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Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris) Hardcover – August 7, 2012
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Praise for the Magic ex Libris series:
"An engaging writer who is also greatly entertaining, and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys superior worldbuilding." —Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling writer
"I picked up the book meaning to read a few pages. My first thought was, 'This is a cool concept.' The second thing I thought was, 'This is really, really clever.' The third thing I thought was, 'I should have gone to sleep three hours ago.'" —Patrick Rothfuss, #1 New York Times bestselling writer
"This may be Jim Hines' best work. Libriomancer is smart, silly, and deadly serious, all at the same time. It's a book about loving books." —Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling writer
“Hines created a system where that magic becomes real, usable, and very definitely not always safe. This is a book for everyone who has ever wanted to pull Excalibur from the page.” —Tanya Huff, bestselling author
“A rich backstory and mythology that weaves history and magic and science fiction across centuries, between cultures, and around the globe.” —Wired
"Hines supplies everything a reader needs—werewolves, ghosts, robot insects, a fire spider that eats candy, and homages to classic SF—for a very good time." —Publishers Weekly
"Bibliophiles and fantasy enthusiasts will enjoy the author's intelligent approach to both magic and literature." —Library Journal
"Hines writes joyously.... Codex Born is what would happen if a group of fantasy fans were to hole up in a room trying to develop a system of magic, saying, 'But what if THIS happened?'" —RT Reviews
"Libriomancer is any book-geek's dream come true. It is so much fun and an ode to books." —Book Smugglers
“Isaac’s story feels extremely personal and intimate, even throughout the world-changing events around him.” —SF Signal
"Hines has just scratched the surface of what he can do. And I can't wait to see what comes next." —Tor.com
“Equal parts quirky humor and serious emotional dissection.... Hines is one hell of an author.” —Bookworm Blues
“Continues to break tropes and proves that fantasy can be so much more.... Right at the top of my list of favorites along with JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, Patrick Rothfuss’ Kingkiller Chronicle, Garth Nix’s Abhorsen, and Kim Harrison’s Hollows.” —Bibliophilic Witch
“Wonderful characterizations. From a fire spider to Gutenberg himself, [Hines] makes all his characters come alive on the page.” —Errand Dreams
About the Author
Jim C. Hines has been a paid juggler, earned a black belt in two different martial arts, performed yo-yo tricks at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and lived with a brain-damaged squirrel. (Only three of those are true.) One of his earliest stories earned first place in the Writers of the Future contest. He’s published more than forty short stories as well as numerous fantasy novels, including the humorous Jig the Dragonslayer trilogy, the Princess series, which re-imagines traditional fairy-tale princesses as butt-kicking action heroines, and the Magic Ex Libris series, about a centuries-old secret society dedicated to the use and control of book magic. In 2012, he won the Hugo for Best Fan Writer. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife, two children, and an unstable number of pets. He can be found online at www.jimchines.com.
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In Jim C. Hines' 'Libriomancer', we are pulled into a world where since the 15th century certain people, libriomancers, are born with the ability to pull objects from books. Our protagonist, Isaac Vainio, a librarian in UP Michigan, has been exiled for the past two years from this order, not allowed to work magic anymore for his past transgressions. But one day vampires show up at his library and he is pulled back into the world of magic. Set on quest, with his companion Dryad and fire spider, Isaac must discover the whereabouts of Gutenberg. And if he doesn't find Gutenberg then it's quite possible that all hell will break loose.
This faced-paced gem of a book is a treat for any lover of science-fiction and fantasy. Making references to cherished books left and right (care for Sonic Screwdriver, or an enchanted healing sword, or a cordial of healing liquid?), this is a world created by an author who clearly loves books and wants to share that love with the reader by allowing them entry into many beloved worlds. The book is written well, and gives just enough answers by the end to leave you satisfied but keep you wanting more.
P.S. Ponce de Leon nearly steals the show. I want more of him.
The world building was immense. The characters were mostly well drawn. I think I connected most with the hero and his love for his pet, more than anything. There was just a tiny bit of something missing to keep me hooked to the story.
For example, I'm a "read rate thru til I"m done" sort of gal. This story I read spread out over a month, picked it up at least 5 different times and never finished it. So the hook wasn't baited strong enough to keep me engaged and caring enough. I really think I kept coming back to it to read about the stories he used for the magic elements, more than any other. And I love at the end of the book the author included a bibliography of all the titles used in the book.
I will definitely pick up the next two books in this series. I have a strong feeling each one may be better than the last.
It's pretty close. This is a wild world where any book's content can be a weapon, and everything from vampires to Smurfs just might be lurking in some back alley. Luckily it's the former instead of the latter that take up space, complete with meta references to which author's rules tell us how to stake this type. The adventures have a decent urban fantasy flow, but their main point is how many books and different uses for their power the story can rush through.
If you appreciate gaming healing potions, six flavors of energy pistol, and insect-feeding vampires called "Renfields"... you've bookmarked the right place.