UnboundToday is the day Unbound comes out as a mass market paperback, with a concurrent price drop on the ebook edition.

This is book three in the Magic ex Libris series about a magic librarian, a kick-ass dryad, a flaming spider, Johannes Gutenberg, and so much more. I probably could have subtitled this one, “How Isaac got his groove back.”

I’ve gathered all sorts of handy links to the various formats, because I’m helpful that way…

If you’re on Twitter, DAW Books will be giving away all of this month’s releases to a follower who retweets their Happy Release Day announcement. In addition to my book, you’d also get books by Dave Bara and Mickey Zucker Reichert.

Best of all, reading (or re-reading) Unbound will get you up to speed and all ready for when the final book in the series, Revisionary, comes out next month 🙂

Thus endeth today’s commercial message. Thanks for reading!

Unbound, Week One

UnboundUnbound [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound] has been out for one week now, and I’m starting to finally come down from the adrenaline rush.

My thanks, as always, to everyone who bought, borrowed, read, reviewed, and/or signal-boosted. It’s very much appreciated.

Reaction so far seems to be positive, including some great reviews:

  • “The joys of the first two volumes of the possibilities of Libriomancy are transformed and changed here into something very different, and in many ways, greater.”-Paul Weimer, SF Signal
  • “This is a great series with a lot of great components, but more than anything else it’s a love-letter to imagination.”-Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
  • “I had tears in my eyes when I recognized so much of what was going on with Isaac and saw how well it was woven into the story. I have to draw a distinction here: Isaac was depressed, and the depiction is necessarily a bit dark, but it never crosses over the line into the sort of darkness that makes reading it depressing … The fact that Hines could ride that line so beautifully without ever stepping over it in the wrong direction is really kick-ass!”-Errant Dreams

I have no idea what the sales look like, and probably won’t know a lot for a while yet. To be honest, I’m nervous. Book #4, Revisionary, is already under contract and being written. But how well Unbound does is going to be a significant factor in whether or not Revisionary is the last book. On the other hand, Four books will allow me to tell the story I wanted to tell, and to end the series in a good place if necessary. Given how many series get cut short after only one or two books, I’m very happy with how Magic ex Libris has done.

Other nifty stuff:

I’ll be doing a booksigning tonight at Schuler Books in Okemos at 7 p.m. I’ve also got a joint book launch at ConFusion with author guest of honor Karen Lord. That’s on Saturday from 1-3.

We now return to our regularly scheduled blogging.

Unbound is Out Today!!!

UnboundIt’s been seventeen months since Codex Born was released, but Unbound is finally out today!

This is the third book in the Magic ex Libris series. There will be at least one more (Revisionary, tentatively scheduled for February 2016), but this one wraps up a lot of the plotlines I’ve been playing with over the course of the series. As Carrie at Smart Bitches Trashy Books said in her review:

I liked how the book wrapped up a lot of major character arcs. If there’s no more to this series, I’ll feel that the story reached a satisfying conclusion. On the other hand, the series is potentially poised to take off in completely new directions that could be incredibly interesting. So I’m down with that, too … I’m in an odd state of one hand feeling like, “OK, we’re cool, you may move on to other projects, thank you for this satisfying conclusion” and on the other hand I’m all, “More, please, nomnomnom”. It’s Schrodinger’s Series.


For five hundred years, the Porters have concealed the existence of magic from the world. Now, old enemies have revealed the Porters’ secrets, and an even greater threat lurks in the shadows. The would-be queen Meridiana, banished for a thousand years, has returned in the body of a girl named Jeneta Aboderin. She seeks an artifact created by Pope Sylvester II, a bronze prison that would grant her the power to command an army of the dead.

Michigan librarian Isaac Vainio is determined to rescue his former student Jeneta. With no magic of his own, Isaac must delve into the darker side of black-market magic, where he will confront beings better left undisturbed, including the sorcerer Juan Ponce de Leon.

With his loyal fire-spider Smudge, dryad warrior Lena Greenwood, and psychiatrist Nidhi Shah, Isaac races to unravel a mystery more than a thousand years old as competing magical powers battle to shape the future of the world. He will be hunted by enemies and former allies alike, and it will take all his knowledge and resourcefulness to survive as magical war threatens to spread across the globe.

