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Magic Ex Libris #1


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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 been attacking other magic-users as well, and Gutenberg has been kidnapped.
With the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of oak cudgels, Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampires alike. And his search will uncover dangerous secrets about Libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic. . . .

308 pages, Hardcover

First published August 7, 2012

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About the author

Jim C. Hines

88 books2,249 followers
Jim C. Hines is the author of the Magic ex Libris series, the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. His latest novel is Terminal Peace, book three in the humorous science fiction Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse trilogy. He won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. Jim lives in mid-Michigan. Online, he can be found at http://www.jimchines.com.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,857 reviews
Profile Image for Patrick.
Author 59 books230k followers
May 14, 2012
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 gushy about him back in 2008 on my blog:


Even though I do like his stuff, I have to say that Jim Really stepped it up in this book, and I really, really eager to see what he does with book two in the series.

So yeah. Great book. You might want to think about pre-ordering this one.
Profile Image for carol..
1,504 reviews7,556 followers
June 29, 2015
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 behind attacks on the vampires and are ready to drain him to get it. Deft libromancy, a butt-kicking dryad named Lena and a fire-spider named Smudge take care of the attack. The three go to Isaac's to compare notes and consult with Isaac's contacts in the Porters, the secret organization of libromancers started by Gutenberg in the late 1400s. Still alive five hundred years later (he pulled the Holy Grail from the Bibles he printed), he hasn't been seen since the trouble with the vampires started. Although he should be protected by twelve automatons he created, it appears the automatons are being used in attacks against the Porters.

It's a great premise that springs into action in the beginning, and the first four chapters had me riveted. A number of sections made me smile, especially Issac's Babel fish, and the Latin classifications for vampires--their informant is a hybrid Sanguinarius Stokerus. When we hit the road in chapter five, however, a minor case of 'first book' syndrome developed, which is to say a lot of info-dumping, cumbersomely inserted into the story by Isaac explaining Porters to Lena, and her explaining dryads in return.

On a positive note, there is interesting character building here, especially the secondary ones. Brief appearances by a few different Porters are interesting and give a picture of complex beings doing a challenging job. My hands-down favorite is the fire-spider, Smudge, (and there's something I've never said before), with his taste for sweets (particularly chocolate-covered ants) and fondness for SpongeBob's red tie. I was most ambivalent about the dryad, who suffered from attempt-to-appeal-to-modern-women-while-being-written-by-modern-man-syndrome (it's becoming a more and more common condition). You know what I mean--kicks butt, rides a motorcycle, physically chunky, eats junk food, has a can-do spirit and wears high-top sneakers. However, as the antithesis of feminism, she is required by nature to have a lover, whose needs and interests then help define her. Male or female, doesn't matter--it's in her nature to be attached. Maybe I didn't mean 'appeal to modern women.' Maybe I meant 'appeal to geek guys.'

The hero has a number of faults, making a number of questionable decisions, tending to martyristic actions and generally ruthlessly using the non-humans (such as planting a bomb on a vampire). Lena humanizes him, and forces him to question some of those assumptions. So while I applaud the effort to inject ethical considerations, it's still annoying. Yep, that's earth-woman's role, professing love and understanding for all creatures and helping man understand his connection.

So what went wrong? Excessive explanations continued to the climax, probably necessary because the plot and villains both seemed quite convoluted. While I liked Lena's kick-butt actions, it was a bit too stereotypical, added to being generally cognitively weird for a tree dryad. What tore it for me was the Piers Anthony grade relationship between Isaac and Lena, ("Is it right to love someone that is forced by nature to love me?" --gaack). To me, Hines took a marvelous concept, started to execute it well, and mucked it up by dabbling in romance. .

However, there were a number of delightful sections:

"What was that stuff?"
"Truth serum." Deb didn't move. I wouldn't have either, given how pissed off Lena looked. "I read about it in your reports. Bujold, I think."
That would explain my laid-back reaction. Bujold wrote good truth drugs.

"Which reminds me, there's a vampire hand in your freezer's ice maker." Seeing my aghast expression, she added, "Don't worry. I double-bagged it."

"All total, I was packing sixteen titles when I finished, including a hardcover in the front that should provide a little extra protection for the heart."

All in all, I'd call it three stars. I'll likely check out a sequel if it appears, but I'll be getting it from the public library.

Cross posted at http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2013/0...
Profile Image for Julio Genao.
Author 9 books1,969 followers
March 20, 2014
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 that fucking ending—spectacular.

Profile Image for Joel.
551 reviews1,574 followers
February 8, 2013
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 professional audiobook narration I have ever encountered -- and I listen to way more books than I read these days (commute + playback speed control / infant at home x Audible membership = where are my earbuds?)

