“Revisionary” by Holt author Jim C. Hines (DAW Books, $26) is the fourth book is his exceptionally popular Magic Ex Libris urban fantasy series.
It again showcases Libriomancer Issac Vainio, his not-exactly-a-girlfriend Lena, (who’s a dryad), Nidhi and his flame spider Smudge.
Vainio is a different role now, having revealed Magic to the world – but faces significantly more threatening challenges.
The action begins in Lansing in the first chapter, where the state’s Governor and Attorney General, both anti-Magic proponents, are killed - by werewolves.
But, before you get too far, it would definitely be a good idea to pick up and read the first three books in the series “Libriomancer”, “Codex Born” and “Unbound” before starting this one.
It’ll allow you to follow the growth and exciting experiences of Vainio, who was initially a meek librarian in Copper River MI.
Vainio is a member of the Porters - a secret organization whose members have the ability to reach into books and draw forth objects. There are limitations size-wise and otherwise – but it’s a fascinating concept.
As you may well imagine, one would have to be quite selective – using the wrong type of item could cause major chaos.
There have been few members of the group over the last five centuries for good reason – they don’t want their secret abilities to be known.
Vainio has changed all that – and the response from around the world has been intense and varied.
Government groups want to put potential supernatural enemies in prisons and internment camps – and other conspiracies abound.
Vanguard, an organization made up of magical creatures and ex-Porter members, wants to create havoc by declaring war on the real world.
The action really speeds up in the last third of the book, as Hines reveals a devious plan that will have life-changing results.
Long-time fans of this excellent, entertaining series will be disappointed that this is the last book in the series. Hines feels he’s accomplished his goals and wants to move on to other creative challenges.
The magical adventures of Vainio, Lena, Nidhi and Smudge will still offer fond, lingering memories for readers who’ve enjoyed one of the genre’s best contemporary urban fantasy series.
The author’s official website is jimchines.com.
Ray Walsh, owner of East Lansing’s Curious Book Shop, has reviewed
Michigan books, mysteries and science fiction novels regularly since
Find this book and other great Jim Hines titles
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This review was originally published by the Lansing State Journal on April 10, 2016.