Isaac’s choices will determine the fate of his friends, the Porters, the students of Bi Sheng, and the world. Only one thing is certain: even if he finds a way to restore his magic, he can’t save them all…

Purchase Links: If you’re interested in picking up a copy, I’ve gathered up some convenient links. Because I’m considerate that way, you know?

Reviewers: If you’re a reviewer and would like a copy of Unbound, please contact my publicist at anixon -at- penguinrandomhouse.com.

Guest Posts: I’ve also done some guest blogging for the release, and will be linking those here as they go live. My thanks to everyone who hosted me!

Other Releases: Wait, there’s more! Today isn’t just Unbound day, it’s also book day for other awesome people like Karen Lord, Daniel JosĂ© Older, Steven Harper, David B. Coe, and Irene Radford.


But my favorite thing about this particular release date is that author Sara Humphreys has a new novella out today … called Unbound. I feel like this calls for some sort of epic showdown, Unbound vs. Unbound. Sexy man-back vs. Smoldering librarian. Lion vs. Fire-spider.


So, yeah. Not only does Unbound come out today, so does Unbound. Mind … blown!

Anyway, where was I?

Events: I’ve got three things going on for this one.

My thanks to everyone who’s supported the series so far. Tweets, reviews, links, and other word-of-mouth are always appreciated, but mostly, I just hope you enjoy the story. I’ve been waiting years to get to some of the events in this one, and I can’t wait to share it.

One Week to Unbound

UnboundCongratulations to Ariela, who won the audio book of Libriomancer in last week’s giveaway.

We’re down to a mere seven days until Unbound [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound] comes out. It’s possible the book might already be showing up in some brick & mortar stores. Eep!

Coincidentally, Sarah Chorn at SF Signal just posted her 2014 look back for her excellent Special Needs in Strange Worlds column about disability in SF/F. She lists her top ten posts for the year, and coming in at number two is my post about Writing with Depression, in which I talk about both my own depression and that of Isaac Vainio in Unbound:

“In the beginning of Unbound, [Isaac is] on the verge of losing his job at the library. He’s not sleeping or eating enough. All of his time and energy go into trying to undo certain mistakes from the last book. He’s irritable and angry at himself, his loved ones, his friends…pretty much everyone and everything.”

Given the events of the first two books, it made sense to me that Isaac would be struggling hard at this point. He’s won some impressive victories, but each one has come with a cost.

To be honest, writing Isaac as depressed scared the hell out of me. Characters are supposed to be likable, right? Well, on those days when I’m losing the battle against the Depression Brain Weasels of Doom, I don’t like myself that much:

“Isaac’s depression is truer to my struggle. I worry that he’ll be too unlikeable…because that’s how I felt at the time. I worry people will say he’s too weak, that this character should just man up and get over it, because that’s how I felt. That’s what I expected to hear if I talked about it. I worry about readers who don’t understand that depression isn’t something you just snap out of.”

I can reassure readers that Isaac does end up in a better place, and that there’s still plenty of smart-ass humor, not to mention Smudge the fire-spider doing his thing with flair and style. And I’ll say that I’m proud of the book. I’m proud of Isaac’s personal journey, as well as that of Lena and Nidhi. (Nidhi gets one of my favorite scenes early in this one.) I’m also proud of where Unbound ends up, which is a place I’ve been working for three books to reach. But I’m still scared of how readers will react.

I’ll end with one last quote from my column:

Unbound is a book about battling monsters. Some of them are human. Others less so. Isaac has spent two books fighting monsters out there in the world, but sometimes the toughest monster is the one inside your own head.”

Two Weeks to Unbound: Audio Book Giveaway!

UnboundUnbound [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound] comes out in two weeks!

To mark the occasion, and to celebrate that the Audible audio book of Unbound is now available for pre-order, I decided to do a giveaway.

I’ll be giving away a download code for the audio book of Libriomancer, the first book in the series. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment saying what you think Smudge the fire-spider should get for Christmas this year.

(For those who are wondering why a fire-spider would celebrate Christmas, Smudge celebrates anything that involves getting presents. He’s also very much into chocolate Hanukkah gelt.)

