Book Review: Libriomancer

A few years ago, I checked out Jim C. HinesĀ Libriomancer from the library. I’d read and thoroughly enjoyed his Goblin Quest and Princess novels and thought a story about casting magic from books would be a good read. I never got around to it and when the rental period expired I returned it unread.

Jump ahead to a few weeks ago when I finally remembered to check it back out again. This time I devoured it quickly and already put holds on the next two books. I’ll try to avoid spoilers and stick to the general stuff for now, but I have to say that I really loved this book. It was funny in the right places, had action in the right places, and the right touch of romance to hit all the right notes.

Let me take a moment and break down the book for you. Isaac Vainio is a libriomancer (it’s in the blurb. not a spoiler) Basically this means he can cast magic by pulling it out of books. What’s great is that as a true geek, Isaac mostly sticks to scifi/fantasy novels, some called out specifically othersĀ in vague descriptions. Either way, every time a reference is made that I got, my little geek heart grew a few sizes for this book.

And then of course there’s some conflict, some adventure, and Isaac has to do some creative thinking to save the day. And as is true of other Jim C. Hines’ books, the ‘method of success’ has some unforeseen side effects that setup the conflict in the next book or the one after.

I can talk for a long time on the plot, the characters, etc of this book but what I want to focus on is just the… awesome wish fulfillment of this story. I know usually wish fulfillment is used in book reviews as a negative, that the book was just written to basically be a form of written daydream but in this case I mean it in a very very good way. Not sure about other readers, but for me the idea of being able to reach into my favorite book and pull out a magic ring, excalibur, tricorder, or fire spider is amazing. I grew up reading to the point that my parents realized by middle school that sending me to my room wasn’t a punishment because I would just curl up with some music and a book for hours, losing myself in the adventure and the characters. Libriomancer is that kid getting to interact with his favorite books in a completely new and magical way. It’s that kid getting to not just be a book geek but also the hero, the geeky guy that through his wits and knowledge of scifi fantasy books can save the day and get the girl. (A girl who is totally kick ass and unique in her own way)

If you’re a book lover, someone that prides themselves in having a bookshelf in every room and believes in the magic of the written world, I cannot recommend this book enough. I love it and can’t wait for the others to come in.

~Scott