Libriomancer, by Jim C Hines

Libriomancy: a book-lover’s dream come true. Also: greatest superpower ever.

Isaac Vainio is a Libriomancer. What’s a libriomancer? I’m so very glad you asked. Libriomancers are people with the ability to reach into a book–any book–and pull objects from it. Reading The Once and Future King? Grab Excalibur! Reading The Iliad? Have a golden apple! Reading The Lord of the Rings? Have a…oh, wait, no. Not that one.

Because there are rules, you see. Certain books are locked, because they contain items far too dangerous to ever allow into the human world. Other rules: you have to put it back (Yes, I know you like it. You still can’t keep it.) as soon as possible. It has to be able to fit through the dimensions of the pages of the book you’re pulling it from (so no World Devastators from the Star Wars extended universe. Sorry.) And never, under any circumstances, are you to pull out something living. But back to Isaac.

Isaac is a libriomancer, working as a librarian in rural Michigan cataloguing possible items for libriomancer use found within fantasy and science fiction books. And except for the direst emergencies, Isaac is no longer allowed to use magic.

But then three vampires break into the library, a motorcycle-riding dryad hot on their heels. Isaac knows the dryad in question–her name is Lena, and she’s not someone to mess with. Which is why the two of them team up to find out just why on earth vampires would show up in a tiny town in the U.P. Turns out, there’s a hell of a lot more going on (and going wrong) than a few random undead roaming northern Michigan: other libriomancers are being attacked, and the body count is rising. Can Isaac and Lena figure out who (or what) is behind the attacks before more people (possibly themselves) get killed?

This book, the first in an ongoing series by Hines, is, for all intents and purposes, a love letter to reading and the magic it brings. He fills each page with such deep affection and respect for books of all kinds (especially SF/F) and it spills over into the reading experience itself. So if you like to read, even only a little, you should absolutely, definitely, for sure pick this one up.

Favorite Line:

“Which reminds me. There’s a vampire hand in your freezer’s ice maker.” Seeing my aghast expression, she added, “Don’t worry. I double-bagged it.”

Don’t read if: you take umbrage at fictional things from other words being used in this one, enchanted convertibles, Johannes Gutenberg, or fire-spiders.