Book Review: THE SECRET CHAPTER by Genevieve Cogman

Title in blue surrounded by a border on yellow leather
Genre: Fantasy
Age Range: Adult
Star Rating: 4.5 stars
Series: yes - book 6



Book cover for THE SECRET CHAPTER: title in blue on yellow with octopus tentacles above

A Librarian’s work is never done, and once Irene has a quick rest after their latest adventure, she is summoned to the Library. The world where she grew up is in danger of veering deep into chaos, and she needs to obtain a particular book to stop this from happening. No copies of the book are available in the Library, so her only choice is to contact a mysterious Fae information broker and trader of rare objects: Mr. Nemo.

Irene and Kai make their way to Mr. Nemo’s remote Caribbean island and are invited to dinner, which includes unlikely company. Mr. Nemo has an offer for everyone there: he wants them to steal a specific painting from a specific world. He swears that he will give each of them an item from his collection if they bring him the painting within the week.

Everyone takes the deal. But to get their reward, they will have to form a team, including a dragon techie, a Fae thief, a gambler, a driver, and the muscle. Their goal? The Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, in a early twenty-first century world, where their toughest challenge might be each other.

Synopsis taken from Goodreads. Add to your shelves here.


A heist! We finally get a classic spy/thriller heist in a series about librarians stealing books! I was waiting for one of these, and this was everything I wanted from it. Set in a very modern, high tech world, this book felt like a James Bond movie (minus the sexism) mixed with Ocean’s 11, but with magic.

As with any good heist book, there was a great ensemble cast of characters. They all had their own motivations and secrets, fae and dragon – though that was only one component of the tensions. Their antagonisms rubbing against one another and complicating the entire process. I so admire how Cogman is able to introduce a raft of new characters each time and have them feel well fleshed out in such a short book.

Another classic heist trope in this book is “if it looks like it’s going well, then a spanner will be thrown promptly into the works.” From mysterious, shadowing pseudo-government agencies, to local gangs, the path was not smooth, with new challenges to shake the story up any time it looked like it might be getting a bit “easy” for the characters. I love the constant new problems in heists – it’s expected, but works so well to keep the stakes rising.

There were a lot of elements that felt like they were setting up ideas for later books, primarily a big cover up in draconic history. It was all embeded and playing directly into the book, primarily as motivation for one of the characters (more Indigo in future books PLEASE) but it felt like only the tip of the iceberg. I hope it plays into the later books, as that could be quite the series of revelations to shake the world!

And onto the final, currently published book! There is at least one more book to be published, though.

Read my reviews of other books by Genevieve Cogman:

The Invisible Library (this series):

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