Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1)” as Want to Read:
Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris #1)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  5,569 ratings  ·  1,079 reviews
Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of the secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. Libriomancers are gifted with the ability to magically reach into books and draw forth objects. When Isaac is attacked by vampires that leaked from the pages of books into our world, he barely manages to escape. To his horror he discovers that vampires have ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by DAW
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Libriomancer, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Libriomancer

Cold Days by Jim ButcherKing of Thorns by Mark  LawrenceA Perfect Blood by Kim HarrisonFair Game by Patricia BriggsTricked by Kevin Hearne
Science Fiction & Fantasy Titles for 2012!
31st out of 653 books — 1,493 voters
Cold Days by Jim ButcherThe Blinding Knife by Brent WeeksThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussTricked by Kevin HearneA Perfect Blood by Kim Harrison
Adult Fantasy & Sci-Fi 2012
37th out of 426 books — 835 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I love it when I pick up a book and it surprises me.

What's even better, is when I pick up a book and it's got some sort of fresh idea, something I've never read in a book before.

Even more than that, I like it when I pick up a book and it's clever through and through.

When a book does all three of these things.... well.... Then I end up telling my friends and writing gushy goodreads reviews.

Now I'm not surprised that I liked Jim's book. I've read some of his other stuff, and even got a little
Oct 31, 2012 Carol. rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: arachnophiliacs
Recommended to Carol. by: book o'month
I'm enchanted by the idea behind Libriomancer--really, what book lover wouldn't be? Mass reading/belief in a book enables specially trained book-loving readers, known as 'libromancers,' to bring parts of the book into life. Widely-read readers will be further amused by multitudes of book references, creating a little nudge-wink action.

Short summary: Isaac is in the library cataloging books when he is attacked by angry Sanguinarius Meyerii (aka 'sparklers'). They're looking for information behi
i read this because the author wrote this:

and because I thought I'd quite like to read a fantasy written by someone who isn't blind to white, het, male privilege.

well, i'm glad i did.

a hyper-dense, info-dumpy start turned out not to be much of an impediment to my enjoyment at all; this thing went up like a rocket, and never came back down.

great action, great nods to great books, and a heroine who isn't an emaciated underwear model.

what's not to love?

and t
In our crazy, ranking-obsessed world, it is sometimes hard to remember that those three stars up there are not absolute, but a loose representation or summation of many different factors, and that three stars here and three stars there does not necessarily mean that all of those factors line up. I have given books I enjoyed a lot more than this one the same ranking, and books I liked a lot less a better one. Because context matters.

And in this case, that context included, perhaps, the worst prof
Taking place in Michigan, Libriomancer posits a new form of magic that appeals to bibliophiles everywhere. Founded by Guttenburg himself, the porters possess the ability to magically reach into books and retrieve items created in the story by the author. What happens when vampires go rogue and begin attacking the porters? Isaac Vainio, librarian to the porters, must find out who is behind the attacks and why they are happening to prevent a war between the porters and the vampires. He enlists the ...more
Aug 10, 2012 Steven rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: writers, fantasy fans, genre fans
Abook for those who love books from any angle!

Highly recommended to fantasy fans and those who just love a fun yarn (with more teeth behind the ideas than you expect).

This book is so much fun that I don't want to say much in this review to spoil the ride for anyone. Let's just say that by page 80 or so, I was hooked.

Also, the idea of a dryad in the passenger seat (and a vampire in the trunk) of a magicked-up sports car with the title character conjured up Kurt Russell's monologues from Big Trou
Brandon Zarzyczny
I went into this book not expecting too much, when I read the blurb it just sounded really goofy, but since my library had it and I'd read some good reviews I decided to try. It turns out I was pleasantly surprised, as I actually really enjoyed the book. It's definitely very pulpy, but Libromancer is really a love-letter to Science Fiction and Fantasy books, or just books in general. The world in this book is of the normal Urban Fantasy style, it's our world, but with a magical world going on be ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Interesting book...I know I say that a lot. The thing is that here we have an excellent idea, a bit of mediocre execution some iffy characters and a decent version of a familiar plot (view spoiler).

I kind of liked much of this book. I think the magic system would fire anyone who's been a lif
Moira Russell
I really, really wanted to like this....but....

