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Codex Born Teaser Text

I wanted to run this by folks before I send it in to my editor on Monday. This would be either on the back of the dust jacket or, more likely, in the cover flap for Codex Born [Amazon | B&N | Mysterious Galaxy]. Any and all feedback is welcome.

And thanks!

Isaac Vainio’s life was almost perfect. He should have known it couldn’t last.

Living and working as a part-time librarian in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, Isaac had finally earned the magical research position he dreamed of with Die Zwelf Portenære, better known as the Porters. He was seeing a smart, fun, gorgeous dryad named Lena Greenwood. He had been cleared by Johannes Gutenberg to do libriomancy once again, to reach into books and create whatever he chose from their pages. Best of all, it had been more than two months since anything tried to kill him.

And then Isaac, Lena, and Porter psychiatrist Nidhi Shah are called to the small mining town of Tamarack, Michigan, where a pair of septuagenarian werewolves have discovered the brutally murdered body of a wendigo.

What begins as a simple monster-slaying leads to deeper mysteries and the discovery of an organization thought to have been wiped out more than five centuries ago by Gutenberg himself. Their magic rips through Isaac’s with ease, and their next target is Lena Greenwood.

They know Lena’s history, her strengths and her weaknesses. Born decades ago from the pages of a pulp fantasy novel, she was created to be the ultimate fantasy woman, shaped by the needs and desires of her companions. Her powers are unique, and Gutenberg’s enemies mean to use her to destroy everything he and the Porters have built. But their plan could unleash a far darker power, an army of entropy and chaos, bent on devouring all it touches.

The Upper Peninsula is about to become ground zero in a magical war like nothing the world has seen in more than five hundred years. But the more Isaac learns about Gutenberg and the Porters, the more he questions whether he’s fighting for the right cause.

One way or another, Isaac must find a way to stop a power he doesn’t fully understand. And even if he succeeds, the outcome will forever change him, the Porters, and the whole world.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.



( 41 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 2nd, 2013 11:29 pm (UTC)
I'm way too excited by this to be able to respond to it as a critic.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:27 am (UTC)
Feb. 2nd, 2013 11:40 pm (UTC)
Very well done! I think it is perfect, and sounds wonderfully intriguing.

Petty editor question: Shouldn't part time be hyphenated?
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
Thanks! And yes, it probably should :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:21 am (UTC)
So it was a test and I win a free book, right? Right?
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:18 am (UTC)
I'll give away more books next week. Patience! :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:20 am (UTC)
Want now! Want now! *makes grabby hands*


You and the universe. Always with the "patience." Gah.
Feb. 2nd, 2013 11:58 pm (UTC)
Even if I had never read the first book or any of your books, those first two paragraphs would grab me and make me turn to the first page to start reading. Having read the first book, this passage makes me want to start counting down to the release date!

I like the suggestion in the second to last paragraph that Isaac may begin having doubts about Gutenberg and the Porters. I seem to remember a hint of that in the first book; glad to see the theme continues.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:27 am (UTC)
That's one of several long-term threads I'm hoping to work with through the series.

And that's about all I can say without spoiling things ;-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:10 am (UTC)
Do you think this might be too long, Jim?

And do you want to give away the killer's identity? I don't know if it matters that the readers know upfront.

I'd punch up that first sentence a little. "Isaac had the perfect life. Of course it couldn't last." Something like that.

I don't know how much feedback you want, so I'll stop now. :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 12:16 am (UTC)
The length is about the same as I used for the first book. The hardcovers need longer summaries than the paperbacks. (I'd actually prefer to keep it a little shorter.)

There's a lot about the identity of the various antagonists I haven't given away here. Does it feel like I'm spilling too much?

And I'll take whatever feedback you've got. Thank you for this :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:56 am (UTC)
The second paragraph feels like it's recapping way too much of book one to me, but I seem to be the minority opinion. That said, I'm looking forward to the book.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:16 am (UTC)
D'oh! Replied to the wrong comment, sorry!

Re: the recap, I'm torn. My thinking is that people who know the first book will hopefully want to read the sequel regardless, but those who haven't might need a quick bit of info to fill them in on what's going on.

Edited at 2013-02-03 02:17 am (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:00 am (UTC)
I had the same thought - that it was maybe giving away a bit too much, particularly about the killer.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:17 am (UTC)
Okay, just tweaked the middle paragraph to remove specific references to the killer. Does that help?
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:28 am (UTC)
Yes, definitely better!
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:30 am (UTC)
Now I am *really* chomping at the bit.
Also, Copper River, huh? