Codex Born

“Nonstop action and laughter power Hines’s riveting second journey into the ‘peculiar life’ of Isaac Vainio … Hines supplies everything a reader needs—werewolves, ghosts, robot insects, a fire spider that eats candy, and homages to classic SF—for a very good time.”

Publishers Weekly

“The sequel to Libriomancer delivers more pulp fantasy action that’s infused with a genuine love for books and for creating unusual—and unusually likable—characters. VERDICT Bibliophiles and fantasy enthusiasts will enjoy the author’s intelligent approach to both magic and literature.”

-Library Journal

“[Hines] writes joyously for the delight of his specific market … Isaac Vainio is an unlikely hero because he doesn’t see himself as a hero, and the supporting cast of characters is extremely well developed. At times, the plot gets mired in details that will only appeal to the niche — but it is a niche loved by many, including this reviewer.”

Romantic Times

“When it comes to this series, I’m afraid it’s hard for me to process thoughts coherently. There’s so much going on, and so much of it is pure awesome, that I end up flailing for words like Kermit the Frog on a three-day bender … It builds on what’s come before and delivers a thoroughly entertaining adventure. It’s urban fantasy built on top of numerous other layers of fiction, and Hines has just scratched the surface of what he can do. And I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

-Michael M. Jones,

“…packed together with lots of over-the-top action fought with weapons pulled out of books ranging from H.G. Wells’s SF and Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, to the Vorkosigan series from Lois McMaster Bujold. It’s great fun to see just what Isaac and his enemies will come up with next.”


“Bolder with structure and points of view, as well as increasingly insightful … In Codex Born, [Hines] really hits his stride.”

-Juliet E. McKenna, Interzone

“Hines may have a reputation for comedy and action — as well as excellent character development — but in the Magic Ex Libris books, he’s also reaching out to tackle some compelling questions about identity, relationships, cultural relativity, and the dangers of letting the magic of reading actually take over your life … I, for one, can’t wait to follow Isaac on his future adventures.”

-Alana Joli Abbott, Black Gate

“One of the most enjoyable things about Hines’ approach to this book is his willingness to question, explore, and expand his own world-building … I can’t see how any fan of Libriomancer would be anything less than thrilled with the follow-up, and the promise it brings for the rest of the series.”

-John Booth, GeekDad

Codex Born throws our heroes headlong into action and never lets up, as Lena and Isaac investigate a murder and soon find themselves in a series of pitched battles against a mysterious army … this book is page after page of amazing moments that make you cheer.  All you need to enjoy the Magic Ex Libris series is a good imagination and a serious love of books, and you’ll have a great time.”

Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

“I would recommend this read to bibliophiles of all stripes. Hines does a wonderful job of bringing the reader into the series without a hitch, and though there are loose ends enough for a sequel, still manages to pull off a satisfying conclusion. Besides, with a premise based on the magic of reading and the heroism of librarians, how could it possibly go wrong? Codex Born is as enjoyable and magical as Libriomancer, and a fitting sequel as well.”

-Catherine Russell, Functional Nerds

“[R]eaders will be excited to see where Hines takes his characters with Codex Born, what new books and authors he will plunder for cool magical abilities, and where he’s going with his world. This sequel goes where no reader will predict, blowing it all wide open and changing the entire paradigm … Exactly what a great sequel should do.”

-Alex Telander, Bookbanter

“I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book … This was one of the best science fiction novels I’ve read this year.”

Night Owl Reviews

“Highly recommended. You should absolutely check this out. But read the first book first, okay? Because starting with book two in a series is just wrong….”

-Bestselling author Patrick Rothfuss

“Codex Born has the coolest premise ever … Hines is an engaging writer who is also greatly entertaining, and I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys superior world-building.”

-Bestselling author Charlaine Harris

“I LOVED it! Right now, I’m reading thrillers for fun, so a fantasy has got to knock my socks clean off to make it to the top of my TBR. Jim’s books always land on top of the stack.”

-Bestselling author Lisa Shearin


“This funny and fast-paced series opener, Hines’s first hardcover for DAW, will be sure to surprise and entertain urban fantasy fans … amusing and action-packed from page one; Isaac is sure to be an instant fan favorite, and the secondary characters are vivid and multidimensional.”

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

“Isaac is a likable character, and the unraveling of the mystery is a wildly entertaining story. Libriomancer is a lot of fun, and the promised sequels constitute something to look forward to.”


“In a sense, Libriomancer is the lighter, more escapist flipside of books like Jo Walton’s Among Others. It’s another love letter to science fiction and fantasy, with real emotional weight at the center of it — except this version is a rollicking adventure story full of ridiculous little touches. It’s a seriously fun ride for anyone who’s loved geeky books their whole life.”

-Charlie Jane Anders, io9

“…a fun start to what promises to be a thrilling urban fantasy series.”


