Hines's hilarious and clever Magic ex Libris series, where books come alive and libriomancer Isaac Vainio combats magical threats that spring from the page Five hundred years ago, Johannes Gutenberg discovered the art of libriomancy, allowing him to reach into books to create things from their pages.
Revenge which begins with the brutal slaughter of a wendigo in the northern Michigan town of Tamarack, a long-established werewolf territory. Isaac is called in to investigate the killing, along with Porter psychiatrist Nidhi Shah and their dryad bodyguard and lover, Lena Greenwood. Born decades ago from the pages of a pulp fantasy novel, Lena was created to be the ultimate fantasy woman, strong and deadly, but shaped by the needs and desires of her companions. But their plan could unleash a far darker evil….
Jim C. Hines has been a paid juggler, earned a black belt in two different martial arts, performed yo-yo tricks at the top of the Eiffel Tower, and lived with a brain-damaged squirrel. Only three of those are true. One of his earliest stories earned first place in the Writers of the Future contest. In , he won the Hugo for Best Fan Writer. Jim lives in Michigan with his wife, two children, and an unstable number of pets. He can be found online at www. Excerpted by permission of DAW.
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This information helps us design a better experience for all users. What that says about me Oct 28, Shdnx rated it liked it Shelves: about-magic , fantasy , urban-fantasy , paranormal. This shows in the fluctuating quality of the book: some scenes, or even chapters, are pretty darn awesome 5 stars , whereas there are numerous chapters that are just there to fill the gap between the story points of interest stars. This greatly affects the story's pacing: it slows down, then it quickens, then it slows down aga 3.
This greatly affects the story's pacing: it slows down, then it quickens, then it slows down again - only to be followed by more fast-paced action. I find that this makes me snap out of the story, which greatly decreases the overall enjoyment value. I think that a more consistently tension-building way of writing would have more beneficial. Many elements feel forced - the human antagonist is too evil for no particular reason that I can fathom, and the resolution aftermath contains very much out-of-character decisions, for the sole reason of keeping the readers interested and continuing the series.
Otherwise, the book is pretty good, and I enjoyed reading it. Isaac's character still feels legitimate, and the book's focus on Lena - especially her memories of her life before we met her - really added a lot of value. The idea behind her character is one of the most powerful ones featured in this series I feel, and the author is doing a good job of utilizing this. Having said all that, I don't feel that Codex Born deserves 4 stars.
A 4 star book features a lot more consistency than this.
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Nonetheless, I enjoyed reading it, and I am looking forward to the next book. Codex Born leaves the world in an interesting situation, both globally and with Isaac - how the author decides to deal with this will determine for me whether this series has a future or not. May 23, Rebecca rated it liked it Shelves: fantasy. In the first book in the series, Libriomancer , Hines introduced a wildly creative magic system and a couple really intriguing minor characters.
Unfortunately, this is really more of the same, and some of the novelty is starting to wear off. They still do magic by pulling stuff out of books, which still results in dozens of hat tips to classic and contemporary works that will delight any voracious reader. Lena the dryad is still a really interesting study in how much agency fictional women are allo In the first book in the series, Libriomancer , Hines introduced a wildly creative magic system and a couple really intriguing minor characters.
Lena the dryad is still a really interesting study in how much agency fictional women are allowed to have, by an author who is extremely aware and careful of what he's doing. Gutenberg is still extremely morally dubious. But that's it--it's all "still". There are a couple twists on how the magic works, but it doesn't really feel like it changes that much. Isaac gets himself into trouble and self-sacrifices to the point of having his personality disintegrate for a second time. There's not a lot of arc here for anyone--it's very much a middle book.
We find out more examples of bad things that Gutenberg did, but it doesn't actually change our view of him. Each chapter begins with a segment from Lena's point of view, giving her backstory.
