Review: The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler


“Do you remember the first time you climbed into the wardrobe with Lucy and emerged in Narnia? Flew on the back of Falkor the Luck Dragon with Bastian? Followed Alice down the rabbit hole? Welcome to your new favourite adventure.

Late one night Alice Creighton hears her father having an argument with a fairy – a snarling, bald beast with warts and needle-like teeth. It is threatening her father, insisting he accept a mysterious offer, or else.

When Alice’s father goes down in a shipwreck, she is sent away to live with distant relative Mr Geryon, owner of a huge, dark library that is off limits to Alice. After meeting a talking cat who is willing to sneak her in, Alice opens a book and suddenly finds herself inside it – and the only way out is by conquering the dangerous creatures within. Alice has stumbled into a world where all of magic is controlled by Readers through books – she must open more books, face increasingly powerful foes, be the lead character in the quest to find a happy ending.” Goodreads Description


NB: Thank you to Netgalley and Random House Children’s Publishers UK for the review copy.

The Forbidden Library is one of the best books I’ve read this year! It will definitely be on my Best Books 2014: May/June post!

The worldbuilding is amazing – I sincerely hope that there are many more books in Django Wexler’s universe. I felt like this book barely scratched the surface of the possibilities available in this world of Readers and magical books. That isn’t a bad thing though – I was given more than enough information to submerge myself right into Alice’s world. It’s just that I want more!! Badly!!

The characters were three dimensional and easy to distinguish from each other. I never got anyone confused or forgot about anyone. Even the very minor characters were well fleshed out and memorable.

The pacing was gentle, which worked very well and made a refreshing change to all the super-charged plotlines out there at the moment. But I was never bored and I found myself wanting to go back to the book and read a bit more. It kept me hooked.

The writing itself was incredible. I felt like I was really IN the places Wexler described. I got such a sense of the settings without being buried under long descriptions.

The author is clearly very talented and I can’t wait to read more! On another edition of the same book on Goodreads, it does say it’s the start of a series – yay! Hope the second one appears soon.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars ; Adult or Teen or Child, if you love books, you will love this!


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