“[T]his is a joyful romp through the very concept of pop culture and literature, like the streetwise distant cousin to Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next books. It’s funny, it’s fast-paced, it’s extremely geeky, it’s not afraid to take potshots at genre conventions and its own inherent weirdness, and it’s a great start to a new series. I can’t wait to see what comes next.”

-Michael M. Jones,

“Libriomancer is any book-geek’s dream come true. It is so much fun and an ode to books, to reading as well as to genre-fiction especially Scifi and Fantasy … [and] even though I loved the amusing and fun side of Libriomancer what truly resonated with me was its exploration of power and responsibility.”

The Book Smugglers

“Libriomancer is wonderfully inventive … I thoroughly enjoyed the book and gladly recommend it as a very good read.”

-Juliet E. McKenna, Interzone

“Hines’ quirky, humorous tale is rife with fast-paced action and confrontations; this is an enjoyable, unpredictable fantasy by one of the best new masters of the genre.”

-Ray Walsh, Lansing State Journal

“Isaac Vainio is a hero for the rest of us, the library nerds and bookworms — all of us who read books wishing we could be like our favorite heroes, or that they could be like us … it is ardent wish fulfillment with a hefty dose of action, romance, literary pop trivia and just a pinch of social commentary.”

Romantic Times

“With Libriomancer, Hines succeeds on multiple levels.  It works as a heartfelt fan letter to books and storytelling, particularly science fiction and fantasy … an incredibly readable story that’s straightforward without being predictable, and action-packed without being rushed.”

-John Booth, Wired

“[Isaac’s] quirky personality is so well drawn that, even though Isaac is well acquainted with the world readers are being introduced to, he makes a perfect guide. And the world, full of references to books that run the gamut from Twilight to The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes to The Odyssey, is one I am delighted to believe in.”

-Alana Joli Abbott, Black Gate

“I liked Libriomancer, and liked it a lot … this is a book I mainlined into my vein and it felt good.”

-Paul Weimer, Functional Nerds

“Libriomancer is simply a fun book, featuring a great story and some fantastic characters … an addicting read that will leave readers impatiently wanting more.”


“I’m a fan of both Jim Hines’s Goblin Quest series and his Princess series, but I think he’s reached another level entirely with LIBRIOMANCER. He keeps getting better.”

Buzzy Mag

“Libriomancer … communicates a passion for genre fiction that I felt can only be captured with one word–Joy.  Jim C. Hines’ novel is an ode to genre and all the joy it’s brought him. A joy that he brought me as I read it … It’s a fantasy novel written by a fan, for fans. I would strongly recommend anyone who’s characterized themselves as such to read Libriomancer as soon as possible.”

Staffer’s Book Review

“Libriomancer, the most recent book by Hines, is an entertaining love letter to the written word, and an examination of the power of fiction … a fun book, full of magic.”

Fantasy Matters

“As thrilling as the main mystery was, it was that subplot regarding the free will (or lack there-of) of people and creatures created through Libriomancy that was so very compelling for me … This is a new and more serious direction for Hines, one I sincerely hope he continues in.”

The Little Red Reviewer

“If you love urban fantasy, or just love anything to do with books, science fiction,  fantasy, or any combination thereof, you will find lots of things to like here. There’s some tongue in cheek, knowing references to a whole list of things, a great story and good story telling. The only thing I don’t like is that now I have to wait for the next one!”

The Ranting Dragon

“I loved this book from start to finish … Highly enjoyable to read and re-read.”

Night Owl Reviews

“I picked up the book meaning to read a few pages. My first thought was, ‘This is a cool concept.’ The second thing I thought was, ‘This is really, really clever.’ The third thing I thought was, ‘I should have gone to sleep three hours ago.'”

Patrick Rothfuss, New York Times bestselling author

“This may be Jim Hines’s best work. LIBRIOMANCER is smart, silly, and deadly serious, all at the same time. It’s a book about loving books. This is the magic librarian and ass-kicking dryad adventure story we’ve all been waiting for.”

Seanan McGuire, New York Times bestselling author

“Secret organizations, supernatural threats, and an unknown killer of unimaginable power—LIBRIOMANCER is one of the best reads I’ve had in a long time. It’s a lightning-fast race against time and magic to prevent the darkest secrets from history from unleashing a supernatural war on the world. I can’t wait for the next one. Oh, by the way, never piss off a fire spider.”

Lisa Shearin, national bestselling author of ALL SPELL BREAKS LOOSE

“All writers believe in the magic of books, Jim Hines has created a system where that magic becomes real, useable, and very definitely not always safe. LIBRIOMANCER not only pulls magic from between the pages of books — from Gutenberg to Harris — but puts it there under Hines. This is a book for everyone who has ever wanted to pull Excalibur from the page.”

-Tanya Huff, author of THE WILD WAYS and the BLOOD series

“Butt-kicking librarians, pyrotechnic spiders, and vampires that don’t suck — Jim Hines serves up an incendiary and fun new urban fantasy!”

-Award-winning author Charles Stross