No, I'm not turning this into a review blog. :P I am, however, shot for blog post ideas this week, so I thought I'd talk about a book I think you all should read.
Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines, first in the Magic ex Libris series, is an urban fantasy tale with a magic system that's every book geek's dream: the titular libriomancers are able to pull items out of books and use them in the real world. The main character, Isaac, is of course both a libriomancer and a massive geek, so you can imagine the sheer joy he gets from doing this. And that's what drew me in so much about this book, and why I love this series so much.
There's a kind of magic in the written word. As writers, I think we know this; whether we see it in our own work is up for debate because we know everything that goes into it, but I think it's safe to say we've all seen it in our favorite books. That's part of what makes Libriomancer so good - it makes that magic real, and takes you along for the ride with its infinite possibilities.
The sheer joy of reading also comes into how Isaac and others like him work magic, and that's actually how part of the magic works. The more readers love a book, the more they believe it could be real, the more powerful it can be. It's a unique and interesting magic system, and there's a good deal more to it than Isaac knows. Learning about it over the course of the story was fascinating.
And there's the part where Isaac gears up by putting on a long brown coat that has dozens of pockets inside, and he fills those pockets with books from his library, pages marked with rubberbands so he can get what he needs quickly. I've read a lot of "preparing for battle" scenes, but that's the only one that had me looking at my bookshelf and wondering how well I could arm myself.
If you're considering your own bookshelf right now, then yes, you should read this book.
The series itself also moves quite quickly. The second book, Codex Born, came out earlier this year, and shows that there may be no status quo - the changes that happen are the sort of things I'd expect in the fifth or sixth book of a long-running series, serious shake-ups. The third book comes out in January, and I have no idea what's going to happen.
Also, since Mr. Hines has shown himself to be a big proponent of diversity, that's there in this book as well. Not everyone's white, not everyone's straight, not everyone's male. The main woman character is Lena, who's not only strong and capable and has interesting magic of her own, but she's based on an ancient Greek ideal of beauty (long story (literally)). She's distinctly not the modern cultural ideal of what a woman should look like, but Isaac has absolutely no problem with that.
I hate to say I hope this series doesn't ever get made into a movie or TV show, but I kind of do, only because I know they wouldn't cast Lena right.
So, yes. If you like reading (and if you don't, why are you here?), and think you'd enjoy a tale with vampires of various breeds and dryads on motorcycles and mysterious magic and characters who do the kinds of things you've probably dreamed about while reading, you should check this book out. The first chapter is available through Mr. Hines's website, linked above. Share and enjoy.
Next week: IWSG. Keep it secret, keep it safe.