Codex Born by Jim C. Hines





SO, Codex Born is the second in Jim C. Hines Magic Ex Libris series and it follows main character Isaac Vainio and his main girl Lena Greenwood (a dryad pulled from a book herself and discarded). And in an interesting “twist” Lena’s other significant other psychiatrist Nidhi Shah joins in on the fun. 

The action centers on the discovery of an organization thought to have been wiped out more than five centuries ago by Gutenberg himself. They have strong magic of their own and almost destroy all the characters several times, culminating in a battle in a small town that does kill a lot of people. 

I felt that the end of the book, and really the book as a whole was more of the same. Isaac as a character is pretty engaging. He struggles with his place in the Porters and their history of wiping out rivals, and he has a relatively strong relationship with Lena. 

I’m going to say right now that I just couldn’t care about their relationship. I find it Boring with a capital B. It is super refreshing that a different form (type?) of relationship is explored. I would love more books where so called “alternative” relationship types are explored. Unfortunately I feel nothing for any of the people in this relationship. 

I like Isaac in a generic “he’s the main character” kind of way and am mildly interested in his story outside of this relationship. Lena has always bored me. She shows up and kicks ass, then doesn’t, then does some more. I find her tiring. If you connect with her, awesome I’m glad since I can’t adequately explain why I find her dull. Nidhi Shah? I feel she barely has any character at all to care about. She seems mildly uncomfortable with Lena and Isaac’s relationship….kinda….i guess? I never really got the sense of her, she is just a big flat nothing character.

The plot of the book itself is pretty interesting. It moves along at a good clip and I did get wrapped up in the mysteries by the middle of the book. I’m trying not to spoil too much of the plot, but it was pretty engaging. 

I think overall I would recommend this series. I still love the magic system and that the main character is a librarian. I will probably even continue on with the rest of the series.