Codex Born (#2)

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Hugo winner Jim C. 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. Gutenberg’s power brought him many enemies, and some of those enemies have waited centuries for revenge. Revenge which begins with the brutal slaughter of a wendigo in the northern Michigan town of Tamarack, a long-established werewolf territory.

Libriomancer Isaac Vainio is part of Die Zwelf Portenære, better known as the Porters, the organization founded by Gutenberg to protect the world from magical threats. 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. Her powers are unique, and Gutenberg’s enemies hope to use those powers for themselves. But their plan could unleash a far darker evil…


“Hines supplies everything a reader needs—werewolves, ghosts, robot insects, a fire spider that eats candy, and homages to classic SF—for a very good time.”

Publishers Weekly

“The sequel to Libriomancer delivers more pulp fantasy action that’s infused with a genuine love for books and for creating unusual—and unusually likable—characters. Bibliophiles and fantasy enthusiasts will enjoy the author’s intelligent approach to both magic and literature.”

Library Journal

“Here’s everything you need to know about CODEX BORN: You have to read it if you like books at all […] It’s about the magic and the power of reading. It’s about power, and ethics, and knowing and owning yourself. It’s about sonic screwdrivers and pet spiders who burst into flames when they sense danger and vampires and werewolves and robots and the poetry of Emily Dickinson. It’s amazing.”

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

“[Hines] writes joyously for the delight of his specific market […] and the supporting cast of characters is extremely well developed.”

RT Book Reviews

“It’s great fun to see just what Isaac and his enemies will come up with next, and Isaac’s very non-standard romance adds both humor and emotion.”


“CODEX BORN is a book written by someone who genuinely loves the science fiction and fantasy genre […] It builds on what’s come before and delivers a thoroughly entertaining adventure. It’s urban fantasy built on top of numerous other layers of fiction, and Hines has just scratched the surface of what he can do. And I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

“Quick pace, likable characters, and frequent allusions to some of my favorite authors, along with Hine’s trademark darkness underlying a lightly comical surface.”

Fantasy Literature

“The exceptionally-talented author […] has left the gates wide open for more exciting sequels.”

Lansing State Journal

“Hines does just what you should with a sequel to a fascinating and absorbing series, opening the world a little more in its magical complexity, providing some new wow moments, and learning more about the interesting characters […] This sequel goes where no reader will predict, blowing it all wide open and changing the entire paradigm that had been established about libriomancy in the first book. Exactly what a great sequel should do.”

Book Banter

“This is a fast-paced read. The conflicts and tensions, both physical and emotional, draw the reader into the fantastic world of the Porters, and make the mind spin with possibilities […] I would recommend this read to bibliophiles of all stripes. Hines does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into the series without a hitch […] CODEX BORN is as enjoyable and magical as Libriomancer, and a fitting sequel as well.”

Functional Nerds

“If you’re in the mood for funny, read CODEX BORN. If you’re in the mood for nerdy, read CODEX BORN. If you’re in the mood for serious, read CODEX BORN. If you’re …oh, just go read the book.”


“I can’t see how any fan of Libriomancer would be anything less than thrilled with the follow-up, and the promise it brings for the rest of the series.”

Geek Dad

“A marvelous adventure for book-lovers and fantasy-lovers alike.”

Bookwyrm’s Hoard

“One consistent thing I love about Hines’s books: he can write things that are whimsical and laugh-out-loud funny, and they also have depth and complexity to them […] CODEX BORN drew me in and didn’t let me go until I’d turned the last page.”

Errant Dreams

“There are thrills, spills and literary shenanigans […] It’s another entertaining novel written in the same vein as the first; magical high jinx for library lovers. I look forward to volume three.”

Robin’s Books

"Superior worldbuilding."

Charlaine Harris, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Sookie Stackhouse series

“Hines found his feet with LIBRIOMANCER. In CODEX BORN he really hits his stride. While this story’s complete in itself, seeds are deftly sown for the next. Now I’m confident this series will go from strength to strength.”

Juliet E. McKenna (Interzone Magazine), author of The Tales of Einarinn

Awards & Accolades


#6 Locus Bestseller List