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Libriomancer: Magic ex Libris, Book 1 | [Jim C. Hines]

Libriomancer: Magic ex Libris, Book 1

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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....

©2012 Jim C. Hines (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"This may be Jim Hines's best work. Libriomancer is smart, silly, and deadly serious, all at the same time. It's a book about loving books. This is the magic librarian and ass-kicking dryad adventure story we’ve all been waiting for." (Seanan McGuire, The New York Times best-selling author of Discount Armageddon)

"All writers believe in the magic of books; Jim Hines has created a system where that magic becomes real, usable, and very definitely not always safe." (Tanya Huff, best-selling author of the Blood Books)

"This funny and fast-paced series opener...will be sure to surprise and entertain urban fantasy fans.... Isaac is sure to be an instant fan favorite, and the secondary characters are vivid and multidimensional." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (391 )
5 star
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4 star
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3.8 (360 )
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Story
3.8 (358 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer Michigan, USA 03-12-15
    Amazon Customer Michigan, USA 03-12-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    2
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    Story
    "for geeks and book nerds"

    A fantasy book lover's fantasy with book-based magic, moveable type, and a pet fire spider.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Keith T Mclaughlin 01-26-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    17
    5
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    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Characters really lacked a personality"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    I guess I am not really on board with the premise of this book. I am a big fan of butcher and sandman slim, Peter Grant style books. This one just fell flat to me and I really couldn't finish it.


    What was most disappointing about Jim C. Hines’s story?

    Character development was flat on this first book. Three hours in and I have no interest in seeing what happens to the characters.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    As someone else mentioned the female voices are pretty bad.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Over all was bored tuning this book out.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cherie 11-14-14
    Cherie 11-14-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    17
    7
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    "Good enough to send me for the second book"
    Would you listen to Libriomancer again? Why?

    I don't know that I'd re-listen - the narrator does a poor job with the main female character as well as some others, and it grates


    What other book might you compare Libriomancer to and why?

    This is a light, fun story. The magic is interesting but not elaborate, though the ending makes me wonder if this will change in the future. The main characters were pleasant and there was a lot of action - not sure what I'd compare it with however


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    For the most part the narration matched the story's pace - it has a lot of action, some of which I zoned out for as I don't particularly care for drawn out fight scenes


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not particularly


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Farrell 07-09-14
    Farrell 07-09-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    53
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    371
    184
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    5
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Convenient"

    The writing was good and the story flowed well. Overall I enjoyed it. I just found the premise just too much of "writers convenience". By being able to pull things out of books it seemed just a bit to easy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maman MN 06-16-14
    Maman MN 06-16-14 Member Since 2014

    Bunnyhuggin'treelovin'perfumesniffin'cakeeatin'classicsreadin'poshspeakin'cleverclogs.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "Dreadful narration"
    What disappointed you about Libriomancer?

    I have sadly had to abandon the audible version and will return to print to finish this novel. The narrator sounded so wrong for the part (look at the guy on the cover- he doesn't sound like this!!) and relentlessly mispronounces words (autoMAYton), but the killer for me was the female voices! Must they all sound so 'ditzy'?? I just couldn't get past it- I envisioned them all as candy floss haired drag queens bitching about their high heels....


    Would you recommend Libriomancer to your friends? Why or why not?

    I would not recommend this audible edition. Should always listen to a sample first.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David DeVries’s performances?

    No


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Disappointment. Received a good recommendation.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judy 03-29-14
    Judy 03-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    13
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    Story
    "Funny and imaginative text"

    Libriomancers are people who can draw objects and people out of books and make them 'real' in the everyday world, but only after thousands of people have read the same words in the same way. Gutenberg was the original libriomancer and he developed the printing press to enable his magic. The libriomancers are being attacked by vampires who believe that the libriomancers started it and Isaac, a talented but poorly disciplined libriomancer has been recalled to field work to help out. He travels with Lena Greenwood, a dryad, and Smudge, a fire-spider, as they try to stop the serial murders of both libriomancers and vampires. The story is imaginative, well written and funny. David DeVries narration unfortunately does not do it justice. I find the tone of his voice irritating, although that is clearly personal choice, but there are also numerous instances where the way he reads dialogue does not match the description given by the author - so he might read something in a flat, unemotional tone and then say "exclaimed Lena".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Hopkins 03-22-14
    N. Hopkins 03-22-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
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    83
    12
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    0
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    "Save yourself! Read the book instead!"
    Would you try another book from Jim C. Hines and/or David DeVries?

    Yes, if read by a different narrator. He has a fun style, good sense of humor and good character development. The premise of this book was outstanding and lured me in. Why, oh why did I not listen to a sample, or read the reviews more carefully? Because I'm a sap, that's why. Bringing objects from books to life? How could it not be fascinating? Every book lovers dream, right? And in fact, the story is fascinating. If you can get past the horrible narration.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The tree nymph. Great sense of humor, interesting premise.


    Would you be willing to try another one of David DeVries’s performances?

    Not only no, but by cracky, heck no. It was absolutely horrible. Nothing personal, David. Some people are just meant to be narrators, others are not. I hope you didn't quit your day job.


    Could you see Libriomancer being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    That's a silly ass question.


    Any additional comments?

    I may very well get the Kindle edition of the sequel. I'd very much like to know what happens to these characters. I just couldn't stand to listen to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Walden Utah 03-10-14
    N. Walden Utah 03-10-14 Member Since 2013

    Page Turner, Avid Listener, Life-long Student.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    15
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    "Good but not what I was hoping for."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I was so excited about the basic premise of this book - Libriomancers, people with the power to manifest magic from books. What a great idea! But I felt that at one moment the action was rushing by too quickly and at other moments the reflections of the main character were slowing things down. I think the author has great ability but it just didn't hit the mark for me.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    There was a certain amount of the end that was very foreseeable, not surprising. But it was fairly excitingly written, enough that I wanted to finish. I was disappointed by the two main characters and their back and forth feelings that didn't entirely resolve at the end. Not everyone has to walk off into the sunset happily but sometimes, its best to let things be messy than to tie up loose ends disappointingly.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David DeVries?

    While the reader was good at carrying emotion in his voice, his tone for the female voices was poor and, for me, it took away from the implied sexiness of those characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KarenB Western NY 03-10-14
    KarenB Western NY 03-10-14 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
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    11
    3
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    0
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    "Impossible to listen to"
    What disappointed you about Libriomancer?

    The fact that the narrator mispronounces automaton, a key word in this book, makes it impossible for me to continue to listen. The story could be great but I will never know. How hard can it be to make sure a word is being said correctly? Especially a word that is used repeatedly, at least in the chapters of this book that I did manage to get through.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dena 07-29-13
    Dena 07-29-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    21
    3
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    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
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    "narrator ruined story for me"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No, I kept getting irritated with the narrator. I bought the Kindle version so I could read the story. I understood that this book was actually removed from the store and would be replaced later after some problems were taken care of. When I noticed the sequel was ready for pre-order I went back and checked out this one again. I checked the last part of the book where I had to stop reading and there was still the mispronunciation of automaton which is used extensively in the last half of the book. I'm not willing to listen to the whole thing again to see if anything at all has improved.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of David DeVries?

    anyone who could properly pronounce automaton!


    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
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