Friday, October 21, 2016


Magic ex Libris Book 1
Daw Books
August 7th, 2013
Fantasy, Action/adventure, humor, urban fantasy
Mass market paperback
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by the author
4 hearts

Isaac is a member of a secret organization that protects the world from supernatural threats. As a libriomancer he has the ability to reach into books and draw forth objects to use. But when vampires attack him and other libriomancers, Isaac finds that the founder of the organization, Johannes Gutenberg, has been kidnapped and other magic users are turning up dead. With the help of his fire-spider, smudge and a sexy dryad named Lena by his side, Isaac has to race to figure out the answers to the attacks on his friends and co-workers because if he doesn’t succeed, an ancient power long thought vanquished will rise once again and destroy everything he holds dear.

When I won this book from a blog contest, I was unsure how it would be. But wow, does the author flip the fantasy/urban fantasy genre on its head and make it fresh and inviting. The writing does start off a little slow in this first book of the series but that is to get all the pertinent information out there right away which worked for me in this book. Then the author added in clues and secrets that slowly revealed themselves as Isaac and his allies raced to find the answers. This is an author who knows how to keep the tension up and draw his readers in. I loved how some people since the 15th century was libriomancers’ and the author does a good job in making that clear to the reader. This is clearly an author who loves books as he mentions some literary gems and wants to share that love with the readers. Between some real books and a few the author had made up, he gives us plenty of wonderful objects and stories to enjoy in this first book as he pulls item after item -a phaser, Excalibur, magic potion - out of books near and dear to Isaac as he battles vampires and other supernatural threats in his quest for answers. The author writes a tale that is fast and furious. It delivers a story that draws you in until you can not put it down until you see what happens next to Smudge, Isaac and Lena. The story winds up to a climatic ending that leaves you with more questions even as it answers the initial ones from the beginning of the book are answered.

What really thrilled me were the characters. They were vast and entertaining plus quite different. I loved Isaac as he was a character that just called to me. He was a libriomancer who was forced to not use his magic after a disastrous event that now has him doing research only and no magic. Isaac seemed to grow as a character as he, Lena and Smudge tried to find the answers of whom or what is causing the attacks on the organization he works for. The author does an amazing job in capturing each character’s strengths and weaknesses. I loved how Isaac battled with himself as he tried to not use magic to pull items from his beloved books yet the draw was still there. I really enjoyed the scenes where Isaac and Lena work together to beat enemies that are after them. Those scenes are quite enjoyable and kept me glued to the scenes. Add in a vampire leader bent on finding answers to the disappearances of the vampires around them and more, the author delivers a story with sub-plots that tie into the mystery of what happened to Guttenberg and who was after Isaac. The author does a great job in capturing each characters different nuances and vulnerabilities and it conveys across the pages perfectly.

LIBRIOMANCER is a wild ride from start to finish with a cast of characters that draw you in and make you forget about food, sleep and more all in a quest to see where the story will lead the reader next. I loved my introduction to this magical world author Jim Hines delivers and I look forward to continuing the adventure in the next book, Codex Born. If you enjoy a different take on urban fantasy/fantasy genre with a unique set of characters, a fast paced storyline and a bit of romance to wet your imagination, then try LIBRIOMANCER and settle in for one ride that you won’t forget. This author now has a new fan and I can not wait to see where he leads, Isaac, Lena and Smudge next.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement

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