Jim C. Hines
Daw, Jan 6 2015, $24.95
Five centuries ago, Gutenberg learned to master the magic of Libriomancy. To keep the world safe, he formed the elite Die Zwelf Portenaere Doorkeeper Porters to prevent the spread of magic. Recently in Copper Lake, Michigan teenager Jeneta Aboderin introduced a new spin when she released a snake from her Smartphone. Gutenberg assigned Porter Isaac Vainio to mentor the fourteen year old girl with unique e-book Libriomancy talent (see Codex Born).
Exiled for a millennium, Meridiana returns and possesses Jeneta’s body with a short-term goal of obtaining Pope Sylvester II’s artifact that would enable her to lead her dead minions in her quest to achieve her long-term objective of ruling the world and beyond. Though Gutenberg took away his Porters’ power, and deeply depressed for failing his ward and his assigned mission, Vainio vows to rescue his former apprentice. He knows this means his Porter peers will join their adversaries to hunt him down, and that he and his loyal allies (Smudge the fire-spider, Lena Greenwood the dryad warrior and Dr. Nidhi Shah the psychiatrist) must enter the darkest black market to find the means to rescue the adolescent.
The third Magic Ex Libris urban fantasy is a terrific thriller due to the deeply developed cast; especially the troubled hero who comes across very realistic as he struggles to overcome his sense of loss and his paralyzing guilt. Filled with action, pathos and humor, this is an enchanting entry; but newbies first should read the opening act Libriomancer to understand Hines quantum physics and Codex Born to know how far Vainio fell from grace from being the envy of the other Porters to their scorned foe.