The following is a by no means exhaustive list of the words this book's paid narrator, professional "comedy hypnotist" Brian Eslick, totally mispronounced:

- The main character's name. Which throughout the book I thought was made-up and kind of a goofy choice on the author's part, sounding like "eye-zay-ick." Oh no, wait. That's just "Isaac" pronounced like someone who has never heard the name before.
- Automaton. Which is said like "auto-maton." Which wouldn't be a huge deal except it appears in the book about 50 times, and every time it is super annoying.
- Possession. Which is pronounced with a hard "PO." Which just sounds weird.
- Conflicted. Which is pronounced with a hard "CON." See above.
- Palimpsest. Which is pronounced "palimpst." Which, come on. I know it is a weird word if you don't read a lot of China Miéville, but at least try to fit all the letters in there.
- Golem. Which is pronounced "goo-lem." Which kind of takes away the sense of foreboding.
- Impale. Which is pronounced "impall." Which makes the sentence kind of confusing, especially in a book with made-up magic spells.
- Deity. Which is pronounced like "DIE" like "If I have to keep listening to this guy say auto-maton I am going to DIE."
- Dimentia. "Di-men-she-a." That's cool, add whatever syllables you need.
- Pseudonym. Or "pseudonism." Like I said. Any extra letters you have lying around, go ahead and stick them in there.
- Refrigerator. Pronounced "frigerator." Aw, did you use them all up?
- Library. Sometimes right, but "liberry" snuck in there twice. Just... no.
- Disapprove. Pronounced "disprove." Which, confusing, because also a word.
- Character. Caricature: Also a word.
- Morgue. Pronounced "morge." Wait, now you are just fucking with me.
- Copernicus. No, you did NOT say "Coper-knockus." Twice.

There were more. I didn't even mention all the Latin and, good god, the French.

And I don't want to pile on the poor narrator too much, because reading out loud is going to inevitably include some fuckups, and the producer (an Audible employee, whose name appears on many of the books I have enjoyed) carries a healthy share of the blame as well.*

But yeah, context matters. And in this context, my constant annoyance with the narrator (who also made no effort to distinguish his characters or the difference between thought and dialogue) made "reading" this book a lot less enjoyable than it probably should have been. Because it does have a fun premise: guy with the magical ability to pull objects from books into the real world tries to figure out why vampires are killing off magic users! And even though vampires are an annoying and overused trope in urban fantasy, the author pokes fun at it by giving them funny scientific names like Sanguinarius stokerus and Sanguinarius meyerii (aka "sparklers")!

But instead I am focusing on the pronounciations and the bad performance, which leads to nit-picking like "the plot is really formulaic" and "gosh, I really could have done without the romance parts." Even though there was actually a really interesting discussion of female agency in these kinds of stories, I just couldn't enjoy it. Although, again considering the context, at least there weren't any sex scenes.

*2/7/13 - Just found out the book has been pulled from Audible to re-record the narration. And now I feel INCREDIBLY GUILTY.

Seriously though. Coper-knockus.
Profile Image for Beatriz.
817 reviews695 followers
June 2, 2021
Primero que todo, creo que nunca había leído una novela en que su autor deje tan patente su amor por los libros y su pasión por la literatura de fantasía y ciencia ficción en particular. Siendo que también son dos de mis géneros favoritos, lo he pasado realmente genial con esta lectura.

El mago de los libros es la primera entrega de la serie Magic Ex Libris, que podría ser considerada una fantasía urbana. Nos plantea un mundo en que ciertas personas pueden desarrollar la magia de extraer artefactos descritos en libros, quienes son conocidos como “libromantes”. Por supuesto, existe una sociedad secreta, dirigida ni más ni menos que por el mismísimo Johannes Gutenberg, que se preocupa de mantener el equilibrio y evitar que libromantes descarriados y libros potencialmente peligrosos acaben con el mundo.

La novela es de una originalidad increíble, no sólo por la creación de esta magia que, además, está explicada de una forma muy inteligente, sino por el conflicto principal de esta entrega, que tiene un argumento muy bien pensado y que cuadra con todas las leyes de este worldbuilding.

Lo anterior, junto a un estilo muy ágil y personajes con los que es imposible no empatizar, la hacen una novela 100% recomendable, tanto para los bibliotecarios de profesión, como para los de corazón. Si no le pongo las 5 estrellas (las que le puso Patrick Rothfuss, ni más ni menos) es porque a veces la prosa era algo confusa, sobre todo en las escenas de acción, pero quizá es solo la traducción.

Reto #7 PopSugar 2021: Un libro donde el personaje principal trabaje en tu trabajo actual o en tu trabajo soñado
Profile Image for Celeste.
870 reviews2,308 followers
March 21, 2018
Full review now posted!

Is there anything that appeals to bookworms more than an ode to books themselves?

Not in my experience. Does that mean that every book about books or libraries or bookshops is going to fulfill my expectations? Nope. Thankfully, this one didn’t disappoint.

We all know the magic that can be found between the covers of a book. But now, imagine that said magic was literal, and that you could actually reach into a book and pluck out an object if your imagination was strong enough. That’s the kind of power that our protagonist, Isaac Vainio, has found and given up and found again. He’s a libriomancer; as long as it will fit through the page, Isaac can draw both mundane and magical objects from the books that contain them. What an amazing idea for a magic system!

In Hines’ series, so much of our world has been impacted by the power of books, and yet little of the population is aware of these changes. Werewolves, vampires, and more have been shaped by the collective imagination of readers worldwide. The Porters, a guild of libriomancers and other magic wielders, are tasked with protecting the world from magical interference unleashed by this collective imagination, as well as keeping the mundane population ignorant of magic.

