Sunday, January 3, 2016

[Book Review] Unbound

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

Now available in paperback.

The wake of a a magical attack has left Isaac Vainio locked away from his magic for his own protection surrounded by the wake of the damage done to his hometown.  The attack itself has been wiped from the memories of the residents, and the existence of the Porters and magic still a closely guarded secret.  Or is until a letter revealing magic, the Porters, and the existence of the Porter archives to the world appears in A Dance with Dragons.  Even more pressing to Isaac is his once-student Jeneta, now possessed by a woman locked-away in a magical prison for a thousand years and working to tear apart the Porters and the world itself.  Isaac knows he can't give up, but even if he can get his magic back will he be able to do enough?


One thing I really liked about this book is really getting to know other characters more.  The cast of characters hasn't expanded greatly, but we get more time with them.  Johannes Gutenburg and Juan Ponce de Leon are actively in play, in addition to those close to Isaac like Lena Greenwood and Nidhi Shah.  The challenges and use of magic are creative, and I love the intricacy of the puzzle Isaac must solve.

In past books, Isaac has had the Porters to help handle the trouble he gets into.  In Unbound he's on the outs, not even allowed to talk with anyone in the organization.  On top of all of that he's dealing with the aftermath of trauma that no one around him remembers (except for those with connections to the Porters) and a feeling of responsibility for the well being of Jeneta.  The emotional trauma and depression warps his interactions with the world around him, and he can't talk about it with the people it effects.

Engaging continuation of the series.

Also reviewed:
Codex Born (Magic ex Libris #2)
Revisionary (Magic ex Libris #4) - Coming Soon!


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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