first book in the series first as it establishes the world and relationships present in this novel). As for the ending, it made waiting for the third book in the series slightly torturous.

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