My favorite part of this book besides the book-based magic is Isaac, our main character. At first, Isaac seems like a carbon copy of our average urban fantasy male protagonist: down on his luck, hunted, more powerful than he knows, fan of long coats with lots of pockets, in possession of a strange magical pet, and seemingly controlled by his libido. Isaac is all of these things, but he’s also joyful and transparent and emotional and has somehow maintained an innocence that is incredibly sweet. What makes Isaac so powerful in his imagination and belief, both of which are aided by that aforementioned innocence. His innocence isn’t all-encompassing, however. Isaac is joined on his adventure by Lena Greenwood, who is magical in her own right. And man, does Isaac ever have the hots for her. This causes problems that I’ll leave you to find for yourself.

Lena was a fascinating character, but sadly one I can’t say much about without spoiling some of the side-plotting. What I can say is that she is fierce and loyal with a voluptuous beauty that belies how dangerous she can be. Besides Isaac and Lena, my other favorite character was Smudge, the fire-spider Isaac plucked from a book but was unable to make himself return. Smudge is one of the most adorable pets I’ve come across in urban fantasy, even if he is a spider. His mannerisms and loyalty to Isaac was just so incredibly cute!

This book was a fun, quick read. The only reason it’s not a five-star read for me is the weird love-triangle aspect. Love triangles are a pet peeve of mine, so its inclusion diminished my enjoyment of the book. However, I’ll definitely be continuing with the series, and I heartily recommend it to any urban fantasy fan who loves books in and of themselves.

Original review can be found at Booknest.
Profile Image for Phrynne.
3,114 reviews1,978 followers
June 7, 2015
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 throughout the story and a wonderful spider called Smudge who steals the show in every chapter. I will definitely be reading the sequel.
Profile Image for Mogsy (MMOGC).
1,985 reviews2,584 followers
May 20, 2013
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 who possesses the ability to reach inside books and pull out objects in their stories. One day Isaac is attacked by a group of vampires, and discovers that they have been targeting other magic users as well. Together with the dryad Lena, Isaac finds himself tasked with solving the mystery of the attacks as well as the kidnapping of Johannes Gutenberg, inventor of the movable-type printing press...and Libriomancer founder and leader.

First of all...ugh, why did it have to be vampires?

Seriously though, this was a good book. Even with the vampires. My issues with is, however, have more to do with my hangups with the Libriomancy magic system. Not to sound disparaging, because I don't deny it's a great idea and sounds awesome on paper (it's what first attracted me to the book, remember) but the application of it here was just...messy.

Don't get me wrong, I understand the challenges here. After all, the Libriomancers' ability to reach into books and pull out objects has got to be like the most over-powered superpower ever. This story must have been a plotting nightmare with all the deux ex machina moments just waiting to happen. It just makes sense that logically with so many books in publication, someone somewhere sometime must have written something that would be able to get our hero and his friends out of any and all troublesome situations the bad guys throw at them.

Apparently, the solution to that is to put in rules. Rules like Libriomancers can only pull out smaller objects, no bigger than the size of the open book which is the magical "window" to the world of the book. Or that certain books with dangerous or disgustingly powerful objects are magically "locked" which prevent Libriomancers to bring them into existence. Hermione's Time-Turner device in the Harry Potter series would be a perfect example.

As a result, every chapter you'll get an info dump, Isaac guiding and explaining the nuts and bolts behind the Libriomancy magic system -- what you can do and what you can't do. It's unfortunately very distracting, and I started to wonder after a while if I wouldn't have preferred to put all that out of my mind and simply enjoyed the story, plot holes and all. I love cool magic systems, but Libriomancy just doesn't seem to be one that lends itself to grow naturally in a reader's mind. Like I said, great idea, but it's not so fun when you're always finding inconsistencies and then waiting for the narrator to explain them.

Other than that, this book wasn't bad. I liked the main character, even though for a smart guy Isaac has a terrible habit of not thinking things through when he does them. He has a very single-minded way of looking at a problem and isn't above threatening his hostages with remotely-activated exploding brain implants in order to get his way. Oh, and he's constantly distracted by Lena and ogling her like a horny adolescent.

Okay, so I didn't like those aspects of him so much. But what I did like was his sense of wonder and motivation to learn new things. When Isaac isn't constantly distracted by Lena, he's constantly distracted by his curiosity and desire to find out why or how things work, which makes him instantly relatable. His love for books comes through, and also reinforces his character and makes him seem more real. When he goes into a bookstore he claims the books "speak" to him, but the way he describes it makes me doubt Libriomancy has much to do with it; every book lover can tell you how walking between the shelves of a store or library and seeing all those books can make them feel giddy and happy. There's no real magic in it, but I think it's something magical nonetheless, and the author captured those emotions very well in his characterization of Isaac.

Anyway, if you enjoy books with plots that are fast-paced and constantly driven forward by a whole bunch of things happening at once, then Libriomancer definitely fits the bill. I'll admit a lot of it was too convoluted and outrageous for me (and this coming from a diehard fan of The Dresden Files series) but if action-packed and bombastic urban fantasy stories are your thing, this book might be worth checking out.
Profile Image for Lore Kapo.
91 reviews
November 29, 2020
Isaac Vainio es un humano miembro de la orden de libromantes, creada por Gutemberg, el inventor de la imprenta. Los libromantes tienen la capacidad de extraer objetos y seres de diferentes libros usando la magia.

El punto de partida de la historia es un ataque de vampiros a la biblioteca donde trabaja Isaac y la llegada de Lena, un personaje muy particular que ayuda a nuestro protagonista a librarse de ellos.

