Matt Randall's Reviews > Libriomancer

Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
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's review
Aug 22, 2012

it was amazing
Read from August 20 to 22, 2012

** spoiler alert ** This was a really fun book. I hadn't read anything by Hines before, but I had heard good things, and he definitely lived up to the hype. The book follows Isaac, a libriomancer who has the power to pull items out of books. When he needs a sword, he just grabs a copy of a King Arthur book and whips out Excalibur. The premise is unique as far as I know, and Hines makes full use of it. The fact that the story involves some people who have become basically immortal (such as Johannes Gutenberg) had me worried that perhaps the story would have just a bit too much going on, but Hines handled it very well. He even balances the plot, fantasy, and mystery with an interesting love triangle, vampires (including sparkling Twilight vamps), the fire-spider from his Goblin trilogy, and more very well, all while name-dropping some of his favorite authors and novels. Most are big name sci-fi and fantasy authors, but he did sneak in a few lesser known people, like Star Trek writer Ann Crispin.

Isaac and Lena, the two main characters, are well-defined and likeable. Isaac, in particular, is interesting in that we're meeting him years after he learned libriomancy. This isn't a Harry Potter origin story where we get to see the character learning about a magical world. Isaac has been in that world for years, and he's NOT the chosen one. In fact, he's something of a failure and has been regulated to a desk job. It's a nice change from most books featuring magic, and it makes Isaac a much more interesting character, I think.

Libriomancer is the first book in a series, and Hines does do a bit of set-up for the next book. While the main story and the love triangle is wrapped up (and I LOVE how he settled the love triangle!), there are still plenty of questions left about Gutenberg and the true evil behind the villain. I'm looking forward to reading the next book.
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