But it's just fleshing out what we already knew--it doesn't grant that much insight, and it doesn't really tie into the plot. I don't feel like I understand Lena much more than at the end of the last book, and she hasn't really changed much, either. It's a fun plot, although the real antagonist is buried so deep that the ending has no particular sense of victory--each villain has been dispatched too easily in favor of one who we see for two sentences, undoubtedly to be dealt with in the next book. I still enjoyed it, but I think this is a victim of my coming in with higher expectations.
It's a perfectly nice little sequel. I was just expecting more. Aug 28, Alana Abbott rated it it was amazing. Jim Hines is one of them. Read the rest of the review at Black Gate. Book provided by publisher. Oct 30, Danni Green rated it it was ok. Unfortunately, this sequel just didn't measure up to the first one. The things I loved about the first book -- the magical ability of libriomancy, the brilliant intra-plot surprises, the riveting character development, the exquisite pacing of the unfolding narrative -- just didn't happen in this one.
I'll probably still read the next one to see if there's any chance it will be as good as that first one; I know there's more story to be told here! Jan 04, Tish rated it really liked it. Probably 3.
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Fun, action-packed, and with a unique magic system. Urban fantasy tends to not be my favorite genre, but this series is a lot of fun and I love all the references to and uses of real books. The things that bugged me about the first book didn't bother me here, maybe because the author and I were both willing to live with less explanation of how it all works and just go with it.
I like all the secondary characters--except maybe Gutenberg: the jury is still out on him. The end Probably 3. The ending was somewhat unusual, but it definitely makes me want to read the next one! Apr 29, Cyndie Dyer rated it did not like it Shelves: abandoned. Jim Hines needs to read all the praise for Libriomancer on the back jacket to see where he went wrong with this book. I abandoned it on page 47 at the suggestion of my son when he saw how hard I was struggling to make myself continue. Lena speaks to open each chapter in a pretentious voice that doesn't ring true. The case she, Isaac, and Nidhi go to investigate is nauseously gory.
Although there were elements that intrigued me in those 47 pages, I decided the stuff I couldn't stand overroad Ugh! Although there were elements that intrigued me in those 47 pages, I decided the stuff I couldn't stand overroad my interest. Oct 21, Melodramaticfool marked it as abandoned. Why does this cover looks so's? Libriomancer didn't look like this Otherwise, I cannot wait to read this one!
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Aug 08, Jaron Harris rated it liked it Shelves: reviewed. Decent followup to Libriomancer. The concept is better than the execution on this one I think. The ending in particular rankled me but I can't really say why without revealing too much. I enjoy Hines' work in general so I'm sure I'll pick up the inevitable sequel.
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To view it, click here. More of Lena's story, Isacc in trouble again, more book trivia to learn, e-readers, a second founder of primitive libromancy, and more fiery Smudge. I liked it a lot. Meeting Isaac, Smudge and Lena again has been great and I loved going on an other adventure with them. I'm really curious what's the deal with the Army of Ghosts and if Gutenberg turns out to be a good, bad or grey character. Also, the magic reveal? I wonder how that one will play out.
I like the backstory we got on Lena even though - parts of it have not been easy to read and how she evolved. Smudge, the giant fire spider? I love it and I would have sulked too! The I liked it a lot. The ending for Isaac? I mean, it probably saved his life, but still. Sep 03, Fangs for the Fantasy rated it it was amazing.
Isaac, Lena and Nidhi are developing their new relationship — but hardly have the chance to do so on peace before being called into the field again. But throw in some strange, lethal metal insects, creations of a dead Libriomancer and his far less fun father. I love the very concept of this world. The idea of pulling things out of books — and now e-readers — and both the wonder and the complexity that can come with that.
I love just how much the love of reading and the power of it and this genre which we adore so much is all just worshipped in this series. And things have got complicated — wonderfully, gloriously complicated. We have an enemy — who everyone hates, even his allies and rightly so. Then we have an enemy who Isaac kind of feels sympathetic towards with lots of recognition of past injustice.
And under all that you have the big nasty monsters that may try to eat everyone. I love the dispensing of the idea that Gutenburg is the first Libriomancer — the Chinese have been printing long before him and already had their own variety. At first it seemed like a simple case of Gutenburg attacking, slaughtering and stealing from the Students of Bi Sheng.
