Review: Libriomancer

Series: Magic Ex Libris: #1

Libriomancer has a lovely premise. Basically, books are magical. The more people you’ve had that have read the same edition of a given book, the more possible it is to magically pull various objections out of said book. Gutenberg took this principal with his first Bibles and founded an organization of Libriomancers that have existed up to the present day.

I love how many different ways Hines finds to use objects from various books (many I’ve read or at least heard of):

Of course, once you had yanked Conan the Barbarian’s sword out of a book to fight off a rabid weresquirrel, “impossible” lost a lot of its punch.

“Normal?” she repeated. “Yesterday you fed me cake from Wonderland so we could ride your spider into a magical basement and fight a vampire.”

Isaac, the main character is a Libriomancer’s librarian, cataloguing new books for all of the havoc that can be wrecked with them. He’s thrown into something of a war between the Libriomancers and various species of vampire (classified by Latinized versions of their author’s names) and things escalate from there. There are occasional info dumps that interrupt the flow of the book, but for the most part it grabs you and won’t let go.

There are all sorts of neat scenes, but the final showdown with the big bad’s minions is pretty spectacular.

I fell for close to a minute before slamming face-first into the moon.

And that’s not even the particularly spoilerly bit.

Other than info dumps, the other part of this book that tended to rub me the wrong way was Lena the Dryad. She gets around the ‘pull a person out of a book and they come out mad’ by having been pulled out as an acorn. That much is pretty cool, but she also comes with a magical compulsion to find a lover and mold herself to their interest and desires. Without that compulsion, I liked the character. With it, it’s just creepy.

Overall though, neither the infodumps nor Lena’s compulsion were enough to truly detract from this book. I quite enjoyed it and am looking forward to the rest of the series.