Review: The Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines

November 6, 2013 2013, A-, book rating, reviews 0

Jim C. Hines is an author I haven’t read before and so it’s part of my New Authors Challenge which is hosted by the Literary Escapism blog. Check out their blog and also the challenge. I’m really enjoying all the new authors I’m reading this year!

BTW, I challenged myself to read 25 new authors this year and with this review I’ve reached my 25 books! And I still have more books to review which are written by new-to-me authors…

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libriomancerThe Libriomancer
by Jim C. Hines
Series: Magic Ex Libris, book 1
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published by Daw, 2012
E-book, purchased
308 pages
Grade: A-
Synopsis: 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. . . .

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Like any child raised on tales of magical worlds beyond paintings and mirrors and wardrobes, I had yearned to enter Middle Earth, to reach through.


“This presents a serious question.” They both looked at me. “What’s that?” asked Lena. “Whether to start you off with a Doctor Who marathon or dive straight into Firefly.”

What I like about this book:

  • All the literary references are so much fun.
  • Isaac is a science fiction and fantasy enthusiast so that’s where most of the references come from.
  • I love that first quote (see above), because that’s what I’ve always loved about fantasy and science fiction–imagining a whole new world. This is almost like a book-lover’s love letter!
  • Libriomancer has a unique world. It’s so interesting that libriomancers can reach into books and bring forth items to help them. Mr. Hines has created a complete world and explained it well.
  • I like that the book doesn’t begin in the very beginning. Life isn’t like that. Isaac’s life as a libriomancer begins long before this book begins.
  • I like the characters–especially Isaac, Lena (the motorcycle-riding dryad) and Smudge (Isaac’s spider which he pulled out of the pages of a book).
  • Johannes Gutenberg is the “father” of libriomancers–and still alive!

What I don’t like:

  • Really I don’t have any problems with the book. I just hope I like the second book as much!

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My thoughts: 

An excellent first book in a series. I like the world, the characters and the story. I’m very much looking forward to the second book–Codex Born–which I still need to buy.

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Have you read this book? What did you think?

No Responses to “Review: The Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines”

  1. Lark

    “This is almost like a book-lover’s love letter!” Yes, my feeling exactly. I knew you would love this book! *happy dance* I still need to read Codex Born, too; it’s on my daughter’s bed but I’ve been tied up with work and must-read review copies.

    • Jan

      I haven’t bought Codex Born yet…I have so many books on my Kindle at the moment. I think it was your recommendation which brought Libriomancer to my attention, Lark! Thank you!

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