But wait, there’s more! Want to double your chances of winning? If you’ve reviewed Libriomancer or Codex Born anywhere, just mention that in your comment, and you’ll be entered for a second drawing for a second Libriomancer audio book download!

Anyone can enter. I’ll probably draw winners some time this weekend.

Three Weeks to Unbound

UnboundIt’s three weeks until Unbound [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound] comes out. This is the time I’d normally switch into higher gear with giveaways and other promotional stuff.

Unfortunately, my son’s cold is kicking my butt, and holiday preparation is eating up the remaining energy. So instead, I leave you with what could be considered a tantalizing hint, a piece of the research I did while writing the book, a glimpse into the inner workings of the culmination of three books!!!

Or maybe it’s just a random bit of letters and doodling I’m posting because I’m too brain-fuzzed to write a real blog post. Who knows?


This served as the model for one of the messages Isaac has to decipher. All I’ll tell you about it is that it’s from 983 A.D.

Unbound: Chapter One

UnboundThe next Magic ex Libris book, Unbound, comes out on January 6, 2015.

I did a highly scientific poll over on Facebook, asking when I should post the first chapter online. While answers varied, the majority of people suggested “Right now!!!”

Who am I to argue? I put together the preview in both .pdf and .epub formats. Both files looked good and passed validation, but please let me know if you find a problem:

Unbound Chapter One [pdf | epub]

There will be at least four books in the series, but in a lot of ways, books one through three have their own complete story arc. If I got eaten by a robot dinosaur today, I think this could work as a satisfying conclusion. And I’m very excited to share some of the twists and changes I’ve been building toward since book one.

A few people on Facebook suggested not posting the preview until the book was available for pre-order. Which makes me think I haven’t done as good a job as I should of letting everyone know that it is, in fact, available for pre-order 🙂

Twelve weeks and counting…

Unbound Cover Reveal and Libriomancer Giveaway

I had another blog post all ready to go today, but this was far more exciting 🙂

Last night, SF Signal revealed the cover for Unbound, the third Magic ex Libris book. They’re also hosting a giveaway of three autographed copies of Libriomancer, the first book in the series.

Here’s a small view. Like the other books, the cover for this one was done by Gene Mollica, and I love what he’s come up with for book three. Click through for the full-size cover and to enter the giveaway.

Unbound will be out on January 6, 2015. But you can pre-order now at: B&N | Indiebound | Amazon.

My thanks to Gene for the great cover, and to SF Signal for doing the reveal and giveaway!

Starting on UNBOUND

This is for my own reference as much as anything else, but yesterday afternoon I began writing the first draft of Unbound.

The very first line of the book is “WEREWOLVES VS. BIGFOOT”, and yes, it’s in all-caps.

Have I intrigued you yet? 🙂

Magic ex Libris News and Other Niftiness

After a bit of negotiation, we’ve accepted an offer from DAW, which means THERE WILL BE MORE MAGIC EX LIBRIS BOOKS!!!

Book three, tentatively titled UNBOUND, will probably be coming out in early 2015. (There’s no official or unofficial release date; this is purely speculation on my part based on my deadlines.)

Book four, tentatively titled I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO CALL THIS BOOK, would presumably come out in 2016.

But wait, there’s more! Last month also brought a royalties check for Libriomancer [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy], which EARNED OUT ITS ADVANCE WITHIN ITS FIRST FOUR MONTHS! (THANK YOU!!!)

To celebrate all of this goodness, last night I went online and PAID OFF THE REST OF MY WIFE’S STUDENT LOANS! (Yeah, some people don’t see the excitement and awesomeness involved in paying off debt, but for me, this is party time!)

I have no doubt I’ll celebrate some more this weekend, when I join Saladin Ahmed, Gary Braunbeck, and Stephen Zimmer as guests at Mo*Con 8!

Finally, just to make sure I cram a year’s worth of good news into a single blog post–I’ve seen the cover art for the German edition of Libriomancer, and it is nifty. It looks like Die Buch Magier should be out in March of next year.

If anyone needs anything, I’ll be sitting here in a daze, grinning goofily and wondering what just happened…

Jim C. Hines