Libriomancer (#1)

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Isaac is a libriomancer, a member of a secret organization founded five centuries ago by Johannes Gutenberg to protect the world from supernatural threats. Libiomancers 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 his fire-spider, Smudge, and Len­­a—a motorcycle-riding dryad who packs a pair of wooden swords—Isaac finds himself hunting the unknown dark power that has been manipulating humans and vampries alike. His search will uncover dangerous secrets and libriomancy, Gutenberg, and the history of magic….


“The book is amusing and action-packed from page one; Isaac is sure to be an instant fan favorite, and the secondary characters are vivid and multidimensional.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“For those with a love of books, this is a rare chance to get their geek on. Hines writes a really fun book, looking at book-based magic. Between some of the best action scenes out there, combining dramatic actions with realistic after-effects, this makes for a great book. “

San Francisco Book Review

“[A] lot of fun and the perfect wish fulfillment fantasy for many fans.”

Denver Post

“By far my favorite fantasy novel of the year, Hines’ series starter is so much fun.”

RT Book Reviews

“Hines has created a rich backstory and mythology that weaves history and magic and science fiction across centuries, between cultures, and around the globe.”


“[LIBRIOMANCER] is a joyful romp through the very concept of pop culture and literature […] It’s funny, it’s fast-paced, it’s extremely geeky, it’s not afraid to take potshots at genre conventions and its own inherent weirdness, and it’s a great start to a new series. I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

“[A] love letter to science fiction and fantasy, with real emotional weight at the center […] A rollicking adventure story full of ridiculous little touches. It’s a seriously fun ride for anyone who’s loved geeky books their whole life.”

“Hines delivers an entertaining and well-written romp of a fantasy in LIBRIOMANCER. He breezes through numerous literary and historical references, making it a fascinating read for the curious […] This quirky urban fantasy would appeal to science-fiction/fantasy readers, fans of the Dresden Files and the Inkheart series, or anyone looking for an adventure featuring a quirky cast.”


“I’m a fan of both Jim Hines’s Goblin Quest series and his Princess series, but I think he’s reached another level entirely with LIBRIOMANCER. He keeps getting better.”

Buzzy Mag

“Whenever I open a Jim Hines novel, I expect to have a good time – humor mixed with some soul pondering, deep character development, fast action, and snappy dialogue […] LIBRIOMANCER had all of these things in spades.”

Black Gate Magazine

“Jim C. Hines is a very smart, careful writer and one whose fiction I’ve overlooked far too long. Even if he doesn’t provide hard and fast answers though the characters to the questions raised, he handles everything with a great deal of dignity, and more importantly, honesty. LIBRIOMANCER may just be one of the more fun novels published in 2012; a novel that also possess a strong vein of intelligence throughout. I also thought the bibliography of books (real and imagined) of Isaac’s arsenal was a nice touch. I really want to see where Jim next takes these characters and to read how he builds on this extremely solid and sound foundation in future Magic ex Libris novels. Highly recommended.”


“In LIBRIOMANCER, author Jim C. Hines makes a very literal, and completely fantastic, interpretation of the magic of reading.”

The Livingston Post

“From the get go, Jim Hine’s LIBRIOMANCER is full of awesome imagery and cool shenanigans […] LIBRIOMANCER is any book-geek’s dream come true. It is so much fun and an ode to books, to reading as well as to genre-fiction especially Scifi and Fantasy.”

The Book Smugglers

“LIBRIOMANCER is an exciting urban fantasy starring a wonderful hero […] Fast-paced and filled with humor, readers will enjoy the escapades of Isaac and his two allies as they leap off the pages of Jim C. Hines’s terrific thriller.”

Alternative Worlds

“This is a book I mainlined into my vein and it felt good.”

Functional Nerds

“With a sharp intelligence and very strong characterization […] there’s a pervasive fondness and warmth for libraries, for readers, for science fiction/fantasy fans, for the “geeks” of the world.”

Fantasy Literature

“Overall, I loved this book. I think Hines has some Libriomancer magic going on because this book just pulled me in and kept me reading. If you are a fan of urban fantasy or liked Hines’ other series, you will definitely enjoy this novel. Grab a copy and see for yourself, who knows there just might be a little Libriomancer inside you that is waiting to come out.”

