Customer Reviews for

Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1)

Average Rating 4
( 42 )
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(18)

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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 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    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 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.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I really loved this book! I will admit some of my affection is b

    I really loved this book! I will admit some of my affection is because
    it is set in Michigan, and it's not very often I get to read about my
    home state in a fantasy book. (Although it is not the first time.)
    Beyond it's setting it is still excellent, the story line has a new
    twist and the characters are likable, believable, and very funny. I
    believe in the magic of books taking you away to new places, I love the
    idea bringing things out of books. When I read the review I wondered if
    it would be much like Inkheart, but no, not at all, other than both are
    good books. I really look forward to reading the next one!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 5, 2012

    Jim's best yet.

    A rollicking good read for anyone who likes reading as Jim Hines returns to a slightly more lighthearted style... but while still having a breakneck action-packed read. Highly recommended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    The main character Isaac is a retired libriomancer.  As a librio

    The main character Isaac is a retired libriomancer.  As a libriomancer Isaac has the power to reach into books and take items written about out of the book.  Since he is retired he is now a librarian with a magic spider that when something bad is going to happen the spider  goes up in flames.   Vampires come to beat some information out of Issac, information about the magic community he has left.  This fight brings retired libriomancer back in the magical world full force. 




    I love books that are about books, librarians, and reading.  Finding a fantasy book about this character, the libriomancer, is probably a power that every lover of books and reader would love to have.  Imagine taking excalibur out to fight with.   A space age stun gun to stun enemies.  Some libriomancer even took characters out of books like a dryads.  




    This book reminded me of The Magicians by Lev Grossman but not as serious.  There was a lot more fun and humorous moments.   The fact that the book says this is the first book in a series makes me jump for joy.




    The only issue I had with the book is that it seemed short.  I wanted more to read!  I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series and maybe I should check out more books by Jim C. Hines.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2013

    Love it, love it, love it. Hines' best book so far. :D

    Love it, love it, love it. Hines' best book so far. :D

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

    Fun, exciting, magical romo full of wit and humor. 

    Fun, exciting, magical romo full of wit and humor. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 12, 2013

    fresh take on magic. I loved the book mentions and using books a

    fresh take on magic. I loved the book mentions and using books as source of magic along with the hazards that come with using this magic. I look forward to the next book in this series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Awsome book

    Awsome book!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2012

    Don't you want yourvery own fire spider?

    I enjoyed this book very much. I also recommend his goblin series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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