Customer Reviews for

Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Squee!!!...Wow! Awesome! What a Ride! Right after I put this bo

Squee!!!...Wow! Awesome! What a Ride!

Right after I put this book down, that was all my brain could function to come up with for a review.

It's a unique take on worldbuilding. Never at risk of interrupting the flow of the story or what the characters are going throug...
Squee!!!...Wow! Awesome! What a Ride!

Right after I put this book down, that was all my brain could function to come up with for a review.

It's a unique take on worldbuilding. Never at risk of interrupting the flow of the story or what the characters are going through; but, a wonderfully rich, developed piece of worldbuilding. Once reader accepts the basic premise, everything works. Even if you have not read the books mentioned. Instead of esoteric bits and pieces of books, he manages to just share a love of books and the wonderful worlds within that completely permeated the pages of this one without getting in the way of the story (and I was not lost even though had not read everything mentioned).

Isaac is a former field agent with the magic of libriomancy and one of three central characters. The story is told from his viewpoint and richly imaginative, often distracted, and occasionally lusty geek mind. He was retired from the field for overdoing things and plunked into a small library branch. Libriomancy is the power, within some logically presented limits and risk, to pull magic literally from books. The more thoroughly believed or widely read by readers, the more powerful and the more likely things happen like vampires becoming a part of the real world. Some potentially horrifying things within the pages of even the most beloved books caused a society to be created to handle the dangers. The plot revolves around one of the worst case scenarios including the society founder being kidnapped and a lot of their powers being used against them. Includes so much (like incipient war with the vampires), it is one helluva romp. But it all flows very well as only such a talented storyteller could do with so much to juggle. Very well done.

Where I said Isaac was one of three central characters--well, the next most central was Smudge. Yes, the spider-sized fire spider who was a pet of Jig the Dragonslayer. How such a tiny, nonspeaking, nontelepathic and rather uncommunicative character could become such a part of the book and come so much to life -- before reading this book I could not have imagined. But he does. And it's a grand element of the story that should be unbelievable but is not.

Another character literally showing up on Isaac's doorstep is Lena, a dryad and definitely a kickass (although not typical) heroine. Isaac's mentor, her lover, and several of their fellow libriomancers are endangered (or dead) from the events going on, either actively in the conflict, kidnapped by vampires or the yet unknown evil forces. They team up to get to the bottom of things.

A complex, tense, action filled plot. But I laughed out loud a lot. Isaac definitely has a great, warped sense of humor that goes over well despite all the more serious themes like free will that run through this book.

A complete story on the one hand (no buy-my-next-book-or-you-won't-have-story-finish cliffhanger) but definitely there is more to come. Isaac still has much to figure out on the evil forces, the libriomancer society seeing some changes, the love triangle resolution and all the other character lives.

Not really a part of this review or something I base purchases on, but, hey, is that a cool cover or what?

I know there's a hundred other plot points, character thoughts and actions and things I should mention. Despite the well flowing story, there was just so much going on a review is just not going to do it justice.

posted by cer-2 on August 9, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

A very unique urban fantasy.

I'd have to say that this feels like a very unique urban fantasy. Granted, I have limited reading experience in that sub-genre, but the way the rules in this world work create some interesting effects. In the setting, magic is real and so are a number of different mysti...
I'd have to say that this feels like a very unique urban fantasy. Granted, I have limited reading experience in that sub-genre, but the way the rules in this world work create some interesting effects. In the setting, magic is real and so are a number of different mystical creatures. But the main way magic is used in the story is to create almost any type of item from almost any book by literally pulling what is needed straight out of the pages. So we have a mystical world where our main character's prefered choice of equipment are ray guns and personal energy shields. There are a number of contradictions in the story that pop up like that. Magic is real, but pulling a wand out of a book won't let you start casting spells, because you don't have the skill in magic needed to put the wand to use. Our main character uses books for magic, but most of the important characters in the setting we are introduced to don't use the same type of magic. Pulling living beings out of books is a bad idea, unless you can figure out a loop hole. It feels like the author took a good long time in figuring out the rules of the world, and then looked for ways to bend them to as close to the breaking point as possible.

It does have a few problems here and there. I didn't much care for the romantic interest. She feels like she's a character from another book. Which I guess is the point, since she is from another book. But she's from a book where I'm not sure I would have made it past fifty pages before sending it to goodwill. So all of her "this is the way I am because this is the way I was written" gets annoying after a while. A part of me also wishes there was more of the real world in the story. After the first chapter, the reader is neck deep in secret organizations and mystical creatures and plots by different mystical powers. On some level, I would have enjoyed a simple murder using a untraceable handgun pulled from a simple detective story as a way to establish the magic system, before overlaying the various mystical groups. And seeing the plot threads that were left hanging for the next book in the series, I don't think simple is the direction the author is headed towards.

posted by 10068023 on August 24, 2012

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  • Posted August 13, 2012

    Hines has a fabulous sense of humor. I think my favorite image f

    Hines has a fabulous sense of humor. I think my favorite image from this book is when Isaac the magician loads himself down with weapons - he pulls a Dr. Who coat from a book and fills every pocket with ... more books. The characters in this book are entirely believable, and the action never lets up.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 4, 2014

    Fresh and enjoyable

    If you are a book geek you will love this book. Half the fun is trying to figure out what books the hero is pulling his props from.
    Then there is smudge...the cutest spider in fiction.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2014

    Fun adventure, memorable characters, and a magic system built fo

    Fun adventure, memorable characters, and a magic system built for book lovers. Read this and you will find yourself staring off into space imagining what you would pull from the pages of a book first...and second...and third...

    And seriously, how can you not love a pet fire spider?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Fun read

    interesting twists,and pop culture references. Lots of fun for those of us who read more than one sci fi stream,and library science majors rejoyce.

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  • Posted January 10, 2013

    We book-geeks have always known that stories are magical, right?

    We book-geeks have always known that stories are magical, right? They take you far away, in the companionship of amazing characters and kindred spirits, to places you either want desperately to run away to or to never see again. Hines comes up with the premise that each reader’s experience turns that fictional story into a bit of reality, and the more bits, the more powerful it becomes. With the invention of printing (yes, Johannes Gutenberg plays a role!) came the potential for thousands – tens of thousands – millions! – of readers creating the same reality because they are reading the exact same text. A sufficiently trained person-of-magical-talent can then draw objects from a book into the ordinary world. Picture going “on assignment” carrying a small library of books instead of weapons or gadgets. It’s quite delicious.

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  • Posted December 18, 2012

    For book lovers, this is the ultimate fantasy..the ability to pu

    For book lovers, this is the ultimate fantasy..the ability to pull something out of a book and use it. Libriomancer is an entertaining and readable urban fantasy, and a strong start to a possible series.

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    Posted September 20, 2013

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