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Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris 1) [Paperback]

Jim C. Hines
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: £12.99
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Book Description

22 Aug 2013 Magic Ex Libris 1

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer, a member of a secret society founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg. As such, he is gifted with the magical ability to reach into books and draw forth objects.

But when Gutenberg vanishes without a trace, Isaac finds himself pitted against everything from vampires to a sinister, nameless foe who is bent on revealing magic to the world at large... and at any cost.

Frequently Bought Together

Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris 1) + Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris 2)
Price For Both: £17.71

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (22 Aug 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0091953448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0091953447
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 554,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pages Comes Alive (Literally) 20 May 2014
Pulp fantasy may be frowned upon by some who believe that novels should be about emotions, inner journeys and despair. Fantasy and science fiction can have all these things as well, but they can also be fun, entertaining and have laser pistols. ‘Libriomancer’ by Jim C. Hines is a great example. It is a book that follows Isaac Vainio, a Libriomancer who has the power to draw magic from books. He must use this power to good effect when one day whilst sitting comfortably cataloguing, he is attacked by three vampires. Does that sound fun to you? If so, read on; if not, this may not be the book for you.

‘Libriomancer’ is a fantastic example of the fun fantasy that has seen the likes of Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden novels sell so well. The core idea is that certain people can pull objects out of books, be it weapons, clothing or potions – as long as they fit the dimensions of the pages. For those readers who like their fantasy and sci fi a little kooky, this is a great idea and the implications are almost endless. Which books would you delve into and for what? Hines only manages to scratch the surface of possibility in this, book one of a series. However, he still manages to cite ‘The Lord of the Rings’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, James Bond and many others.

Perhaps some of the best realised ideas are the ones that are based on more modern text. This is a novel that sees our hero Isaac go up against vampires. Most books have one type of vampire in them, but this is a novel about vampires that have escaped from novels. Therefore, there are hundreds of subtle differences; from your traditional Stoker guise to more modern and tougher Meyer based foe. Hines has great fun taking well-meaning swipes at the modern vampire lore.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good story, mediocre writer 27 Mar 2014
By maglin
The plot is really amazing. Using books to make magic and Johann Gutenberg, inventor of the printing press, as the one person who started it all. A live firespider and a sexy dryad coming alive but brought forward from books.The use of Excalibur, tardis and whatever...
As much as I would like these powers I can't but feeling let down by the writing style. Shallow and repetitive without any drive or finesse at all. After reading one third of the story I started to skim as I wanted to know the completion of this first installment of 'ex libris'. But it was so tedious I am not going to invest in the next books of the series.
A big disappointment.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have to say a blurb, for once, was one I can completely agree with. I, too, started with the intention to read a few pages but got hooked until it was getting light outside and I noticed the time was almost 6 a.m. and I was supposed to get up in three hours. I'm not usually big on fantasy but having contemporary surroundings helps. Having an author that so clearly loves books and has corporated literature into the story helps a lot more. Having a historical figure or two as side characters is a very nice touch as well. And Hines definitely knows his audience well as he was very kind to include a bibliography of all the books mentioned in 'Libriomancer' (I am so disappointed that 'Renfield' isn't a real book...).

All in all, really very good. Actually, so good I'm afraid of reading the second book 'Codex Born' in the series in case it falls short of this one. Perhaps I'll go with Hines' goblin series, I hear a certain sparky arachnid is involved in those.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Rollercoaster read 9 Oct 2013
This book doesn't stop from the first page. I loved it, from the premise (he can reach into any book and retrieve items within) to the quirky characters. I also loved the spider, who doesn't love a spider that ignites its surroundings when it feels threatened? If you are a sci-fi and fantasy fan, you will love the million in-jokes, about all the books he has quoted. It's a real, edge of the seat thriller, and relentlessly funny as well. Can't wait to read book 2.
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