La novela es muy entretenida y ágil, hay numerosas referencias y guiños a diferentes obras de fantasía y ciencia ficción, el género literario preferido del protagonista. Pareciera que Hines introduce en una olla muchos elementos que distintas autoras y autores de ficción han utilizado a lo largo de las décadas y de allí va sacando recursos que le sirven de insumo para construir todo el relato que estructura a El Mago de los libros.

La trama es detectivesca y el trasfondo se vincula, en definitiva, a la eterna pregunta acerca de qué hacer con el poder -mágico, en este caso-. Por momentos, la estructura narrativa me recordó a Fablehaven.

Algunos personajes me llevaron a otros íconos de la literatura. Por ejemplo, Gutemberg tiene esos toques contradictorios que una también puede ver en Dumbledore. No logré discernir si estas similitudes son adrede o no. Intuyo que sí...

Me hubiese gustado que la prosa fuese un poco más cuidada, pero la historia me atrapó y me dejó con ganas de empezar con El hijo del códice, el siguiente libro de la saga.
Profile Image for Richard Derus.
2,855 reviews1,885 followers
January 15, 2021
Not at all the book-magic I'm accustomed to from Genevieve Cogman and Rachel Caine...a wee bit infodumpy the first third, some slightly overextended scenes between our Porter protagonist and the Vampires, quite a large acceleration thereafter...but an EPIC ending. My fellow majgickq-disdainers: This is not the book we fear, it is a delightful expansion of a reality we all already know: Novels and tales are, in every important way, real and we can reach into them for what we love and need the most. If you were thrilled to your core by Harry Potter's Patronus or the fire lizards and dragons of Pern, you will adore Smudge the Spider.
Profile Image for Marci.
21 reviews
July 29, 2012
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 assistance of wood nymph Lena and relies on his loyal fire spider Smudge to get to the bottom of the mystery that thrusts him back into the field.

Having never read a Jim C. Hines novel before, I was pleasantly surprised as I immediately became immersed in the story. The allusions to other popular novels only heightened the reading experience as it places fictional characters in the real world. I almost felt like I fell into the story, enraptured by the sense of humor of the main character and his relationship with his beloved magical spider, only to be pulled back by an ending that seemed a bit too far fetched. I will definitely be looking for more to read by this author as I really enjoyed the overall story as well as the writing style.
Profile Image for Anna.
133 reviews
February 19, 2013
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 book is all about readers' belief in books causing them to have an independent life of their own, and as a reader I know that feeling & love it, but I never got that sense from this one. Each character was more of a collection of cool abilities & attributes than a living, breathing person (or fire spider, or nymph or whatever). Secondly this book kept raising huge issues of free will & self determination and then doing nothing with them leaving me feeling unsettled and offput.

As I said, the premise of this book is fabulous. The idea is that the binding of words into a settled form (an edition of a book) and then hundreds or thousands of people each reading the words in the same format and believing in the truth of those words causes the worlds of the books to become real. And magically available to libriomancers, magicians who can reach into books and pull anything small enough to fit through the pages of the book into our world to use. Sometimes larger things escape, such as vampires, and the very best part of this book for me was Hines' entertaining discussion of how different species of vampires have evolved over the years from Sanguinarius Stokerus, old school vampires who are fearsomely strong but have many well defined vulnerabilities, to Sanguinarius Mayerii (AKA sparklers) who have fewer powers but are incredibly hard to get rid of. There are all kinds of vampires in this book since the plot chiefly revolves around a war between the vampires and the secret, ancient order that employs the libriomancers, but to be honest I found it kind of hard to care about the plot, it sort of devolved into a lot of frenetic running around.

The main thing that knocked me out of enjoying this book for the cool, light read it could have been was the issue of free will. Two of our main characters were created by the libriomancers magic, that is to say they started off as characters in books and then were pulled into the real world. But like the various species of vampires, they may be living in our world but they need to follow the rules set out in the books they came from. One character is a fire spider, written to be helpful and loyal, who has settled into being our main character's pet, sidekick and watch dog and who has developed a personality of his own. He hates Journey, loves Spongebob Squarepants and just generally gets to enjoy his own wacky fire-spider life. The second one is a nymph from some hoary old 1960s pulp fantasy about sex slaves - she is written such that she needs to submit herself to an owner to such an extent that not only do her personality and tastes change to conform to her owner's, so does her appearance. Having the main female character of this book have LESS FREE WILL AND SELF DETERMINATION THAN A SPIDER raises all kinds of issues that Hines doesn't seem to know what on earth to do with, so mostly he ignores them. And this drove me nuts.

