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Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris #1)

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3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,703 Ratings  ·  1,459 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
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Christine Johnson
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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Science Fiction & Fantasy Titles for 2012!
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Patrick
May 13, 2012 Patrick rated it it was amazing
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
...more
Carol.
Jun 29, 2015 Carol. rated it liked it
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
...more
julio
Mar 20, 2014 julio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
i read this because the author wrote this: https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog...

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
...more
j
Feb 07, 2013 j rated it liked it
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
...more
Phrynne
Jun 07, 2015 Phrynne rated it really liked it
I picked this book up in a book sale because it looked interesting although I had not previously heard of the author. Well I am very glad I did because it was really good. It has many similarities with the Dresden Files except this magician is a librarian and all his magic is drawn from books. That aspect of it reminded me of the Thursday Next books by Jasper Fforde. So this book reminds me of two of my favourite series - of course I liked it! There are lots and lots of literary references throu ...more
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.
Marci
Jul 29, 2012 Marci rated it really liked it
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
Marianne
Mar 12, 2016 Marianne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Libriomancer is the first book of the Magic ex Libris series by American author, Jim C. Hines. Isaac Vainio works in a small-town library, spending the day cataloguing books. But Isaac is no ordinary librarian: while he may be forbidden to use magic, he is a Libriomancer, a Porter and member of Die Zwelf Portenaere, founded by none other than Johannes Gutenberg.

A few remnants of his time as an active Libriomancer remain: a rather special black 1973 Triumph convertible, and a fire-spider named S
...more
Brandon Zarzyczny
Dec 05, 2012 Brandon Zarzyczny rated it it was amazing
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
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
Steven
Aug 10, 2012 Steven rated it it was amazing
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
...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
...more
TheBookSmugglers
Aug 15, 2012 TheBookSmugglers rated it really liked it
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
...more
Desinka
Jan 16, 2015 Desinka rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook
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.
The Holy Terror
I actually finished this a little while ago but I'm slacking on reviews. I started the next book immediately after though so that should tell you something.

One of the most clever ideas for a series I've read in a long time.

Review to come.
Sandra (LadyGrey Reads)
2015 Book Awards: Hero of the Year Runner-Up
Awarded to Isaac Vaino
(information about this award is available on my profile)

I need more books about geeky heroes!

This story centers around Isaac, a librarian who has the power to pull things out of books. Yes, it's a bit like Inkheart but the rules of what can be pulled and the consequences are different in this story. Anyway; Isaac is a part of a magic organisation run by the real Johannes Gutenberg, though for the past two years Isaac has been sus
...more
Rob
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 re
...more
Chris
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
...more
Amber
Feb 22, 2015 Amber rated it it was amazing
Shelves: librarybooks
Issac Vainio is not your average Librarian. He has a Spider that can set fire to stuff as a pet named Smudge and he is a wizard that can pull objects out of books and bring them to life called a Libriomancer. When vampires attack him at his library, it is up to him, Smudge, and his friend a tree nymph named Lena Greenwood to find out why the vampires are attacking all the Libriomancers and find out what dark force is behind it all before he loses his sanity altogether. Will he succeed? Definitel ...more
Carolyn
Nov 14, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy

This is a fun book based on a novel system of magic. Isaac Vanio is a libriomancer, which means he can reach into books and extract magic items to use in the real world. This is extremely useful when you are fighting vampires and need a magic weapon or are injured and need a magic potion. Isaac specialises in books from Fantasy and SciFi genres and knows his books well. Libriomancy was founded by Gutenberg at the same time that he invented the printing press and by way of making himself immortal
...more
Veronica
2.5 stars

This story about the magic found in books (and don't we all know that already?) and the men and women, libriomancers, who can wield it started off well. The premise was exciting and fun and full of possibilities. Unfortunately, the magic seemed to get bogged down in itself at times and overall it was one deux ex machina after another. That's not an uncommon device, especially in the urban fantasy genre, but this book took it to the extreme and it wore thin pretty quickly. The main chara
...more
Ranting Dragon
Aug 21, 2012 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: janea
http://www.rantingdragon.com/review-o...


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
...more
Anna
Feb 19, 2013 Anna rated it it was ok
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
Cathy
Aug 07, 2012 Cathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-book
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
...more
Eric
Jun 05, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of urban fantasy
Shelves: urban-fantasy
A very enjoyable modern urban fantasy with an interesting magic system, where modern day wizards, called libriomancers, can pull fantastical implements out of fictional books, which then work in the real world -- a system that reminded me a bit of the one from Geekomancy due to the protagonist Isaac's penchant for using sci-fi and fantasy books. My only minor complaint is the love story/triangle between Isaac, Lena, and her former lover, which felt included because it is an obligatory trope in t ...more
Meli
Aug 19, 2016 Meli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este libro es una fantasía friki. En serio, todo friki que se precie debería leerlo porque va a ahogarse en babas entre tantas referencias e ingenio. Es genial.

Al principio me costó engancharme porque no conectaba para nada con la narración, sin embargo, la trama es extraordinariamente original y pasa de ser una especie de parodia minada de referencias a una historia muy inteligente, diferente y entretenida. Me terminó gustando mucho, no se parece a NADA que haya leído antes (aunque sí a una his
...more
Yodamom
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
Bondama
Feb 10, 2016 Bondama rated it it was ok
This book is a prime example of the multitude of just plain bad writing in the emerging field of YA fantasy.

The idea for the plot is ingenious -- problem is, it's been used many, many times,(and much better.) In "Libriomancer" a person with the right talent can reach into any book and pull from it any of the objects within the book. This only works if many people have read the book, because, in this alternate reality, belief by enough people make the ideas and objects real.

This is what I meant
...more
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Jim C. Hines' latest book is REVISIONARY, the fourth 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, the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in BLOOD OF HEROES. His short fiction has ap ...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)

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“...bookstores, libraries... they're the closest thing I have to a church.” 55 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.” 14 likes
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