Author: Jim C. Hines
Series: Magic Ex Libris 1
Pairing: M/F, F/F
Rating: Four Petals
On the Author's Website:
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.
What I enjoyed most about Libriomancer was the magic. I've read a lot of books with a lot of different magical whatsits and it's rare I find something both totally unique and so totally not in the same measure. Magically being able to reach into any book and pull out a healing potion or a laser gun--something another author brought to life inside the pages of their own novels--and use it to fight the bad guys was really interesting. The magic that made it possible was the belief built up from people reading and loving those novels. People like me. When Isaac, the main character, pulls out a book I've read and loved and uses that book to save himself, it honestly feels like my belief and my love of books gave Isaac the power he needed to survive. That sort of engagement in a book is rare. I usually yell at the TV (as if my words can influence a sports team or show), but keep myself much more controlled when it comes to books. In Libriomancer I cheered every time Isaac pulled out a book I knew or referenced another author that I love. I tried to think up other books that I had read that contained something else that might help Isaac save the day. Is it cheating to pull me into a book based on my love for other authors and books? Probably, but I still enjoyed reading Libriomancer regardless.
The romance in the book was much more difficult to enjoy and is the reason this book didn't get five stars. Isaac falls in love with a dryad, Lena, who loves him back. Except, she's programed to fall in love because she's a creature pulled from a book where love comes that easily. Isaac did fight against it, but not hard enough that I really believed it when they got together. Also, the Lena's previous lover was still in the picture and the threesome that resulted felt extremely awkward. I'm hoping the next book smooths that out a bit.
I do recommend this book. The magic was so unique and interesting that I couldn't help falling in love with the story. The romance was a little stilted and awkward, but overall I enjoyed reading it.
Maggie reviews paranormal and fantasy novels and novellas. She also interviews authors and hosts giveaways.