Our sex slave thinks that her owner has been destroyed by vampires so she wants our libriomancer to become her new owner. He goes into a 21st century Nice Guy tailspin wanting the 1960s sex slave without wanting to take responsibility for his desires. So he convinces himself that since the sex slave is not human just like his pet spider and has to follow rules laid out by some pulp fiction writing perv that somehow he can have a consensual sexual relationship with her. I do not follow Hines' logic here. Hines doesn't seem to either since before any such relationship can take place he adds a new wrinkle and the whole thing is a just a stinkbomb of unexamined issues.
Profile Image for Meli.
601 reviews387 followers
September 12, 2016

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 historieta de Los Simpsons, creo, o de Futurama jaja No me acuerdo de cuál de las dos, pero sí que el prota sacaba sus poderes de otras historietas). Necesito los libros que siguen para maratonear, porque esta historia merece maratón.
Profile Image for Moira.
512 reviews25 followers
February 21, 2013
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.
Profile Image for Christine PNW.
673 reviews192 followers
September 5, 2016
This was completely delightful! A love letter to books and the magic contained within their pages.
Profile Image for TheBookSmugglers.
669 reviews1,969 followers
August 15, 2012
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 inventor of printing). Any Libriomancer is a magician with the special ability to reach into books and bring forth anything from them: healing potions, ray guns, etc. At the book’s opening Isaac has been working as a librarian after being demoted from the field for his tendency to overuse magic. He loves books and reading more than anything but he misses the ability to use magic – so when he is attacked by a trio of Meyerii vampires (created out of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight books) and is forced to go back into the field to investigate the reasons behind the attack, he is more than eager to do so. But then his findings lead him into dangerous situations involving all kinds of vampires and Gutenberg’s kidnapping – not to mention that the very future of Libriomancy is at stake.

From the get go, Jim Hine’s Libriomancer is full of awesome imagery and cool shenanigans. I mean, what could you possibly expect from a book where the magic of reading is not only metaphorical but a literal thing? In that regard Libriomancer is any book-geek’s dream come true. It is so much fun and an ode to books, to reading as well as to genre-fiction especially Scifi and Fantasy.

It also has a really clever and thought-out magic system with internal logic and rules that must be upheld. Gutenberg actually created printing so that he could use it to improve his own magic because in this world the more a book is read the more powerful it is. But why can’t someone just reach into a book and draw forth say…a time machine, you might ask? Well, they could, but the most dangerous books are locked away and objects that could potentially destroy the world or alter events are not reachable.

That said, to say that the book is fun and light does not mean that it is frivolous. Quite the contrary, actually. From the creation of Libriomancy to how one can use that power and who gets to decide what is dangerous or not; from the way people interact with stories to how stories are created and how those creations affect the world or vice versa, the book has its really serious side as well.

In that sense, even though I loved the amusing and fun side of Libriomancer what truly resonated with me was its exploration of power and responsibility. That is incorporated into the story in many ways but the most obvious one is via its main female character, Lena, the kick-ass dryad. Lena was brought forth from a book – a book that was part of a series of books famed for its portrayal of sexual servitude. The dryads in those books change their surface appearance according to the desires of their lovers and they exist only to fulfil someone’s fantasy.

Lena is aware of this, accepts it as her reality and tries to cope by not letting this aspect of her personality define her and by choosing her lovers carefully. She is in a relationship with another woman and is also developing another relationship with Isaac – both lovers would inevitably be able to control Lena should they wish to, given her nature (thankfully, this freaks Isaac out as it has freaked her other lover out).

Of course, this could have been extremely problematic but I felt that the author dealt with his own choice of creating such character really well as the text and all characters, including Lena, question this. By writing a character like Lena and questioning the way she was created within the story, the author is automatically questioning a whole history of problematic creation of female characters. It is an interesting conundrum to see Lena accepting who she is and trying to make the best of it, trying to make herself as strong as possible, as in charge as possible but all the time, at the back of one’s mind, there is the question of whether what she has with these two people is real. CAN it be real when Lena does not seem to have a choice? I LOVE the way it ends with regards to this love triangle and hopefully Lena’s arc will progress in a way that will make her completely free at some point as their story is not over yet.

Ultimately, I really enjoyed Libriomancer. It was an uncomfortable read at times with regards to Lena but that made the book less mindless fun and a lot more impacting and affecting for me. I can’t wait to see where this goes.
Profile Image for Brandon Zarzyczny.
161 reviews50 followers
December 5, 2012
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 behind the scenes. The big difference with this book, is the incredibly unique magic system.

Basically, in this world full magical ability is very rare, but lesser magical ability is slightly less rare, and Gutenberg (the inventor of the printing press and a fledgling sorcerer) learned that belief magnifies their power. This power comes about when multiple people read the same book, and the readers' collective beliefs in the book allow a Libromancer to reach into the world of the book and pull anything that can fit, out into the real world. This ability does not come without cost, as it requires energy to manifest the items, and if the ability or book is overused, the characters from the book can possess the Libromancer and the fabric of reality can be threatened. This concept is really unique, and it's incredibly thought provoking, especially for Fantasy aficionados. While reading this book, I couldn't help but think about the books I'd read previously, and what items would have been of use if this magic actually existed. It just really brings you into the world, and I really enjoyed it. The other bonus that this magic system brings to the book, is that the story is filled with inside comments and cameos from real books big and small (along with a few fake ones), and it just brings the Urban Fantasy World of Libriomancer even more to life.

