Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Book Review: Libriomancer

Libriomancer (Magic Ex Libris #1)
By Jim Hines
“Every libromancer had a first book. Etched more sharply into my memory than my first kiss, this book had been my magical awakening.”
I went into this book ready to geek out. I mean, seriously, seriously, geek out. The story opens on Isaac Vainio, a cataloger at a library in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. But he's not just a librarian, he's a libriomancer. Isaac could perform a very specific kind of magic: he could reach into books and pull out anything that appeared within the pages (restricted only by the size of the page). He got into a bit of trouble in his job as a libriomancer, so he's been benched; his only connection to magic now is cataloging books for his library, but also for the magical organization he used to work for.

Then he gets attacked by Meyerii vampires (also known as sparklers) and finds himself in a magical war between Libriomancers and vampires, a mysterious enemy, and the disapperance of Johann Gutenburg (inventor of the printing press and founder of the Libriomancer organization), with only a sexy dryad and a fire spider there to help him.

In theory, this book should have been an uber-awesome, bibliophile geekfest. I wanted to love it. It referenced some of my favorite things, like Narnia, Doctor Who, and the very idea of reaching inside of books. And while the book wasn't "bad," it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I just couldn't get engaged in the story. It did pick up toward the climax, and some really cool things happened during that part of the book, but it was a bit of an effort to get there. It's worth a look if you're a geeky bibliophile like myself, but The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde is similar in theme, but superior in...well, everything.

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