the Little Red Reviewer

New Novellas and Novelettes from Jim C. Hines and Kevin Hearne

Posted on: December 26, 2017

 

Imprinted (available January 2018) is the forthcoming novelette in Jim C. Hines’s Libriomancer series, and The Squirrel on the Train (November 2017, Subterannean Press) is Kevin Hearne’s latest Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries novella.  Two super fun and funny little stories!

 

Jim C. Hines concluded his Magic Ex Libris series with the fourth book in the series, Revisionary.  The magic of this series sounds rather basic at first – the world’s collective love for books, stories, and the items found therein allows Libriomancers to pull physical items out of books. Urban fantasy awesomeness and characters who will absolutely shred your heart ensue.  Because character relationships, people’s abilities, and the danger ramp up pretty quickly, this is a series that needs to be read in order.  But. . .  with an itty bitty spoiler (that really doesn’t spoil anything) you can read Imprinted even if you are not caught up on Magic Ex Libris.  That’s me, by the way. I’m the person who isn’t caught up on Magic Ex Libris.

 

Revisionary was supposed to have been the end of the series, right? Well, it wasn’t for Jeneta. She still has a story to tell!

 

Seventeen year old Librariomancer Jeneta Aboderin has a unique libriomantic ability, it’s an ability Isaac might never even thought of had he not met Jeneta. But her power brings risk with it. What if she isn’t strong enough to control her ability? What if she is able to control it, and ends up disrupting the foundations of libriomancy?

Highlight text for spoiler:  Jeneta’s libriomantic ability lets her pull items from e-books.  However, she’s still limited to objects that are no bigger than the frame of her e-reader. But what if she projected the e-book onto a movie theater screen, or even better, an IMAX screen? You know what fits through an IMAX screen? A spaceship.

 

Imprinted was a fast paced, fun, and satisfying read. As always, Hines writes characters who leap off the page. I love how he writes character development and their relationships with each other. Seriously, this entire series could have zero action, zero magic, and I’d enjoy it just for the character’s fully developed histories and their interactions with each other.  Jeneta is talented, but shy. She handles conversations a lot better when she isn’t the center of attention. I loved watching her interact with Greg, another teenager on the campus. The two of them were just so adorable together, their awkwardness, that they hope for a distraction so they can escape not knowing what to say to each other. Super cute.

 

I also liked Janeta’s relationship with her Dad.  I so rarely get to see healthy parent/child relationships in the fiction I read.   He is worried about her, he does fear for her safety, but he trusts her, and he understands that Janeta’s first language is sarcasm. When he asks what she’s doing with Greg, her responses had me laughing out loud!!    Anyways, if you’re not sure about this entire series, because you’re not sold on either Magic items being pulled from books or urban fantasies, give the first book, Libriomancer, a read purely for the characters and how their relationships are written. Also,  to my Michigan friends, this series has a ton of MI local call outs!  You’ll probably see some locations you know (and some of them will get set on fire/blown up).

 

Did you know that Kevin Hearne writes cozy mysteries told from the point of view of a dog? He does!  They are called Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries, and yes, they ARE what you think! Squeee!!

 

Oh, you have no idea what I’m talking about? Kevin Hearne is famous for his Iron Druid series, which follows Atticus O’Sullivan and his wolfhound Oberon.  Atticus is a druid, meaning he is thousands of years old, has magical connections to the earth, is a shapeshifter, can talk to animals, and all sorts of other awesome stuff. When Atticus isn’t busy running his tea business or helping his neighbors, he’s usually pissing off every possible deity, supernatural creature, and a few nosy police officers. He’s  busy guy. Oberon has earned a lot of treats.

 

The Squirrel on the Train is the second Oberon’s Meaty Mysteries novella  I’ve read, and I was laughing my head off about every fifth page.  Atticus really takes a back seat in this one,  this story  is all Oberon, Orlaith, and Starbuck, running, sniffing, chasing devil-squirrels, and begging for tacos and sausages.  It is seriously the cutest thing you have ever read. And? It follows the pattern of a cozy mystery exactly – there is a murder to solve, no one seems to be telling the truth, the amatuer slueth is a playful dog (or maybe his secretive human?), the graphic violence is off screen, there are some red herrings, and the mystery is solved by the end.

 

Have I said how hilarious this story is?  I was laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe.  Oberon might be the world’s smartest dog, but he mixes up pop culture references, has absolutely zero sense of time, wants to run around a play just about all the time, and will do just about anything for a doggie treat.  But don’t mess with Oberon’s friends. Remember, he is a giant wolfhound who can take you down.

 

I’ve only read the first two Iron Druid books (I have 4 or 5 of them, but somehow stalled out in book three?), and I’m not ashamed to say I like these little Oberon novellas more than the Iron Druid novels!  This is most likely due to user error – I do much better with novels that have smaller casts, after about 6 characters I struggle to focus and keep everyone straight.  These Oberon novellas are simpler and the characters are easier for me to keep track of. Guess I have more in common with Oberon than I do with Atticus?

 

I wasn’t raised around dogs, but now, everytime I’m petting or playing with my friends’ dogs, I have to wonder what is going on their mind. Do they see me as a friend?  Someone who is a vehicle to a treat?  Someone whose job is solely to show up randomly, pet them and scratch their ears, and then leave an hour later?

 

If you are an Iron Druid fan, these funny little novellas are for you.  They are laugh out loud funny, and much tamer than the novels they are connected to.  Or maybe you’ve never heard of the Iron Druid books, have never heard of Kevin Hearne, but you like dogs and you like cozy mysteries? In that case, these funny little Oberon’s Meaty Mystery novellas are for you!

 

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3 Responses to "New Novellas and Novelettes from Jim C. Hines and Kevin Hearne"

Squirrel on the Train was another cute Oberon story. I just love how much he and his doggy pals love gravy 😀

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[…] novelette, not a full-length novel, and is set about eight months after the events of Revisionary. Little Red Reviewer just posted the first public review of this one, and called […]

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Hi Red! It’s been a long time. I too am catching up on my Libriomancer reading…I just finished Codex Born and will be writing a review on it soon, and Unbound is in my queue of “to be read”” books. Of course, I have you to thank for convincing me to invest time in this series and it’s been a blast so far.

Does Imprinted have other characters from the series in it? Or is it only Janeta?

Happy New Year!

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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