The characters in this book are also very strong, especially the two main characters, which is important as the cast is very small. There's a really unique interplay between Issac and his Wood Nymph companion (I forget her name, it might have been Lena) that was very endearing, though a bit odd at times. The story is relatively basic, but it's a great introduction to the world and what I'm sure will be an excellent series. To sum up the story, Issac was kicked out of the field and given a desk job as a Librarian and secret cataloger of new useful or dangerous books after his superiors became worried about his mental stability. His now boring life is shattered when a group of Sparklers bust into his library. This part of the story was really entertaining, as there's a whole taxonomy of vampires in this world, where even people that are untrained sometimes sink their hand into the world of the book, graze the fangs of a vampire, and then they themselves become a vampire, with all of the powers and vulnerabilities of the breed described in the book. So the Sparklers, are of course of Twilight fame, and there's a lot of funny stuff surrounding the vampire plotlines. Issac's problems then continue as his friends and colleagues are either being killed or disappearing (including the still living Gutenberg), and with the help of a living wood sword wielding Nymph go out to solve the mystery.

I really only have a few problems with the book, one is that it's relatively short (300 pages in hardback with relatively large type) and the ebook has been overpriced. This also coincides with the curious fact that not once in the book does the author/character mention the emergence of electronic books. Everything else is mentioned, even the existence of self-published books (which is a big part of the main plotline). So I would be really interested to see how the Libromancers powers work with a Kindle. Whether it wouldn't work at all, or what. However, the author could possibly be something interesting planned with ebooks in the sequels.

So overall, I would probably give this book four and a half stars, but I guess I'll round it up to five as I just really loved the concept of the magic system, and it's great as a quick fun read. I'd recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading, but especially science fiction and fantasy fans. This is definitely a pulpy book that can't be taken too seriously, but I found it to be really enjoyable.
Profile Image for Kelly H. (Maybedog).
2,301 reviews219 followers
January 6, 2016
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 beautiful love interest and she is described many times as being heavy set. she's also majorly kick-ass and saves Isaac on more than one occasion, one time even shielding his body with hers. He describes her as perfect.
There is lots of action and danger and injury and emotion.
There are lesbian and bi characters and they are powerful and smart.
Isaac had a lot in common with me (fear of bridges over water, couldn't even highlight his textbooks because it was marring them, sf geek in addition to the fantasy) which made me relate to him better.
His mother proposed to her husband-to-be, not the other way around.
All kinds of sf references, many that only true fans would recognize (particularly Doctor Who stuff), and Firefly is one of his top two shows.
The story was mostly unpredictable. The plot ending could have gone several as I didn't know which until they did.
The author had a good understanding of publishing and printing.

Some not so good things:
He claims to have read every sf/f book in his work library (3,000+), plus every vampire novel ever written, plus the ones that he needs that aren't there plus plenty of non-sf/f books plus all the ones he has to catalog for the agency--I don't think even a book a day would be enough to get through all that given that he's fairly young and couldn't have started reading all the adult stuff until the middle grades at the earliest. So I found that unrealistic.
At one point a character is tiny, a couple of inches high, but dust is still in the same proportions (some dust motes would be at least golf ball sized) and it doesn't take as long as it should to get from place to place.
A doorway was described as the ideal place to take refuge during an earthquake. No, under a sturdy table or desk is and a doorway is actually one of the worst places--despite what we learned in school--because there is no supporting structure shoring it up and because even skinny people are thicker than doorways.

An excerpt from a book that was written by a non-writer for the wrong reasons should have been much worse than it was.
a few logistical questions were never answered like what would happen if a magical item were destroyed outside of the book and what if a book were destroyed before a magical item from it had been neutralized.

Overall it was a good book but I think the last 2-3 pages were too easy and a cop out. It really tainted the ending for me. But that's not why I'm not giving it a higher rating. Something about the book just didn't connect with me. Something about it felt unpolished but I can't put a finger on it at all. I don't think the extra-large type in the hardback edition helped. If it weren't for the absurd ending, I'd be eager to read the next one when it comes out. Right now I could take or leave it. I do give him props for being a feminist and I would try another series of his if it weren't all high fantasy. But as it is, when the next one comes out I'll take a look if I notice it and then we'll see.
Profile Image for aPriL does feral sometimes .
1,844 reviews419 followers
January 15, 2021
'Libriomancer' by Jim C. Hines is a smart and funny book!

I think it managed to include every trope, every fantasy and science fiction idea, from popular books over the last ten years and yet it managed to be new and interesting! I truly was kicking my feet with joy and excitement during every chapter!

Isaac Vainio is a libriomancer. He's making the best of a dreadful sentence imposed by Die Zwelf Portenaere, the Porters, because he was judged as being unable to control his magic as a field agent. He has been forbidden to undertake action assignments or to use his magic in any big endeavor. Instead, he is working as a librarian both publicly to the human world and to the world of beings of magic. For the Porters, he is cataloguing new books with magical properties. The mission of the Porters is to keep the world of magic secret from the world of human beings.

Even though Vainio agrees with the judgement made against him, he misses magic terribly, and due to his particular power, feels the books he works with call out to him every day. His ability to visualize what he reads combined with his innate magic ability means he can make real whatever he is able to pull out of the pages of any book. If he wants the phaser from the Star Trek series, for example, all he has to do is pick up a book from that series and read a description of the gun, reach into the book, and pull out the newly formed object from the pages. It's a great power, in fact, one of the greatest of magical powers in his world.

The original Sorcerer, creator of them all, Gutenberg, used his libriomancer powers to develop their magical world. Unfortunately, vampires, werewolves, and other evil creatures also came into being, most created by readers who were unaware of their libriomancer magic. Of course, a few real vampires and such were actually born that way, but the current vast varieties of vampires, for instance, came into existence from eager readers with magic powers who thought they were only reading. The ensuing havoc of magical beings running loose among humans brought the necessity for creating The Porters organization.

