Magic is Real and Comes With Great Responsibilty

Posted on January 25, 2016 «
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book review unbound jim c hines

Book Review
Unbound by Jim C. Hines

I waited almost a year to read Unbound. Why? Well, the pesky #ShelfLove Challenge last year and then before I knew it I was being offered an ARC of Revisionary, book 4 in the Magic Ex Libris series, and I thought I had better get cracking.

First of all, I’m happy I waited because it meant I got to jump right into book 4 after finishing Unbound. Unbound doesn’t end on a cliffhanger, but a lot happens to crack magic wide open and there are lots of implications for non-magic users (muggles/mundanes), unhumans (i.e. vampires, werewolves, etc.) and magic users. After finishing Unbound, I simply had to know how the World was going to handle everything.

Reading this now, with politicians moving into Iowa in light of the presidential election screaming about what to do about guns and health care and refugees, makes the arguments about magic and how best to use and/or contain it all the more poignant. And that’s the big picture stuff.

book review unbound jim c hines

As Issac struggles with the fallout from book 2 that directly affects how events play out in book 3, I was struck by my own search for purpose when a piece of you is stripped away. Issac borders on manic most of the novel. His obsession with finding a solution and attempts to rescue everyone don’t quite play out in his favor. At a few different points in the novel, I paused and reflected on those moments in my life when I felt burned out by trying to fix everything. Issac’s struggle is my own.

Even in the darkest moments in this novel, there is laughter. The final battle gets pretty heated and I found myself laughing out loud as Smudge, Issac’s fire-spider, came to the rescue. Plus all the pop culture references and hints at other novels and stories make this an all around solid read.

If you haven’t discovered the Magic Ex Libris series yet now is the time to pick it up. The final book in the series releases in February. Fans of science fiction, fantasy and paranormal novels will get a kick out Jim’s mastery at weaving elements from all these genres together. Issac is a down-to-earth hero that everyone can relate to and see a bit of themselves in. I’m sure that everyone will become quite fond of Lena and Nidhi who continue to amaze me in the growth of their personalities as the series has continued. Plus what bookworm doesn’t believe that librarians are the most kickass people on this earth and that books are the most powerful weapon?

book review unbound jim c hines


The Quick Book Review

Magic is Real and Comes With Great Responsibilty


Author: Jim C. Hines
Published on: January 6, 2015
Pages: 340
Genres: fantasy, paranormal, science fiction, adult
Goodreads • Amazon Affiliate Link
My Rating: Thumbs Up

book review unbound jim c hines

About Jim C. Hines

author headshot jim c. hines

Jim C. Hines is the author of the Magic ex Libris series, the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. His latest novel is Terminal Alliance, book one in the humorous science fiction Janitors of the Post-Apocalypse trilogy. His short fiction has appeared in more than 50 magazines and anthologies. He’s an active blogger, and won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. He lives in mid-Michigan with his family.


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7 responses to “Magic is Real and Comes With Great Responsibilty

  1. It’s so neat that not only is this book relevant to current events, Terri, but that you also had a personal connection to it as you could relate to Isaac’s struggle with trying to fix things. I’ve seen this series around but haven’t picked it up. However, it sounds like something I’d really enjoy. I’ll go see if my library carries it. 😀

    • I love this series, Brandee. Magic based around books where you can pull stuff out (as long as it will fit through the pages) is pretty darned cool. Right now, with the threat of freezing rain, I would pull Dorothy’s

  2. I’m not a huge fan of urban fantasy, but the glowing reviews for this series are swaying my thoughts! I love how some of the themes in this book managed to reach out and touch modern day events too. Great review, Terri!

    • Claudia, give it a shot. It is classified as Urban Fantasy, but I would say it is on the lighter side. It’s not a gritty as some of the more popular urban fantasy. It’s more about magic than werewolves, vampires and fae which seems to be a requirement for most urban fantasy these days.