Codex Born - Jim C. Hines

Codex Born by Jim C. Hines is the second in the Magic Ex Libris series and continues the fun times of book magic and fire spiders :D. I was so excited to receive a review copy in the mail since this is definitely one of my favorite fantasy series. I was even lucky enough to go to a signing on release day and have personalized copies for myself and friends! It’s pretty awesome living in the same area as authors, I must admit. At the beginning of the signing event, Hines read a small section from near the end of the book (omg spoilers right?? No worries :D) including the section that described a character based on one of the awesome ladies that works at the bookstore! It was pretty awesome to see her reaction when she realized her name had just been read, haha.

The description of the second book has a couple of spoilers for the first, but the rest of my review is safe ;-).

Note: I received Codex Born from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


Codex Born by Jim C. Hines (Magic Ex Libris #2)
Published by DAW on August 6th, 2013
Genres: AdultFantasy 
Length: 320 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
Purchases made support this blog 

Isaac Vainio’s life was almost perfect. He should have known it couldn’t last.

Living and working as a part-time librarian in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Isaac had finally earned the magical research position he dreamed of with Die Zwelf Portenære, better known as the Porters. He was seeing a smart, fun, gorgeous dryad named Lena Greenwood. He had been cleared by Johannes Gutenberg to do libriomancy once again, to reach into books and create whatever he chose from their pages. Best of all, it had been more than two months since anything tried to kill him.

And then Isaac, Lena, and Porter psychiatrist Nidhi Shah are called to the small mining town of Tamarack, Michigan, where a pair of septuagenarian werewolves have discovered the brutally murdered body of a wendigo.

What begins as a simple monster-slaying leads to deeper mysteries and the discovery of an organization thought to have been wiped out more than five centuries ago by Gutenberg himself. Their magic rips through Isaac’s with ease, and their next target is Lena Greenwood.

They know Lena’s history, her strengths and her weaknesses. Born decades ago from the pages of a pulp fantasy novel, she was created to be the ultimate fantasy woman, shaped by the needs and desires of her companions. Her powers are unique, and Gutenberg’s enemies mean to use her to destroy everything he and the Porters have built. But their plan could unleash a far darker power, an army of entropy and chaos, bent on devouring all it touches.

The Upper Peninsula is about to become ground zero in a magical war like nothing the world has seen in more than five hundred years. But the more Isaac learns about Gutenberg and the Porters, the more he questions whether he’s fighting for the right cause.

One way or another, Isaac must find a way to stop a power he doesn’t fully understand. And even if he succeeds, the outcome will forever change him, the Porters, and the whole world. --Goodreads 



  • Codex Born immediately starts with scenes that answer a few questions we’ve all had about how electronics work with libriomancy :D. The book then continues with more peeks into the different critters hiding from the humans and all of the different forms magic can take in the world. I loved the amount of world and magic-building in Codex Born, not too much, but enough to get my imagination flying once more.
  • Each chapter has an entry from Lena’s perspective about events in the past. These sections were awesome! They kind of made me wish for a spin-off series about Lena and her past.
  • Page 243 has one of these passages where Lena talks about beauty and this is possibly my favorite page EVER. I kind of want to turn it into a poster to put on my wall so that I never forget. I love Lena so much!!
  • Holy crap, that ending was insane. I did not see it coming at all and it left me reeling a bit…. I must know what is going to happen D:


  •  There were times when I had trouble following what exactly was happening in both action scenes and moments when Isaac is confused (since it is in first person). This actually made the ending a little less exciting for me since it took me a few minutes to realize what happened, haha.
  • Isaac is a difficult character for me. I just can’t picture him well in my mind and he has yet to really feel like a complete person to me even though Codex Born is first person from his perspective.


Codex Born is a wonderful sequel to Libriomancer and it seems like every book lover should read this series. It’s about magic from books :D. I always feel really cool when I recognize a book title that is being used >.>. If you’ve already read Libriomancer and found it enjoyable, you should definitely pick up Codex Born and find out e-readers work with magic ;-).