Through the centuries, the Porters developed many secrets kept from not only from the humans, but as Vainio slowly begins to realize, also from the world of magical beings. Gutenberg, the godfather of book Sorcerers, is not only the strongest magical being. He has been keeping the most secrets of all.

Gutenberg has vanished! Mysterious attacks destroy some of the vampire nests, and it appears a civil war between the vampires is starting. Worse, they begin attacking anyone connected to the Porters. What is happening? The horrible deaths are spilling over from their world into the human world. The emergency situation means the Porters must contact everyone who can possibly help.

Isaac, however, is somewhat out of the social network. Working late one night in the library, he and his pet spider Smudge are enjoying each other's company and working with the books of the library. Smudge is a contraband magical being, so he must be kept secret from the Porters. On a previous assignment Isaac had pulled the fire spider from the pages of a book and later, the libriomancer did not have the heart to put the cute bug back. Instead, Smudge accompanies him everywhere, despite the possibility of Smudge's anxiety about any danger causing him to flame on. Two years have passed since the Porters sidelined Isaac from agent work, and he once again is thinking about how much he enjoyed the magic he is forbidden to use. Suddenly Smudge begins smoking.

Oh oh.
Profile Image for Marianne.
3,267 reviews115 followers
March 12, 2016
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 Smudge. When a trio of sparklers (vampires of the species Sanguinarius Meyerii) enter the library looking for him, he doesn’t hesitate to reach into the right book for a suitable weapon. But he’s out of practice, so he’s lucky that Lena Greenwood, a dryad of considerable strength and ability, is there to save him (with some assistance from Smudge). And so begins their quest to find and stop whoever is enslaving vampires and killing Porters.

Hines takes the premise of magically extracting objects and creatures from the printed page and runs with it, quite a long way, much to the delight of fantasy fans. His characters are appealing, his plot is clever and original (although it’s a fair bet to say he might have read some Jasper Fforde) and he gives the reader plenty of humour, and not just in the banter between the characters.

Vampire species names are a highlight, although riding a fire-spider, entering trees and a certain moon landing also keep things interesting. Readers who enjoy this style of adventure/fantasy will be pleased there are a further three books (so far) in this series. Great fun!
Profile Image for Steven.
Author 43 books159 followers
August 11, 2012
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 Trouble in Little China to my amusement.

Updated on August 10, 2012:
This book deserved a full 5 stars (a rarity for me) because it stayed with me long after finishing. On further thought, it also hit me on a number of different levels and it'll appeal to any of the following fans:

Are you a fantasy or science fiction fan? You'll really love this book for its shout-outs to many and varied examples of those genres.

Like good world building and fascinating magic structures? This book's got more than a few surprises (and I've worked with so many magic structures in many game and fiction worlds, so it's tough to surprise me).

Do you love books as objects as well as content? Are you a fan of printing, fonts, typography, and graphic design? There's stuff to really enjoy in this book for book geeks.

There! Anyone who needs more convincing to read this book obviously is far too skeptical to enjoy this book as much as I have.
Profile Image for All Things Urban Fantasy.
1,921 reviews611 followers
August 9, 2012
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 sense that dedicated libriomancers would study books religiously looking for new and wonderful objects. Speculative fiction titles would be of special interest for magical and high tech items. Longtime lovers of SF&F will get a kick out of seeing Lucy’s magical cordial from THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, and Paul’s shield belt from DUNE.

The same magic that enables libriomancers to create objects from books has more than a few pesky sideeffects. Reaching into a book with, say, vampires can be dangerous. While reaching for a weapon, the libriomancer is partially made real inside the book which can lead to biting. So not only do vampires run wild in LIBRIOMANCER, but there are different kinds depending on which book they came from. Hines details a number of them including Meyerii aka Sparklers from the Twilight series and a specific Southern variety courtesy of Charlaine Harris.

As much fun as this world was, and as many geektastic Dr. Who references that were packed in, that only really carried my enjoyment for about a hundred pages. After that, the story and characters were on the underwhelming side, specifically the attempted romance. Issac was fun in a beta Harry Dresden way–though not nearly as cool, but Lena was not. She’s a uber alpha dryad that shoulders her way in to rescue Issac early on and unfortunately never leaves. She’s got all the annoying characteristics of typical alpha males, but we’re supposed to be okay with it because she’s a female. Issac gets jerked around by her big time *SPOILER*

Ultimately, I was left not liking this book. The world and magical ideas were so fantastic, but the story wasn’t anything special and the characters weren’t likable (in Lena’s case) or were too much of a doormat (in Issac’s case) to save it. This will be my first and last read in the Magic Ex Libris series which should see a sequel in 2013.

Sexual Content:
F/F/M Kissing
Profile Image for Mike (the Paladin).
3,145 reviews1,782 followers
March 24, 2013
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 .

I kind of liked much of this book. I think the magic system would fire anyone who's been a life long reader of fantasy/dreamer. . So, the book is a good idea and as noted I liked it, but I have to include "sort of".

