Monday, January 21, 2013

Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines

What if you could reach into your favorite novel and pull out a magic sword, or a laser gun, or a spider? Isaac, the protagonist in Libriomancer, can do all that and more through the magic of believing in the power of books. But can he stop magical chaos from breaking through into everyday reality? Or will vampires, self-serving sorcerers, and character-possessed libriomancers prevail?

Readers of Piers Anthony's Xanth novels or Terry Brooks' "Magic Kingdom of Landover" series will enjoy the light, humorous fantasy of Libriomancer. The concept is similar to Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, in which characters are read out of (and into) books, but it is not as compelling emotionally, nor as linguistically well-crafted. The author feels the need to stop for explanations of how his character's magic works so often that the flow of the story is sometimes lost at the very height of the action.

This is a book for geeks, pure and simple. From Tolkien to Adams, nearly every fandom imaginable gets a shout-out here. Anyone who hates Twilight will cheer to see Isaac take on the sparkly vampires in the opening scenes, as well. And even fans of Twilight will admit it's amusing that Hines' characters credit Meyer with the existence of new species of vampire.

Libriomancer is the first in the Magic Ex Libris series, with book two, Codex Born, coming soon.

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