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Bookburners: The Complete Season 1

(Bookburners #1.1-1.16)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  723 ratings  ·  156 reviews
The critically acclaimed urban fantasy about a secret team of agents that hunts down dangerous books containing deadly magic—previously released serially online by Serial Box, now available in print for the first time!

Magic is real, and hungry. It’s trapped in ancient texts and artifacts, and only a few who discover it survive to fight back. Detective Sal Brooks is a survi
Hardcover, 800 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Gallery / Saga Press (first published November 1st 2016)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  723 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Sep 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
Recommended to carol. by: me. doofus.
Book Burners is an urban fantasy series about a five-person team that works to recover dangerous magical artifacts and lock them away beneath the Vatican. The brainchild of Max Gladstone, author of the fabulous Craft series, it is one of the main titles for Serial Box, an online publisher/distributor that "brings everything that’s awesome about TV (easily digestible episodes, team written, new content every week) to what was already cool about books," selling the weekly installments for a small ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

Bookburners initially landed on my radar around a year and a half ago when it was first announced as the launching project by Serial Box, a publisher with an ambitious new idea to deliver their stories in a weekly serialized medium. The plan was that “Season One” will be a 16-episode run, written by a team of authors made up of Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery. Though at the time I w
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
Bookburners The Complete Season One...

Bookburners is a serial about a detective named Sal Brooks who joins a secret Vatican Black-Ops Squad after her brother gets possessed by demons after handling an ancient text that houses dark magic and demons. The squad is tasked with retrieving these books and securing them in their archives before more demons are spread through the world.
I wasn't sure what to expect going in to this but I knew the serial was about books so I couldn't pass it up. I'm gla
Sherwood Smith
Sep 05, 2018 added it
Shelves: fantasy
At eight hundred pages, divided into sixteen fifty-page episodes, this series reads like a novelized TV show, which has its strengths and its weaknesses.

The episodes largely reflect a standard TV episode structure, introducing a victim, followed by the team’s actions in solving the case. The pacing reflected television in moving along swiftly, and providing plot arcs that resolve, for the most part, by the episode’s end.

But the novelization feel shows in how briefly characters are sketched in,
Aug 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to say that I really enjoyed this HUGE 800-page book, written in serial form, with 16 50-page episodes. 4.5 stars. And I have to say it rates up there with the classic of this genre, Stephen King's The Green Mile.

The basic premise is a team of five people from different backgrounds are part of a Vatican team dedicated to fighting demons and capturing dangerous books to be kept safe in the Vatican library. The main character, Sally (Sal) Brooks is a NYC cop, who meets the team when they co
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
I have a new obsession and no regrets

Articulate review may or may not follow

I'm a sucker for stories about secret histories and secret worlds hiding behind our mundane reality, so this was right in my wheelhouse. This tome about magic books and the Vatican team tasked to retrieve them is great fun from start to finish.

The fact that this was written by four different authors each taking turns in serial format and yet it hangs together in terms of tone and style is a kind of magic all its own. After a while I could kind of see slightly different styles here and there (Laf
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: urban-fantasy
Well, that was fun. This was originally written as a weekly serial and laid out as if it were a television show, albeit written in traditional story format rather than as a script. Four authors undertook to write 16 "episodes" comprised of 5-6 chapters per episode, with each author writing their own episodes. You'd think the result would make for a jarring transition of writing styles when moving from one author's episode to another's but it really didn't. It all flowed rather well.

The story de
4.5/5 STARS

“‘How bad can it be? I’ve never seen a demon attack on the news.’
‘People disappear all the time. All over the world…Lost legions. Lost cities. Have you ever heard of the town of Colebridge, New York?’

About : NYPD detective Sally Brooks walks into her apartment one day to find that her techie younger brother, Perry, has come for a surprise visit—needing her help, as usual. This time Perry’s brought a strange book with him, the source of his latest troubles.