Fantasy Book Critic

“LIBRIOMANCER was a book that absolutely enchanted me […] Bravo, Hines.“

Bookworm Blues

“LIBRIOMANCER […] communicates a passion for genre fiction that I felt can only be captured with one word – Joy. Jim C. Hines’ novel is an ode to genre and all the joy it’s brought him. A joy that he brought me as I read it […] It’s a fantasy novel written by a fan, for fans. I would strongly recommend anyone who’s characterized themselves as such to reach LIBRIOMANCER as soon as possible.”

Staffer’s Book Review

“LIBRIOMANCER […] is an entertaining love letter to the written word, and an examination of the power of fiction.”

Fantasy Matters

“Highly enjoyable to read and re-read.”

Night Owl Reviews

“LIBRIOMANCER is fast-paced, action-packed and full of entertaining humor and suspense. Book lovers will find a kindred spirit in this new hero and will enjoy the numerous references to beloved books.”

SciFi Chick

“The premise of magic that allows certain people to pull objects from books is fantastic […] Smudge the fire spider just rocks.”

Sci-Fi Fan Letter

[The protagonist’s] disposition and believable love of the written word is relatable […] he inspires enough pathos to stick with him until the end […][a] feel-good novel about the magic of books.”


“Every book nerd should be required to read this book.”

Under the Shelf

“LIBRIOMANCER is one of those books that feels like it should’ve been written a lot sooner, given its subject matter, and yet when one is done reading it, one is left wishing they could read it over again for the first time […] LIBRIOMANCER is simply a fun book, featuring a great story and some fantastic characters. With a diverse cast of interesting people, LIBRIOMANCER is an addicting read that will leave readers impatiently wanting more.”


“A high fantasy action adventure with a high-octane plot cross-woven with the most interesting romance I’ve read in some time. I highly recommend LIBRIOMANCER.”

Dark Matter Fanzine

“LIBRIOMANCER has a really intriguing premise, and is very well-executed urban fantasy […] It’s fast-paced, amusing, cleverly devised, and above all enjoyable.”

Civilian Reader

“Perhaps the greatest fanfic idea in history […] takes us on an amazing trip, showing us both how it all got started, how it can go terribly wrong, and the actions we have to take to keep us all from being plundered by the Uruk-hai or the battle-droids. This is the most fun I’ve had with urban fantasy in a long time.”

Making It Up As I Go

“The entire concept of libriomancy is absolute genius […] While Hines pays homage to the greats, he does it with a fantastic flair for turning the familiar into something original and an irresistibly shameless glee.”

Geek Planet Online

“A book with such a beguiling premise that it demanded to be read […] It is pretty much a must read for anybody who loves the genre. LIBRIOMANCER didn’t just lazily reference its influences, it embedded them in the story and enhanced their myths.”

Robin’s Books

"This may be Jim Hines' best work. LIBRIOMANCER is smart, silly, and deadly serious, all at the same time. It's a book about loving books."

Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author of EVERY HEART A DOORWAY and MIDDLEGAME

“Hines created a system where that magic becomes real, usable, and very definitely not always safe. This is a book for everyone who has ever wanted to pull Excalibur from the page.”

Tanya Huff, bestselling author of the Blood series

“Butt-kicking librarians, pyrotechnic spiders, and vampires that don’t suck — Jim Hines serves up an incendiary and fun new urban fantasy.”

Charles Stross, Hugo Award-winning author of GLASSHOUSE

“Fun, fast-paced, with plenty of action and good coming of age and romantic arcs, this book was a delightful way to while away hours. I can’t wait for the second one, coming from Daw next year.”

Bryan Thomas Schmidt, “9 Great Urban Fantasy Series You Do Not Want To Miss”

“Secret organizations, supernatural threats, and an unknown killer of unimaginable power — LIBRIOMANCER is one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. It’s a lightning-fast race against time and magic to prevent the darkest secrets from history from unleashing a supernatural war on the world. I can’t wait for the next one.”

Lisa Shearin, national bestselling author of All Spell Breaks Loose

“A truly inventive take on this market is a major challenge. In LIBRIOMANCER, it’s clear Jim Hines has succeeded […] LIBRIOMANCER is wonderfully inventive […] Hines found his feet with LIBRIOMANCER.

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

Awards & Accolades


#4 Locus Bestseller List


RT Book Reviews: “Editors‘ Best of 2012”