Thursday, March 24, 2016
Libriomancer: Magic Ex Libris: Book One by Jim C. Hines
A fantasy which has some surface level similarities to Justice Calling by Annie Bellet. In both books magic is real, but it is kept secret by those who are able to use it. The main protagonist isn’t using his/her ability for some reason, but after some unfortunate events he is forced to come back to the magic world. Also, he/she is a geek of some sort. This time, the mage in hiding, Isaac Vainio, (with some Finnish roots apparently) is a Libriomancer, a magic user who is able to pull things out of books. Need a good ray gun? Fine, find an action filled space opera, thrust your hand in the right place and get it out of the book. The ability is limited by the size of the book; if something is too large, it doesn’t fit out. It turns out that the other Libriomancers are being attacked by hordes of vampires. Usually, the vampires like to stay in hiding and they have a kind of non-aggression pact with magic users, so this is unusual behavior. And the vampires almost seem possessed, which shouldn’t really be possible. And the unbeatable automatons which were originally designed by Gutenberg, who discovered the libriomancy, are attacking some important libriomancers. How has someone been able to take control of them? It shouldn’t have been possible. And Gutenberg (who is still alive as he is using the Holy Grail (lifted from a book) to be immortal) can’t be found anywhere. Everything seems to be falling down in shambles. But soon he gets some help from a dryad, who originates from a pretty badly written erotic fantasy book. She is a wonderful and beautiful person and tough as a nail (and practically unbeatable in battle) but she must be deeply in love with someone and moulds herself to whatever her lover wants. And that can’t be helped – she is written that way. And she knows it herself. Her former lover is apparently dead and she is in bad shape, but she needs a new “host” soon to survive. Isaac has more than little moral qualms about the situation which is forming…
The start of the book was a bit exposition heavy – it almost seemed like there were earlier parts of the series (there apparently are none), there was so much back-story to be explained. But then the actual plot got going and it was a pretty fast and interesting ride after that – filled with fun references to a wide variety of books. The personalities of the characters were interesting and well written. All in all a good and entertaining read, something to take my mind away from a pretty horrendous cold I was having.
Proofreading by eangel.me.