Things ju
Feb 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-releases
3.5-4ish. This really gains its momentum about halfway through, though most of the episodes are a lot of fun. I can only imagine season two will be even better and really build on what they've already established. Full video review: ...more
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this a LOT. Found family/team stories, written compellingly, are always fun to read. I had thought the whole vatican/sealing demons/monster of the week storyline would get boring, but these authors know what they're doing. There are overall plots, characters beats, exotic locales, and lots of discussion of purpose. Plus, ride or die teammates (for most part). Read this one in chunks of ebook during work, and have the next lined up on audible. Solid Urban Fantasy. ...more
Apr 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, fantasy, trl17
This book is loooooong, but if you're into action-packed dark fantasy it's worth your time. It was originally written serially and released with a subscription box, so the story is broken up into easily digestible bits that are easy to remember if you want to take a little break in between, so if you find a physical copy of this book don't let it intimidate you. It's not as big and scary as it looks.

As for the story, it's kind of like those Librarian movies with Noah Wyle, or National Treasure.
Oct 01, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars. Good paranormal suspense about a secret organization funded by the Vatican who travel the world confiscating dangerous magical texts. This was originally released serially - I would've hated to read it that way. I also think the serial thing contributed to this book's heft (800 pages) - it could definitely stand to be trimmed down a bit. ...more
Marcel Driel
Aug 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, it’s the book version of Warehouse 13, mixed up with a bit of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and written like a tv-series, with monster-of-the-week chapters, a mythology and seasonal arc. At first it doesn’t work, but then, at the middle of the “season” it does. And isn’t that exactly how a lot of tv-series work too?
Jun 17, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There is nothing new and too many cliches in here.

This book was written in order to promote a new publisher and (ideally) to pay the authors. None of that is bad, but there should be a different answer to the question “Why was this book written?”. There is nothing new or innovative here, the stories follow the episodic character of the cheap TV-shows copying more successful other shows.
The book could have profited from more stringent control, leaving the single authors more room to expand. Inste
Aug 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Bookburners series was originally published online as a serial to which you can subscribe. They are now on Season 2. Each serial is written by one of four co-writers, and I guess the concept is kind of like a TV show with different writers.

While Bookburners is certainly a catchy title, it's a bit misleading when you think about how you normally perceive something like destroying a book. It turns out that there ar
I listened to the original audio from SerialBox for this. I have a pretty bad record with audiobooks, but this worked really well for me! I really enjoyed the narration from Xe Sands. I thought she did a really great job with conveying emotion through the season, and I truly enjoyed listening to her, which is not something I can always say about the audiobooks I've listened to before.

I will say, I picked this as an attempt to try out Max Gladstone, only to find out that the majority of it is ac
Sep 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Sal Brooks is a Manhattan cop, used to all sorts of trouble, especially when it comes from her younger brother, Perry. So when he comes to her door late one night under suspicious circumstances, Sal knows he's done something stupid. Unfortunately, it's not the usual trouble she's grown accustomed to; Perry has become possessed by a demon called the Hand and disappears. Right on Perry's heels are the Bookburners, a motley group consisting of a priest named Menchu, a hacker named Liam, and an almo ...more
Sep 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A priest, a cop, a hacker, an archivist and a kung-fu fighter walk into a library...

Seriously, that's the premise and I ate. it. up.

This series is so much fun and I need other people to read it so I can geek out with them. Sal Brooks is the newest member of the Bookburners (but don't call them that to their faces), a black ops team run out of the Vatican with the mission to find and collect (or destroy) magic books that have the power to hurt regular people. It's a little X-Files, a little Welc
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is fun - good characters and I love a good versus evil demons story. It was rapidly moving to 4 stars when the momentum came to a halt during the last third of the book - and this is a book with 800 pages. The "Sal issue" just took too long to play out. So I dropped it to three stars. That said, I am planning on reading Season 2. ...more
Guilherme Jardim
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great book where the action doesn't stop. It is about a secret society that tries to fight and contain magic that is found in ancient artifacts and books. It is a great interesting story with countless twists and turns. ...more
Samuel Lubell
Mar 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, horror
This is the equivalent of a season of television in book form. See my review at ...more
Akwa Timba
May 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Took a while to find its stride but got pretty good towards the end. Some stories were definitely better than others and the format takes a little while to get used too... Overall I liked it but didn't LOVE it the way I hoped I would. ...more
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Bookburners is a new story from Serial Box, a service that aims to bring the serial story into the 21st century. Thus Bookburners is really a collection of sixteen “episodes,” each with its own plot arc, akin to a TV series.

