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review 2016-12-30 18:58
a different read, but not perhaps as unique as it's 'experimental' concept would hope
One Week in the Library - W Maxwell Prince,John Amor

Thoughts off the top of my head, will later turn into a formal review

 

It reminded me on multiple levels of any of the imaginary magical literary libraries I've encountered.

 

I liked the tributes to known and established tales, though not sure at some of the changing in tale names since the referenced material has long lived in the public domain.  The exception being the Three Bears as the same bears of the constellations - that was a neat little turn of phrase I liked.

 

Individually each day was different and had it's own interesting and intriguing elements.  The most interesting to me came at the end - with the breaking into the real world and the barriers between, and the meta content created by authorial insertion.

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review 2016-01-06 18:57
[Book Review] Revisionary
Revisionary - Jim C. Hines

A year ago Issac revealed the existence of magic to the world, dreaming of the freedom to use magic to make the world a better place.  But the revelation left many people scared and confused, and others hungry for the power it offered.  Even the Porter-run New Millennium is at risk of falling victim to power-games by the government officials.  A dream to heal the world is stymied by politics and legislation, while other's push for projects with tactical and military potential.  Meanwhile increasing threats to the magical population has some pushing back, which may be exactly what the powers that be want.  As a Porter, Issac is no stranger to fighting against misuse of magic, but with a threat so much bigger than he, does he have the wit and resources to protect what really matters?

Issac and his friends are facing a real and present danger, one that they don't all expect to survive.


All of the Magic ex Libris books have an element of dark danger mixed with a rather cheeky literary sense of humor.  It is completely reasonable to expect a scene where monsters are battled with the works of Prachett, and Smudge is a fire spider (pulled from a different series by Hines) that eats gummi worms and chases a laser pointer like a kitten.  But these elements exist within plots that contain monsters, corruption, and great personal sacrifice.

Revisionary is the darkest, and uncomfortably relevant to the world we live in.  Fear-mongering, calls for registration of all magical individuals, consideration of containment camps, turning human rights into privileges, and domestic terrorism.  The pain and fear caused by painting a widely defined population as dangerous (though, admittedly, some of them are very dangerous) when all they want to do is just be is woven throughout.

A fast-paced, creative, and clever continuation of the series.


Also reviewed:
Codex Born (Magic ex Libris #2)
Unbound (Magic ex Libris #3)

Apparently I never officially reviewed Libriomancer.  Whoops.  (Sorry Jim)

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of DAW (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2016/01/book-review-revisionary.html
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review 2016-01-04 04:49
[Book Review] Unbound
Unbound - Jim C. Hines

The wake of a a magical attack has left Isaac Vainio locked away from his magic for his own protection surrounded by the wake of the damage done to his hometown.  The attack itself has been wiped from the memories of the residents, and the existence of the Porters and magic still a closely guarded secret.  Or is until a letter revealing magic, the Porters, and the existence of the Porter archives to the world appears in A Dance with Dragons.  Even more pressing to Isaac is his once-student Jeneta, now possessed by a woman locked-away in a magical prison for a thousand years and working to tear apart the Porters and the world itself.  Isaac knows he can't give up, but even if he can get his magic back will he be able to do enough?


One thing I really liked about this book is really getting to know other characters more.  The cast of characters hasn't expanded greatly, but we get more time with them.  Johannes Gutenburg and Juan Ponce de Leon are actively in play, in addition to those close to Isaac like Lena Greenwood and Nidhi Shah.  The challenges and use of magic are creative, and I love the intricacy of the puzzle Isaac must solve.

In past books, Isaac has had the Porters to help handle the trouble he gets into.  In Unbound he's on the outs, not even allowed to talk with anyone in the organization.  On top of all of that he's dealing with the aftermath of trauma that no one around him remembers (except for those with connections to the Porters) and a feeling of responsibility for the well being of Jeneta.  The emotional trauma and depression warps his interactions with the world around him, and he can't talk about it with the people it effects.

Engaging continuation of the series.

Also reviewed:
Codex Born (Magic ex Libris #2)
Revisionary (Magic ex Libris #4) - Coming Soon!


Advance Reader Copy courtesy of DAW (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2016/01/book-review-unbound.html
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review 2015-09-24 03:54
[Book Review] Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle
Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle (Season 1, Episode 1) - Mur Lafferty,Max Gladstone,Margaret Dunlap,Brian Francis Slattery

Bookburners: Badge, Book, and Candle (Season 1, Episode 1) / Max Gladstone, Mur Lafferty, Brian Francis Slattery, and Margaret Dunlap

A crime scene flooded with blood and where finger prints were retrieved from the severed fingertips carefully balanced on an ashtray is enough to make anyone question both their own sanity and that of the world around them.  But Detective Sal Brooks knows that her brother came to her for help, and knows that someone forced their way into her home in pursuit, regardless of what the security tape shows.  All she knows is it revolves around the strange old book he was carrying, and somehow the mysterious team led by a priest that invaded her home is hunting for it.  Things are going further down the rabbit hole, and Sal refuses to turn away, even if that means accepting that magic, and demons, are real.  Maybe some information really isn't meant to be free.



This... was excellent.  An eerie bite-sized read coming in at around 50 pages filled with demonic books, magic, and possessions.  I seriously want to LARP in this setting, it would be so much fun (Max... if you see this, I know you're into gaming, please make this happen).

I came into this excited to read it, and I really can't wait to read the next segments.  I'm really hoping that once everything's out SerialBox has a bundle offer for sale, if you subscribe it's a great price and includes both text and audio, but the subscription starts with the next episode and I'd really like to buy it all together in one chunk (especially since I didn't subscribe before the series started).

Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of Serial Box via Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2015/09/book-review-bookburners-badge-book-and.html
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review 2015-07-30 03:39
[Book Review] The Demon's Librarian
The Demon's Librarian - Lilith Saintcrow

Demons, magic, and kick ass librarians.  How could I not read this.  It even comes with a dedication to librarians (awww).

Chess used to be your regular librarian, coming across a bit all buns, cardigans, and comfortable shoes at work, with her own life outside where she could let her hair down.  Well, somewhere along the line things went a little wrong and in taking things into her own hands her life goes down the rabbit hole.  Nasty tentacle things that go bump in the night are a good reason to start watching over your shoulder, and little does she know what's coming her way or what newly waking powers she possesses.


Ryan is something of a "hulk smash" alpha male, but it's balanced by his awareness of his need to control his "animalistic" urges.  Rather brooding and over-protective, but his job is literally to be over-protective.

Paul...

Where do I even start with him?  He's the type of character that I wanted to punch in the face pretty much from the start.  He's the type of character who's only a "good guy" based on his faction, other wise he's pretty much a sleeze doing the bare minimum for his job until something better comes along.  You want him to be a villain so you can hate him without guilt.

Chess is pretty bad ass, she ends up as a damsel in distress situations here and there, but those are largely to being dropped into dangerous situations that she has no preparation for.  When push comes to shove, she will (and does) fight her way out and hold her own.

The cover on this particular edition is all glistening pectorals and other muscles.  I was definitely expecting something bordering into raunchy.  It really isn't, with very light romance and nearly no lusting, and any consummation happening completely off screen.  The focus is on the dark fantasy and danger.

 


Advanced Reader Copy copy courtesy of BelleBooks via Netgalley; differences may exist between uncorrected galley text and the final edition.

Source: libromancersapprentice.blogspot.com/2015/07/book-review-demons-librarian.html
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