Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris 02) by Jim C. Hines


Isaac Vainio’s life was almost perfect. He should have known it couldn’t last.

Living and working as a part-time librarian in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Isaac had finally earned the magical research position he dreamed of with Die Zwelf Portenære, better known as the Porters. He was seeing a smart, fun, gorgeous dryad named Lena Greenwood. He had been cleared by Johannes Gutenberg to do libriomancy once again, to reach into books and create whatever he chose from their pages. Best of all, it had been more than two months since anything tried to kill him.

And then Isaac, Lena, and Porter psychiatrist Nidhi Shah are called to the small mining town of Tamarack, Michigan, where a pair of septuagenarian werewolves have discovered the brutally murdered body of a wendigo.

There's a huge tree and in front of it stands a dark-haired woman holding up a kendo stick.As much as I liked Libriomancer and loved its world, Codex Born and I didn’t get a good start. The reason is in the multiple first person voices. What I expect from a second book in a series is to learn more about the characters and their relationships interspaced the book specific plot, but I also hate headhopping especially when the voices are indistinguishable. So, when a story is told from a certain point of view in a first person voice, I expect the author to stick to it.

One benefit from Lena’s chapter inserts is the pacing, which is much better here than it was in Libriomancer. There really isn’t much breathing room between the action packed scenes, which in theory should have sucked me in without an escape.

The story itself is an organic continuation to the events of the first book. The world becomes more complex and morally grey as do the characters. Some new secondary characters are introduced and old ones sidelined. Also cultural diversity expands. Yes that is code for diverse secondary characters who are crucial to the plot.

I can’t say much more than that without spoiling either Codex Born or Libriomancer. And to be honest: I don’t remember much more.

There was even a slightly dated but accurately explained Finnish curse word. I myself prefer to invoke the devil rather than a deity.


Rating icon. A hairless cat is wearing a santa hat and a sour expression. On the hat reads: meh.

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4 Responses to Codex Born (Magic Ex Libris 02) by Jim C. Hines

  1. I still want to read this series. Maybe one day.

  2. blodeuedd says:

    Tell the curse word!

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