I just finished reading Unbound by Jim C. Hines. It’s the third book in the Magic ex Libris series.
This isn’t really a review of the traditional sort. I’m sure you can find plenty of those elsewhere. (Here’s a good one of those.)
But I have to express how much I loved this book – and how much Jim’s work has meant to me over the years.
I’ve known Jim for years. I first heard two goblin stories "Goblin Lullaby" on Podcastle and then heard "Goblin Hunter" on ClonePod. When I later met him at the Writer’s Symposium at GenCon, I suddenly realized that he was the goblin guy, and bought the series from him right then. Later, when we shared a hotel room at Millennicon, his advice and input was part of what eventually led to Alliteration Ink being created. We don’t see each other very often, but when we do, he is always funny, kind, and caring. He’s just an awesome guy, and has been a great friend, and even a kind of long-distance mentor.
When I first encountered Jim’s writing, he was already good… and he’s only gotten better. The fun Goblin books led to the more traditionally (sort of) fantasy Princess stories, and now, to the Magic ex Libris series.
And it’s been great reading his books through a large chunk of his career.
There’s always been a bit of a curse about reading his books for me. Too often, I end up picking up Jim’s newest book when I’m in a bad place in my life. It’s not intentional – things just sort of work out that way.
But there’s something in Jim’s writing – not just the humor, though there’s plenty of that, even in his most serious works, but a hope – that shines through.
It helps. And I value it immensely.
Unbound – like all of Jim’s work – comes highly recommended by me. Just do yourself a favor and read the series – as this review points out, this book is excellent, but is absolutely the wrong place to start the series. Luckily, the other two books in the series are just as good.
If you are not already familiar with Jim’s work, he has links to quite a few free stories that you can check out on his webpage, including the podcast links that I include above.