Libriomancer, by Jim C. Hines

12844699I’d be willing to bet that anyone who loves to read has wished that they could live inside some of their favorite books, or bring something back with them after they’re done reading. Jim C. Hines’s charming Libriomancer takes that wish and runs with it.

Our protagonist, Isaac Vainio, is a librarian in the upper peninsula of Michigan who has the remarkable ability to reach into books and pull out anything that can fit through the open pages. He used to be a field agent for a secret agency that policies mysterious manifestations and rogue magicians, but he couldn’t control his magic. He is relegated to cataloging (with apologies to my cataloger friends) until one of the aforementioned rogue magicians manages to wipe out most of the agency’s fighting force. With the help of his pet fire spider and a wood nymph, Isaac investigates, fights vampires and automatons, and finds Johannes Gutenberg.

The plot itself is a lot of fun and I’d recommend this as a great bit of brain candy. But what makes this book really shine is the detail that Hines packed into his reimagined world. There are book jokes all over the place (with a helpful list at the end of the book that lets you know which books were made up and which were real), enemies possessed by the worst villains from fiction, chupacabra halfbreeds, and more. Here’s hoping that Hines can keep it up in the sequels.

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