There are some speed bumps in the book. I see that a lot of readers rated it "high" and I can see why. It's easy to sink into and easy to follow the character is somewhat appealing and it sets up a world we can enjoy. On the downside it's not exceptional at following an internal logic. We seem to be setting up a diverse magic system and it also seems that we (the readers) aren't quite in on all the rules yet. I assume that means it's still "growing" and "developing".

The other characters???? well they're fairly surface, not a lot of depth and our female lead???? Well.....

So not a bad book at all, very readable, pure brain candy...brain candy in sugar syrup. Read it for enjoyment not enlightenment and you'll be fine. Enjoy.
Profile Image for Wanda Pedersen.
1,810 reviews348 followers
October 24, 2016
How could I resist Isaac Vainio, the main character of Libriomancer? Not only does he work in a library, but he is a cataloguer like myself, although my job has not yet required me to fight off vampires nor take on the care and feeding of a fire-spider. Isaac has been banished to “just” library work, after having a bit of a “magical incident” and is trying to earn his way back into the action.

Nor is Isaac the only character to enjoy. There are some great secondary characters who also have interesting back stories. Not to mention the Porters, the organization of Libriomancers—those folk who can use works of fiction to produce swords, truth serums, guns, gems, etc. in the real world. Plus there are various “strains” of vampires, depending on which era’s fiction they are pulled from (“Sparklers” being the Twilight series’ offering in this regard). Arming himself with books, Isaac attempts to go right some wrongs—well-read science fiction readers will get a smile out of many of his choices.

This is very much a first offering in the series—there is an awful lot of mutual explaining done between Isaac and the other characters to help the reader into the pictures. With any luck, there will be less info-dumping in the next volume and we can just get on with the adventures!

May I also say that I am a recovering arachnophobic, but Smudge the fire spider didn’t trigger any strong reactions for me. Having said that, I don’t react to such things nearly as strongly as I used to (the giant spiders in The Hobbit and Shelob in The Lord of the Rings caused me some nightmares when I was a young person!)

The whole idea of “agent banished to desk work for bad behaviour” reminded me strongly of Mick Herron’s Slough House series, in which failed British secret service agents are sent to do the most boring & repetitive intelligence work to encourage them to quit and move on.

Read to fulfill the Creepy Crawlies square of my 2016 Halloween Book Bingo card.
Profile Image for Christine.
6,526 reviews467 followers
August 16, 2014
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 vampire. Lucky for Issac, Lena, a dryad who has issues, shows up. There is a war afoot, and no one is quite sure who started it - vampires or Porters (the book magicans).

What Hines does, besides spin a good story, is look at the power of creation and belief. The magic in the world works though belief and creation has real life consequnces. This is really shown in the character of Lena who is the embodiment of the nature vs nuture debate (and warning never to look at the Gor series).

I must admit that I am getting very tired of vampires in UF, but Hines has some interesting things about vampires here,so it's cool.

But the best part of this book is the geekadom that it lives in. Honestly, any book that references and uses Beauty is fine by me.
Profile Image for Amber.
986 reviews
February 22, 2015
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? Definitely read this and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good read. I borrowed this at my local library with book 2 of the series Codex Born. This book reminded me of the TNT show the Librarians as the show has two things in common with this book: Its about magic in books and supernatural creatures. If you like action adventure fantasies with magic and books, definitely check this series out. I can't wait to see what happens in book 2!
Profile Image for Carolyn.
2,092 reviews588 followers
November 15, 2015

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 still ruled by him today. When Gutenberg is kidnapped sparking a war with the vampires, Isaac must use all his skills to hunt out who is responsible. He is aided by some great characters, Lena, a motor bike riding Dryad and the wonderful Smudge, a magical fire spider. I'm looking forward to seeing the characters develop further in the next installment of this trilogy.
Profile Image for Desinka.
300 reviews63 followers
January 16, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Shannon.
3,029 reviews2,343 followers
March 28, 2015
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.
Profile Image for Rob.
839 reviews534 followers
February 3, 2015
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 reading this book for awhile. The concept of the magic system sounded really cool.

I was looking for something fun and light to hold me over between books. This seemed like it might fit the bill.

Overall however, I was underwhelmed. I blame Jim Butcher. For me, everything seems to pale compared to the Dresden Files.

The other problem I had was it seemed like a generic Urban Fantasy series with stock vampires. Or mostly stock. Mr. Hines does work in a large variety based on various popular vampire novels over the year, including the sparkly variety that have pretty much have ruined what little interest in vampires I once had.

The main character seems generic too. Well except that he's a librarian instead of private eye or some sort of field agent. This may appeal to the librarians out there, but I'm not sure who else.

The second half of the book was a lot better however. Thankfully the whole thing wasn't about vampires. We also got more with the magic system, which is really the only thing that makes this book stand out.

Mr. Hines has come up an interesting and certainly unique system. Pulling magic items out of books. My only gripe is that while some things are explicitly named (Harry Potter, Doctor Who), other things are only alluded to (Star Wars). I'm not sure if it's over copyright concerns or what. If so that's yet another negative side effect of copyright. There is no way I'd confuse this book with a Star Wars book, simply because a character pulls a lightsabre out of a book. I mean who WOULDN'T do that if you had the ability?

Overall I think this is a book that will largely depend on how much you enjoy Urban Fantasy. If you're a fan, this may be a book to check out. If not, I don't think the strength of the magic system is enough to compensate for the mostly generic Urban Fantasy story.
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