Unfortunately the "cross between Dresden and Thursday Next" is accurate, and I....don't like either of those series. I actually had a similar reaction to reading the Next books: I thought there would be a lot more literary in-jokes, and instead it was sort of focused on geeky cleverness.
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

All kids long for special powers like the ability to fly, become invisible, or read minds. And while I dabbled with dreams of soaring into the sky, it’s the ability so lovingly described in Jim C. Hines’ LIBRIOMANCER that stayed foremost in my mind even into adulthood. Libriomancy is the unbelievably cool ability to reach into books and pull out objects. Hines treats this idea of libriomancy with as much realism as possible. For example, it would make s
Kelly H. (Maybedog)
3.5 stars rounded down because I think the ending was a cop-out.

This was an interesting and unique premise which was very welcome. I liked the characters, I liked that although the main character Isaac was sort of on the outs with his agency it wasn't because he had a big mouth or was an asshole. I thought Lena was an interesting character but she was set up in such a way that she will never be free of her burdens which prevent her from being truly real.

Some good things:
Lena is the very beauti
DNF at 60%.

I'm sorry to say a book I've been really been looking forward to ended up being rather disappointing.

This started quite OK, with a very interesting premise and a promising storyline but somewhere on the way I completely lost interest in the story, so much so I can't tell you what happened in the last half hour! Yes, I'm listening to this and the narration is decent but even it couldn't save the story for me.

I might give it another chance in the future but for now I'm quits.
Executive Summary: A book whose main strength is the interesting magic system, and not the characters or story.

Audio book: Brian Eslik is a good, but not great reader. It's been several audio books now, but my recollection was he didn't really add or detract from the book at all. I think this is one of those books that choosing between reading or listening is more a matter of which works best for you rather more than anything else.

Full Review
I feel kind of bad. I had been looking forward to rea
I've said it once, I'll say it again. Jim C. Hines is America's answer to Terry Pratchett.

I love the world in this book. It's a world any biblophile will recognize and long to inhabit. In this world, you can take things, like say a lightsabre, from books. It's Thursday Next in reverse. Hines has taken what all readers wish and turned it into a good adventure story.

Our hero Issac thought he was retired, but then some sparkily vampires show up. And as we all know, a sparkily vampire is not a good
I won this book on a Goodreads Firstreads Giveaway!

I hate when you post a well-thought out review and it doesn't save and you have to start from scratch.

I just finished this book and I really enjoyed it. I loved the new concepts of magic coming from books. I loved the interaction between Isaac and Lena. The story was well thought out and it flowed well, the dialogue was great, and the character development was good. There was some mild language, but not enough for me to quit reading the book. I
Mogsy (MMOGC)
Originally posted at The BiblioSanctum.

This was a book I had high hopes for, ever since finding out what it was about. At some point in our childhoods, I'm sure all of us bibliophiles have wished that the worlds in our favorite books were real, and wondered what it would be like to interact with with its characters and objects.

This book features a magic system that plays around with the general basis of that idea. The protagonist Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of a secret organization
Ranting Dragon

I first heard about Libriomancer a few years ago while attending a panel that included Jim C. Hines at a convention, and I fell in love with the idea of it. As time passed and the book came closer to completion, every time I heard more about it, I wanted it more. It’s an urban fantasy with comic elements from a writer already known for doing excellent comic fantasy (such as Jig the Goblin series and the Princess series).

Isaac Vainio is a small town librari
I really wanted to like this book. Well, obviously I did, or I'd never have bought it. Jim Hines seems like a good guy, I enjoyed the Goblin books, the premise of this book is fabulous, and the opening sample on Amazon was a lot of fun. But I ended up having two main problems: firstly the characters are a bit shallow, I never had a real sense of who the characters were, what they wanted from life, a feeling that they existed outside of the plot of this novel. This is kind of ironic since this bo ...more
A man walks into a fight and he is armed and dangerous. His weapons of choice are…books. SciFi and Fantasy paperbacks to be more precise, tucked away inside larger-on-the-inside pockets. His main allies are a kick-ass dryad who can shape any wooden object into a WMD and a devoted spider with…spidey senses and the ability to set things (including itself) on fire.

The man is called Isaac Vainio and he is a Libriomancer, a member of a secret organisation founded centuries ago by Gutenberg (the inven
Isaac, is a young man, a libromancer who has been banned from using his magical abilities. The group that oversees magical uses called The Porters thinks he is a danger. He is close to losing his mind to the characters in the books. In this world they can take you over, possess you. There is a really cool side to this, you can pull weapons, potions, and other really amazing stuff out too. Can you imagine do that ? It had my inner geek girl riveted to the pages. Many popular authors/books are dra ...more
I tried to like this, but I first had to get past the grammar. Then the errors.