Sal Brooks is an ordinary New York City detective with a younger brother who dabbles in the occult. When her brother gets in over his head, Sal is drawn into the world of the supernatural. She soon joins the Bookburners – a secret Vatican team that acquires and locks down boo
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
I think I'm done with this one for now. I saw Max Gladstone was involved in this one, so I figured I'd check it out, but the format just isn't working for me. It's a series of sixteen novellas written by four different people, and while none of them have been bad, and I feel like they manage to keep the tone fairly consistent, and the characters are somewhat interesting, I feel like the overall quality has degenerated a bit and the episodic TV show-esque aspect of it is just making me feel bored ...more
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, but it was already in my to-read list. The concept was entertaining and the characters were likeable. The writing was a little uneven although I thought they did an excellent job keeping the story continuous across episodes. Definitely looking forward to the next one.
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Bookburners grabbed me during the first chapter and never let go. Full of action, monsters, and interesting characters, this easily became one of my all-time favorite books. I listened to this on Audible and XE Sands is an incredible narrator. I can't wait to continue with the series! ...more
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun read - a squad fighting magic by confiscating the books that let the monsters out. My rating 4.25.

This book tells the tales of a squad known as the Bookburners. Thank goodness they don’t really burn books – well at least Team 3 doesn’t. They capture the magical books that allow monsters, usually evil and harmful, out to hurt the world.

The reader first meets Detective Sal Brooks when her brother shows up at her home with a strange book. The next thing Sal knows people are knocking o
Tracy Rowan
Jun 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
About a week ago, depression and anxiety came down so hard that choosing a book to read seemed like a monumental task, one that I was not up to.  I did, in fact, look through 1800+ titles in my Kindle library as well as a stack of books on my shelves (nightstand, floor, coffee table, kitchen table...) with dull eyes and a heavy heart, and said "nope" to every one of them.  And then I remembered that The Housemate had been reading Max Gladstone, and had bought a copy of Bookburners, Season One on ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I cannot say if Bookburners was the best book I've read this year, but it was definitely the most no-holds-barried fun I've had reading this year, and that's saying something. The "episodic" format, adapted from the audio, makes it highly readable (and also good as something you can sit down, read part of, and then come back to later) and the 800 pages go by MUCH faster than you'd expect. The premise: police officer Sal gets recruited by Vatican-sponsored anti-magic team after her brother is pos ...more
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Max Gladstone is the author of the Craft Sequence: THREE PARTS DEAD, TWO SERPENTS RISE, FULL FATHOM FIVE, and most recently, LAST FIRST SNOW. He's been twice nominated for the John W Campbell Best New Writer award, and nominated for the XYZZY and Lambda Awards.

Max has taught in southern Anhui, wrecked a bicycle in Angkor Wat, and been thrown from a horse in Mongolia. Max graduated from Yale Univer

Other books in the series

Bookburners (1 - 10 of 42 books)
  • Badge, Book, and Candle (Bookburners #1.1)
  • Anywhere But Here (Bookburners #1.2)
  • Fair Weather (Bookburners #1.3)
  • A Sorcerer's Apprentice (Bookburners #1.4)
  • The Market Arcanum (Bookburners #1.5)
  • Big Sky (Bookburners #1.6)
  • Now and Then (Bookburners #1.7)
  • Under My Skin (Bookburners #1.8)
  • Ancient Wonders (Bookburners #1.9)
  • Shore Leave (Bookburners #1.10)

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