Monday, August 8, 2016

Review - Libriomancer

Original Title: Libriomancer
Series: Magic Ex Libris, #1
Author: Jim C. Hines
Published: August 12th 2014

Publisher: DAW

I don't know what to say about this book, but I'll try to put my ideas together.

Ok. *deep breath*
Here we go.

I just finished, and upon the final pages I was thinking if I want to the read the rest of the saga, or not. My immediate answer is... no. Let me explain myself.

I found this book extremely original in the way it treats magic. Libriomancers -book mages- use the power of what's been written to pull objects from inside books, and they are a part of a secret society created by Gutenberg himself. It was very interesting, they way it treates the beliefs books create in the world, how they come alive as people read them and plunge in the worlds they describe... I loved that part. Even, at some point, I thought I was reading more about the author himself than about Isaac, the narrator. The kid who discovered the magic of the books (literally, in this case) and found a home in them, avid reader of sciencie fiction and fantasy... It's both Isaac and the author, in my opinion.

A bonus point is the fact that it isn't the typical fantasy tale in which the hero discovers his powers after a succession of strange things that happen to him, and then, someone appears and tells him all those things happen because he is a Libriomancer. We know Isaac and his powers from the first page, and that breaks a little from the stereotype of fantasy hero.

But still, there were points in which I was very confused, mostly about the automatons, and the vampires, and so many tangled details ended up confusing me. All the magic was ok, but at some point I ended up very confused.

But I have to say what I think. Something (or rather, someone) in this book made feel creeped out. Lena Greenwood, the dryad. Her character, her story and her attitude towards people. She was, in my opinion, highly inappropriate for a YA novel, especially at the end (as if it weren't enough with the lesbian relationship). There was a point in which details about her relationship with her [female] lover made me want to yell at the book "I don't care!", and close it. It was disgusting, and even more when she shares her memories with Isaac, and we learn even more details about it; it was completely gross. And the ending, oh my God, the ending! *EWW*

Overall, it's not a bad story, in fact, I admire the full display of imagination and the fun the author must have had when he wrote it. But, in my opinion, it had so many elements that at some point my head was so messed up that I didn't even remember why some things were happening. Don't get me wrong. I saw great originality (like the way of getting the V Day book, and the way to figure out its author's name), but at the same time, there were so many offputting things... mostly because of Lena, I just couldn't get over that ending.

But still, it's not a bad book. Fantasy lovers will enjoy it, and perhaps they can see more to it than I could. As for me, it is definitely a no; I'm not reading the rest of the saga.


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