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Magic Ex Libris Book 1

I loved this book from start to finish. The premise of this new series by Jim C. Hines is about a world where magic resides in books. Isaac Vainio is a libriomancer whose duties were reduced a few years prior, so he works in a library cataloging the books as a librarian. He is no longer allowed to use magic as a consequence, even though he has moments when he wishes he could. Most of the comedic moments occur with his spider (Smudge). This novel takes a lighthearted approach towards death, vampires, and magic. Highly enjoyable to read and re-read, yet there are numerous references to previous authors, books, and events, which could make reading this novel a bit more difficult for some readers to successfully navigate. If one has questions regarding Mr. Hines’ references, I suggest looking at his Bibliography behind the story for further edification. It is very complete.

This story starts with Isaac’s library coming under attack from unknown people, which puts him on the defensive for the entire novel. Isaac and his friends (and Smudge) travel to find Johannes Gutenberg as no one knows who or why someone is attacking vampires and libriomancers in general and Isaac in particular. The only defensive move Isaac is able to utilize is magic (which he is forbidden to use). Isaac has a coat similar to the coat Harry Dresden uses in the Jim Butcher series, but unlike the stuff Dresden puts in his pockets for fighting tactics, it is full of books for every occasion/necessity Isaac has when he encounters situations requiring assists or defending one’s property/life. This is only book one, but I’m eagerly awaiting the next novel in the series. In the meantime, since I’ve not had the opportunity to read Jim Hines’ other books, I’m consoling myself by reading them.

Book Blurb for Libriomancer

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. . . .

Night Owl Reviews Sep, 2012 5.00