Review: The Lost Plot series hits
The Invisible Library series has finally achieved success with "The Lost Plot", the fourth book in the series. Irene and Kai are finally coming back when Cogman becomes familiar with their voices and the complex world he has built involving multiple versions of the known world with various chaos intervals involving manipulative fae and order involving dragons who love the control.
The last three books in the series dealt mainly with fae and chaos, their involvement in each of the alternative worlds created by Cogman. The reader's exposure to the dragons or to the order of the universe occurred mainly through Irene's interactions with Kai and some members of his family. "The Lost Plot" deals directly with the politics of dragons and, as a result, readers learn more about the background of dragons and their political machinations, which eventually add more depth to the world and more problems for Irene and Kai.
In "The Lost Plot", Irene and Kai are caught between two dragons who are trying to get a prominent place. There is much light on how the dragons order their world and how the hierarchy will rise in the ranks. Obviously, this causes some friction because Irene and Kai need to keep a low profile because of their library duties while trying to prevent an alternative version of the Chicago Prohibition era from being torn to shreds. But, as often happens, situations that occur rarely allow Irene and Kai to maintain their low profile and this alternative version of Chicago presents some interesting ways to hide while remaining in front and in the center.
Cogman fills "The Lost Plot" with colorful characters and even Irene must take on a more colorful role as a famous female crime boss. Since the Chicago version in "The Lost Plot" is set during Prohibition, there are several clashes with suspect police and rival crime bosses. The best tropes of the prohibition era shine everywhere - there is a bold escape from an easy speech, a restless interrogation by the police and a quiet moll that is more than it seems. All these elements are intertwined to create a narration with a tight rhythm.
This latest installment of The Invisible Library series moves away from the current Alberich plot in the first three books. While at the end of Book 3 it seemed that Alberich had gone forever, he offered some of the deeper insights about Irene and the history of the Library. There are suggestions on "The Lost Plot", many of which come directly from Irene, which perhaps readers have not seen the last of Alberich, Irene's own personal Moriarity.
"The Lost Plot" could be read as a novel in its own right. Irene and Kai work together on a unique mystery, solve and are ready to move on to the next adventure. At the end of the story, there seems to be little connection with the large weft strings found in books one, two and three. Ultimately, "The Lost Plot" is full of action like any good story involving the era of Prohibition in America. The novel ends quickly with Irene and Kai passing on their next adventure, which currently has no release date.