But then lots of nuance get added: Are we judging someone based on what they did years ago? With attitudes, standards and thought processes that were prevalent at the time? Gutenburg was involved in a war — not only did the Students of Bi Sheng fight him but multiples forces were trying to destroy him while he established his power — he saw it as a fight for survival. I like how all of these are raised without in any way justifying or excusing what Gutenburg did or that it was wrong — even having Gutenburg admit it.
The nuance is there for human complexity, not dismissal. Except, of course, that secrecy is equally used to cover up his nefarious deeds, build his legend and head off any challenge and criticism. In addition to all this human world building, I love nuts and bolts of the world — how so much thought has gone into making everything work. Some things are theories — hotly debated theories — which is excellently realistic. Why should they know all the rules of magic? Read More Not as good as the first book. Parts of it felt too much like fan service for my liking and the ending seemed a bit too deus ex machina-ish.
Dec 08, Marlene rated it it was amazing. Originally published at Reading Reality Born from a book. All the best ideas are born from the things we read. Start with Libriomancer. Start now. Codex Born is on the dark side of fun. On the one hand, we have your average geeky male librarian which I realize is inherently not average, most librarians are female. But geeky Isaac is a particular kind of wizard, he draws magic out of books. Particularly magic things out of books. Libriomancer Isaac Vainio has the best of all geekily possible girlfriends.
Lena Greenwood is a dryad. Somebody else got her acorn out of a book. But Isaac believes in freedom and personal responsibility. So Lena does too. Talk about a conundrum! Who also believes in women taking care of themselves, being independent and fighting for what they believe in. In order to embody what her lovers most desire, Lena must be an independent woman. One whose existence is bound up with a tree. Ever since Gutenberg created movable type, and the magic that is born by thousands of people reading the exact same immovable book, the Porters, the wizard society that he created, has controlled magic-use among humans.
And Gutenberg has secrets upon secrets about all the other magic-users he has battled over the centuries. In Libriomancer a dark power set up the Porters and the vampires to fight each other while it looked for a weakness it could exploit. In Codex Born it finds something better, a whole different branch of libriomancers that time forgot. A group that has been looking for centuries for a way to bring people preserved in books back to their bodies.
Lena Greenwood has proved that she can bring disembodied people back to life through her tree. Dark forces, aided by a surprisingly monstrous array of earthly enemies, hunt down Isaac and Lena in an attempt to bring back the first libriomancers that Gutenberg ever faced. Escape Rating A-: Codex Born is very dark, and does not have a happy ending. We see where she came from, and her evolution from a simple dryad to the complex individual she finally became.
It was a difficult journey with some surprising twists and turns. One of the sadly fun bits was the whodunnit part. The protagonists discover, much too late, that they have been chasing Saruman and missed the clues to Sauron. As he did. This has the feel of a middle book. Not just because the ending is dark, but because it presages more to come.
Evil is not defeated; it is not even temporarily vanquished, no matter what the good guys think. What we have is a minor pause for breath. Something horrible is coming, you can feel it. The question is whether Isaac can snatch victory from somewhere and defeat it.
ISBN 13: 9780756408398
And whether Gutenberg intends him to. Sep 26, Amyiw rated it it was ok Shelves: series , x , urban-fantasy , not-continuing. This was a disappointment after the first book though some of the problems with the first book are still present here and take away from the story line.
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The multiple lines of thought and the incohesiveness of plot, along with an epilogue ending that completely makes the plot a cliffhanger. Ok a lot of it was in the air after the final battle and argument with Gutenberg but Then view spoiler [ one of the bugs gets into the girl intern. I thought the Queen was destroyed? The end, nope. Oh well, piss me off. The good 1- I actually liked Lena's POV and seeing her growth from not understanding to self awareness. It was a story inside the main plot. Alice in Wonderland's pill, loved that. I get that he had a connection but