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Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris 1)

Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris 1) [Kindle Edition]

Jim C. Hines
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description


"incredibly readable" (Wired)

"wildly entertaining ... a lot of fun" (Booklist)

"a rollicking adventure story full of ridiculous little touches. It's a seriously fun ride for anyone who's loved geeky books their whole life" (i09)

"a fun start to what promises to be a thrilling urban fantasy series" (Locus)

"Butt-kicking librarians, pyrotechnic spiders, and vampires that don't suck - Jim Hines serves up an incendiary and fun new urban fantasy!" (Charles Stross)

Book Description

An adventure-packed modern day fantasy for sci-fi and book lovers alike.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 534 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ebury Digital (22 Aug 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,323 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Jim C. Hines' latest book is LIBRIOMANCER, a modern-day fantasy about a magic-wielding librarian, a dryad, a secret society founded by Johannes Gutenberg, a flaming spider, and an enchanted convertible. He's also the author of the PRINCESS series of fairy tale retellings as well as the humorous GOBLIN QUEST trilogy. His short fiction has appeared in more than 40 magazines and anthologies. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife and two children. He's currently hard at work on CODEX BORN, the second book in the MAGIC EX LIBRIS series. Online, he can be found at

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A book that reads like a video game. 25 Aug 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Libriomancer starts out at a galloping pace and never really takes a breather. Fire spider, library, VAMPIRE ATTACK, rescue, GANDALF HAS DISAPPEARED, WAR IS ABOUT TO START, RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN RUN.

(I say Gandalf. I should say Gutenberg).

The writing is decent, the pacing solid, but somehow the story never really bewitched me, it never lulled me into that magical sense of being totally engrossed. It never absorbed me in the way that great fiction does. It's not The Neverending Story, it's not Inkheart, and it took the book about 150 pages before I actually started to like our hero. It's not that he is anything less than good, it's just that he isn't anything more interesting than your average guy (until he finally unleashes some librarian-powers and starts doing detective work through means of research). Basically, everything is done well enough to be solid B-rate fantasy. (Think Mike Shevdon, K.E. Mills, or Paul Magrs, or any other writers whose books are entertaining, but, a few weeks after reading them, forgotten)

I suppose one of the big factors in not quite making me happy is the central conceit: that books are magical and magicians can pull things out of books, but the things have to fit through the space of the book's pages, and not be living intelligent beings. Which sounds interesting enough, except mostly, our hero pulls out guns or swords or, at a stretch, healing potions. It reads like books are a storage system for weapons and potions in a video game. It's a very utilitarian approach to "the magic of reading", and quite disappointing. (Later in the book, things get more interesting, but it takes about half the novel before things start to intrigue at all).

It's readable, well-paced light entertainment. Not terribly absorbing, but pleasant enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Isaac Vainio is a libriomancer. He has the ability to reach into books and create objects from their pages. Every libriomancer has a specialty. Isaac's is sci-fi. A little over two years ago, Isaac snapped and broke some serious rules. Therefore, Isaac was yanked out of the field, banished to Michigan and forbidden from using magic unless it was an emergency. During the last two years, Isaac has been working in a library, secretly cataloguing books for their magical potential. So when he is attacked by three young vampires while at work, Isaac is surrounded by books that he could open and pull out all sorts of sci-fi weapons. But Isaac is rusty. The vampires believe Isaac has been killing their kind and intend to return the favor. Luckily for Isaac, help arrives in the form of Lena Greenwood.

Lena is a dryad and her choice of weapon is a pair of wooden swords. She proves to be excellent at helping to beat down various magical and undead threats. She also seems to be very interested in spending some alone time with Isaac.

Along with a neurotic fire-spider named Smudge, Isaac and Lena set out to find and stop whoever is behind the attacks. Should they fail, they could be looking at a worldwide war with the undead. Complicating matters further is the fact that by using his powers too often in a small amount of time, Isaac could end up losing control of them and actually wipe himself from existence. But if Isaac is to have any hope of preventing that war, he may have no other choice.

***** FIVE STARS! I have not had this much fun reading a fantasy book in quite awhile. As soon as I saw the author's name on the book cover, I knew that I was in for a treat. Only recently did I read "Jig the Dragonslayer" the Dragonslayer" and that omnibus made me a fan of this author.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great geek fest 18 Oct 2012
I won't bother explaining the story, other reviews do a pretty good job of that. I will however dive into some good and bad points about this book.

For a start the book is pretty fast paced. It keeps you on your toes and does't go into unnecessary detail, enough for you to get a great mental picture but not enough to bore you. Another point is the magic system in this book isn't like any other I have come across. If you enjoy reading about how magic works in detail, its rules and limitations then this book is defiantly for you. Also there are a great mix of characters in the book; So along with fire spiders, almost indestructible robots and sorcerers, you also have vampires. Not just one type of vampire, there are sub species of vampire, each with their own traits and abilities. There is a strong element of mystery in this title, a little like a detective story, Isaac is gathering clues and hints to find out whats happening. And needles to say if you have a great love of books then you will enjoy the homage paid to them throughout, with tribute paid to the entire concept of publishing.

On some occasions the book did seem a little simple. I love fantasies, especially ones where magic is at the forefront, but this follows the same pattern of many urban fantasies; a baddie to overcome, main charecter getting more powerful and a love interest thrown in (although the author does a good job not to make it too predictable). Also can't help but feeling like the fact that the main character can reach into a book and pull out an object opens the possibility for lots of deus ex machine usage. To an extent this is true but the author again does well to contain it with the explanations of the rules regarding the magic.

Its part of the authors new Magic Ex Libris series, I can safely say I will seek out future titles.

I have given it 4 stars, it is defiantly worth a read if you like magical fantasies.
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