Meet Isaac Vanio in “Libriomancer” by Jim C. Hines, an adult fantasy about a cataloger who can pull an item out of a book to use before returning it to the story. Vampires attack Isaac in the library, and he must figure out who is behind the assaults on him and others in his secret organization of magic users. Battling magical creatures with the help of a motorcycle-riding dryad, he pulls Lucy’s healing potion from the Chronicles of Narnia, Alice’s shrinking drink from “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and various guns and weapons from adult science fiction and fantasy novels. Besides references to books, scattered throughout the story are references to the Doctor Who television series and Star Wars movies. At the back of the book the author lets you know which books are real and which books are invented for this story. While he does use some classic children’s books, the story itself is adult with some sexual content. The plot kept me guessing about who was on the side of our hero, and I loved the idea of being able to pull items out of books. Definitely a thrilling read.
Another exciting librarian can be found in “The Demon’s Librarian” by Lilith Saintcrow. Librarian by day, demon hunter by night, Francesca Barnes suspects something evil is out there, and she means to stop it. An attractive half demon/half human male shows up to give her some help.
After reading both of these fantasy/romance/thrillers, I looked to see what else I could find about adventurous librarians. The library has two made-for-television movies starring Noah Wyle as “The Librarian” who battles supernatural forces.
I also found a series about a halfling librarian who finds adventure. The Rover series by Mel Odom includes “The Rover,” “The Destruction of the Books,” “Lord of the Libraries” and “Quest for the Trilogy.” These stories take place in a universe of elves, dwarves, goblins, dragons and wizards.
I found series featuring mystery-solving librarians:
- Aurora Teagarden mysteries by Charlaine Harris (the first in the series is “Real Murders“)
- Jacqueline Kirby mysteries by Elizabeth Peters (start with “The Seventh Sinner“)
And two stand alone mysteries:
I was rather disappointed that there weren’t more works of fiction about librarians leading exciting lives. (Of course, for real-life librarian superheroes, you can always check out “This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All.”) Please share with me your recommendations!