Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1)

( 41 )

Overview

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 ...

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Libriomancer: (Magic Ex Libris Book 1)

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

Patrick Rothfuss
“I picked up the book meaning to read a few pages. My first thought was, ‘This is a cool concept.’ The second thing I thought was, ‘This is really, really clever.’ The third thing I thought was, ‘I should have gone to sleep three hours ago.’”
Seanan McGuire
"This may be Jim Hines’s best work. Libriomancer is smart, silly, and deadly serious, all at the same time. It’s a book about loving books. This is the magic librarian and ass-kicking dryad adventure story we’ve all been waiting for."
Tanya Huff
"All writers believe in the magic of books; Jim Hines has created a system where that magic becomes real, usable, and very definitely not always safe."
Lisa Shearin
"Secret organizations, supernatural threats, and an unknown killer of unimaginable power—Libriomancer is one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. It’s a lightning-fast race against time and magic to prevent the darkest secrets from history from unleashing a supernatural war on the world. I can’t wait for the next one. Oh, by the way, never piss off a fire spider."
RT Book Reviews
"[Libriomancer] is ardent wish fulfillment with a hefty dose of action, romance, literary pop trivia and just a pinch of social commentary."
Patrick Rothfuss

“I picked up the book meaning to read a few pages. My first thought was, ‘This is a cool concept.’ The second thing I thought was, ‘This is really, really clever.’ The third thing I thought was, ‘I should have gone to sleep three hours ago.’”
Seanan McGuire

"This may be Jim Hines’s best work. Libriomancer is smart, silly, and deadly serious, all at the same time. It’s a book about loving books. This is the magic librarian and ass-kicking dryad adventure story we’ve all been waiting for."
Tanya Huff

"All writers believe in the magic of books; Jim Hines has created a system where that magic becomes real, usable, and very definitely not always safe."
Lisa Shearin

"Secret organizations, supernatural threats, and an unknown killer of unimaginable power—Libriomancer is one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. It’s a lightning-fast race against time and magic to prevent the darkest secrets from history from unleashing a supernatural war on the world. I can’t wait for the next one. Oh, by the way, never piss off a fire spider."
RT Book Reviews

"[Libriomancer] is ardent wish fulfillment with a hefty dose of action, romance, literary pop trivia and just a pinch of social commentary."
Publishers Weekly
This funny and fast-paced series opener, Hines’s first hardcover for DAW, will be sure to surprise and entertain urban fantasy fans. Isaac Vainio is a Libromancer, a rare kind of magic user who can make objects from the pages of books manifest in reality. After leaving the magic field for mundane work at the Copper River Library, he’s sorely out of practice, but a sudden attack by Meyerii vampires forces him to brush up on his magical talents. The vampires are targeting members of Die Zwelf Portenaere, or the Porters, declaring war because of perceived assaults on their kind. Isaac, accompanied by dryad Lena Greenwood and pet fire-spider Smudge (familiar from Hines’s Jig the Goblin books), sets off to put a stop to the attacks and find Johannes Gutenberg, founder of the Porters, who has recently disappeared. The book is amusing and action-packed from page one; Isaac is sure to be an instant fan favorite, and the secondary characters are vivid and multidimensional. (Aug.)
Tor.com
"Pretty much geek porn for the urban fantasy set. It’s meta-fictional and utterly awesome."
VOYA - Susan Hampe
Libriomancers are people who are able to reach into the pages of books and pull items from them. For centuries the Porters who oversee the use of this magic have been headed by Johannes Gutenberg. Issac is a once hopeful researcher turned cataloger who is swiftly swept back into the world of the Porters when he is attacked by a trio of vampires. In seeking answers to his attack, he discovers that all is not well within the organization. Reassigned to the field with his fire spider, Smudge, and joined by a dryad, the misfit trio sets off exploring the upper Midwest to uncover the root of the mystery. The premise at a glance sounds almost too ridiculous, but Hines delivers an entertaining and well-written romp of a fantasy in Libriomancer. He breezes through numerous literary and historical references, making it a fascinating read for the curious. Also evident throughout is his cleverness in such references as the Meyerii, vampires who are also called sparklers (think Twilight). Rounding out the title is the eclectic cast of smart and witty characters who are very relatable, as well as comparable to other fantasy titles. This quirky urban fantasy would appeal to science-fiction/fantasy readers, fans of the Dresden Files and the Inkheart series, or anyone looking for an adventure featuring a quirky cast. Reviewer: Susan Hampe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780756408176
  • Publisher: DAW
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 315,311
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 4.16 (h) x 0.99 (d)

Meet the Author

Jim C. Hines has been a paid juggler, earned a black belt in two different martial arts, performed yo-yo tricks at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and lived with a brain-damaged squirrel. (Only three of those are true.) One of his earliest stories earned first place in the Writers of the Future contest. He’s published more than forty short stories as well as numerous fantasy novels, including the humorous Jig the Dragonslayer trilogy, the Princess series, which re-imagines traditional fairy-tale princesses as butt-kicking action heroines, and the Magic Ex Libris series, about a centuries-old secret society dedicated to the use and control of book magic. In 2012, he won the Hugo for Best Fan Writer. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife, two children, and an unstable number of pets. He can be found online at www.jimchines.com.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 41 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(18)

4 Star

(16)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
  • 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.

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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 March 24, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    For readers who believe in the magic of the written word, can be

    For readers who believe in the magic of the written word, can become lost within a book, or any institution that houses said items, and yearns to know the story behind the story, this book will be of interest. As a librarian I became fascinated with the concept and had to delve deeper than the short abstract provided.

    Although a grate book, offering a little bit of every genera for book geeks;  Know this is defiantly written for a young adult audience. Adults will find enjoyment but will find lacking in regards to stories written for a more advanced reader.

    The book is strong and keeps an individual engaged but, does not leave the reader craving for more as much as other stories have done for me within this genera and age group.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2012

    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 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.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 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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  • 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.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 20, 2013

    Good Fantasy for Booklovers

    The first volume in Hines' Magic Ex Libris series features terrific characters, some great action sequences, and imaginative use of literature. I really like the relationship between Isaac and Lena, and I totally want a fire spider like Smudge for my own. It took me a bit to get oriented at the beginning, and the middle slows down some, but it was still a quick and entertaining read. -- lyradora

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  • 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

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2013

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

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

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  • 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.

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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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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 28, 2012

    Awsome book

    Awsome book!!

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  • 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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2012

    Such a wonderful letdown.

    5 stars until the last 5 pages where the author had to insert his ideas about free love and open relationships. I have been a BIG fan of Hines but this was so disappointing and compeltely unnecessary to the story. So close but so far

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews

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