Have you ever founds yourself so engrossed in a book that you felt like you were there? Have you had that feeling where you could smell the surroundings, like you could reach out and touch a character or an object? Have you experienced that moment where the book is so real you feel like you are truly transported to a new time and place? Well, if you have, you might be a libriomancer.
In Jim Hines book, Libriomancer are men and woman with magical powers can use magic to pull object directly from books. Isaac Vainio is one of these magicians. He belongs to a secret group called the Die Zwelf Portenære (The twelve Porters or just The Porters). Porters can use magic to pull objects from books. Isaac is a cataloguer for the Porters, classifying books that have magical potential. His life is pretty quiet until a group of Meyerii Vampires (AKA Sparklers) show up at his library and demand information on why the Porters and hunting vampires. Isaac finds himself thrown into a weird war between the Porters and Vampires, armed only with his magic, his fire spider Smudge, and the wood nymph Lena who comes to his aid.
There are so many reasons to love this book. Here are the top 7 reasons you should read Libriomancer.
- It’s set in Michigan – Jim Hines is a Michigan Author and this books jumps from the UP to Lansing to Detroit with other locals in between. It’s fun to read a book where you are familiar with the setting.
- The Vampires- There are two camps of magical creatures. Those who are made and those who are created. Most of the vampires in the world are the created kinds who rise to being through books. The vampires that initially come after Isaac are relatively new vampires called Meyerii (or Sparklers) which came into being from the Twilight series.
- The nerd references- Isaac is a science fiction geek. Throughout this book are references to Dr. Who, Firefly, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Sherlock Holmes, and many other great books and TV series. I am a total nerd at heart, so I loved all the geeky references.
- Johannes Gutenberg- Once again, I am a nerd. In college I took a class called, “The History of the Book,” for fun. Of course, the history of the book starts with Gutenberg and his creation of a printing press with moveable type. Gutenberg’s invention allowed books to be mass produced far cheaper than previously which allowed books to be more widely distributed. In Libriomancer, Gutenberg is the founder of The Porters and still rules over the magicians. I loved all the references to history and the printing press.
- Ponce De Leon- Like Gutenberg, this one pulls at my love for history. Most of you will remember De Leon from History as the guy who tried to find the fountain of youth. Well, in this book he not only found it, but used to make himself immortal. Now he’s a powerful sorcerer who doesn’t get along with Gutenberg but is a kind of ally to Isaac. I love the idea of this decades old explorer serving as a magical adviser.
- Smudge- Smudge is a magical fire spider. He’s like a hairy, eight legged, combustible guard dog. And he eats candy which is just cute.
- Isaac is a librarian- Ok, this one is a purely selfish reason to love the book. But, as a librarian it makes me happy. My absolute favorite line in the entire book occurs while Isaac is using his librarian skills to find answers the other Porters hadn’t been able to find. “I was a pretty good libriomancer, but I was a damn good librarian.”
If you want to check out the book you can read the first chapter here for free. If you are a total book nerd, you’ll love this one. What would you pull from a book if you were a libriomancer (there are rules- you can only pull something that can fit through the book). Personally, I would be raiding Weasly Wizards Wheezes from Harry Potter. Think of the pranks you could pull with some of those? How about you? What would you pull from a book?