Review: “Imprinted,” Jim C. Hines

Pros: Delightful Magic Ex Libris tale
Cons: Would have loved a longer tale!
Rating: 5 out of 5

Jim C. Hines’s Magic Ex Libris stories are absolutely wonderful. In them, some people can work magic by tapping into the consensual reality created by people having read a book, pulling items and more out of those books and into the ‘real’ world. In Imprinted we get to see more of Janeta Aboderin, who is the first person to learn how to operate book magic on an e-reader. Imagine being able to pull things out of any of hundreds of books at a time, rather than the few you can fit in your pockets! She also has a knack for using poetry to her ends, a sort of semi-abstract use of magic that fascinates me.

In Imprinted, Jeneta is going to do a great feat of magic for a crowd now that magicians are becoming more public and organized. She’s going to pull a device out of a huge screen–the magicians are working on interplanetary travel and communication! Naturally something goes wrong and she ends up haunted by mysterious creatures that only she can see. To make things more complicated, someone is trying to steal the technology that they’re working on!

I’m such a fangirl when it comes to the Magic Ex Libris tales that I can’t help wishing for a longer story just because. That said, this was the right length for what it was. I just can’t wait for more. It’s fantastic to see more of young Janeta and her abilities as a prodigy with book magic. Isaac, the main character of the series in general, is here, but it’s definitely Janeta’s tale to be told. Isaac is there to help, but no one really knows the extent of Janeta’s abilities or how they’ll end up working on the whole. We also get to see more players in the game, opening up the possibility of more tales to come. I hope…

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