Wednesday, January 6, 2016

[Book Review] Revisionary

Revisionary (Magic ex Libris) / Jim C. Hines (Powell's Books)

A year ago Issac revealed the existence of magic to the world, dreaming of the freedom to use magic to make the world a better place.  But the revelation left many people scared and confused, and others hungry for the power it offered.  Even the Porter-run New Millennium is at risk of falling victim to power-games by the government officials.  A dream to heal the world is stymied by politics and legislation, while other's push for projects with tactical and military potential.  Meanwhile increasing threats to the magical population has some pushing back, which may be exactly what the powers that be want.  As a Porter, Issac is no stranger to fighting against misuse of magic, but with a threat so much bigger than he, does he have the wit and resources to protect what really matters?

Issac and his friends are facing a real and present danger, one that they don't all expect to survive.


All of the Magic ex Libris books have an element of dark danger mixed with a rather cheeky literary sense of humor.  It is completely reasonable to expect a scene where monsters are battled with the works of Prachett, and Smudge is a fire spider (pulled from a different series by Hines) that eats gummi worms and chases a laser pointer like a kitten.  But these elements exist within plots that contain monsters, corruption, and great personal sacrifice.

Revisionary is the darkest, and uncomfortably relevant to the world we live in.  Fear-mongering, calls for registration of all magical individuals, consideration of containment camps, turning human rights into privileges, and domestic terrorism.  The pain and fear caused by painting a widely defined population as dangerous (though, admittedly, some of them are very dangerous) when all they want to do is just be is woven throughout.

A fast-paced, creative, and clever continuation of the series.


Also reviewed:
Codex Born (Magic ex Libris #2)
Unbound (Magic ex Libris #3)

Apparently I never officially reviewed Libriomancer.  Whoops.  (Sorry Jim)

Advance Reader Copy courtesy of DAW (Penguin RandomHouse) in exchange for an honest review; changes may exist between galley and the final edition.

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