Once I got past that, I had to try to get past the incredibly creepy and sexist storyline with the nymph and that was just impossible. Here is an idea: You can not develop a character by holding them up against the male protagonist and saying "Look! A Mirror! Awesome!" And making that the basis for a poly relationship is all shades of...twisted. And fails the Bechdel Test on levels that are unimaginable.

Then there w
3.5 stars. Good contemporary fantasy about a wizard whose power is being able to make things from books real. Due to a magical mishap, he's been relegated to working as a librarian in the UP (Michigan's Upper Peninsula) and not using magic... until the shit hits the fan, of course.
I found this a very entertaining read.

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a magician who can pull items out of books. He is also a librarian, and a member of a secret society dedicated to protecting the world from magic. However, due to a bad habit of not stopping to think before he does something (a trait he shares with so very many literary protagonists!), he has been pulled off active fieldwork and forbidden to use magic.

All of which changes when a bunch of "Twilight"-born vampires barge into his
I wanted to like this book a lot because Jim Hines is a classy guy. I liked it but I couldn't make myself love it.

It's an imaginative and fun story, where failed magic user and current librarian Isaac ends up battling to save the world, using books to power his magic. The basic premise was great, but it had a seriously bad case of 'First Book in a Series' syndrome, with a helluva lot of info dumping, though the little hat tips to other fantasy/sci-fi books were amusing. Unfortunately, I couldn'
Jan 05, 2013 Beth rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Beth by: Durham County Public Libraries
Shelves: brain-candy
I am really enjoying this book. It's nothing less than the fantasy of every bibliophile out there--to be able to reach into a favorite book and retrieve something really cool that would make your life a lot simpler. The story is engaging and I found myself staying up past my bedtime to read more.
Sherwood Smith
How could I have forgotten to review this? I read it in draft!

Jim Hines turns to urban fantasy--and changes all the rules. Beginning with how magic is pulled from inside books! Funny, tense, romantic, it was a real page turner. I look forward to the next adventure.
Could this be a better, adult version of Inkheart?
"fingers crossed!"
Lisa Bain
I liked it. Kind of a cross between Harry Dresden and Thursday Next.
(Full review here:

The Magic Ex Libris series is one that I can easily see myself getting hooked on, not just for the cool concept of taking things from books and the implications thereof, but for the characters, whose stories are just starting to unfold and I want to see more of them. There are clearly more mysteries to be solved, more information to uncover about Gutenberg and about Isaac’s role in things, and I can’t wait to dive into the next book and
One of the sentences from Seanan McGuire's blurb on the back cover does a really good job of summing this book up. "Libromancer is smart, silly, and deadly serious, all at the same time." It's really just great fun.

It's concept is like the idea in Heinlein's The Number of the Beast that when enough people believed in a world it created it, so they were able to to go to Oz and the world that Lazarus Long and Maureen were from. That was macro, this is micro. If a couple of hundred people believe
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Midnight Blue-Light Special (InCryptid, #2)
  • Three Parts Dead (Craft Sequence #1)
  • Geekomancy (Ree Reyes, #1)
  • Daughter of the Sword (Fated Blades, #1)
  • London Falling (Shadow Police, #1)
  • Fated (Alex Verus, #1)
  • Range of Ghosts (Eternal Sky, #1)
  • The Shambling Guide to New York City
  • Thieftaker (Thieftaker Chronicles, #1)
  • A Devil in the Details (Jesse James Dawson, #1)
  • The Dirty Streets of Heaven (Bobby Dollar, #1)
  • Charming (Pax Arcana, #1)
  • The Blue Blazes (Mookie Pearl, #1)
  • Death Most Definite (Death Works Trilogy #1)
  • Generation V (Generation V, #1)
Jim C. Hines' latest book is UNBOUND, the third in his modern-day fantasy series about a magic-wielding librarian, a dryad, a secret society founded by Johannes Gutenberg, a flaming spider, and an enchanted convertible. He's also the author of the PRINCESS series of fairy tale retellings as well as the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy. His short fiction has appeared in more than 40 magazines and anth ...more
More about Jim C. Hines...

Other Books in the Series

Magic Ex Libris (4 books)
  • Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris, #2)
  • Unbound (Magic Ex Libris #3)
  • Revisionary (Magic Ex Libris, #4)
The Stepsister Scheme (Princess, #1) Goblin Quest (Jig the Goblin, #1) The Mermaid's Madness (Princess, #2) Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris, #2) Red Hood's Revenge (Princess, #3)

Share This Book

“...bookstores, libraries... they're the closest thing I have to a church.” 45 likes
“Any factual errors that remain are entirely the fault of Bob, who snuck into the offices at DAW to try to sabotage my book. I hate that guy.” 12 likes
More quotes…