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As an urban fantasy Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines[1] feels like a love letter to the science fiction and fantasy community.

It is an urban fantasy by a fan for fans, and the spirit of this book is infectious.

I mean what self-respecting fan doesn’t want to reach into The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe and retrieve Lucy’s cordial?

Or into a Star Wars novel to retrieve a working light saber?

Even if it is only temporary, even if you have to put it back later, who wouldn’t want that?

Of course I could do without needing to do that. A cool idea, and Libriomancy is definitely that, will only go so far.

To hold my attention for three hours of a flight to Perth there has to be a story filled with engaging characters that you can come to care for.

Libriomancer delivers that and more in spades. Within the framework of the story the lead character Isaac Vainio peels away the rules of his world even as he desperately races to avert a disaster.

Along the way we’re treated to snarky commentary on modern fiction[2], and a world that works to a carefully defined set of rules. The partial, and slow, revelation of those rules is effortlessly slipped into the plot without distracting from it.

Overall Libriomancer is a fun read, and I may well be tracking down the sequel Codex Born at some point in the not too different future.

[1] The Guest of Honour at Continuum X, and a source of great amusement at the Great Cover Art Pose-Off.

[2] Modern versions of vampires get a good roasting if you’ll pardon the expression.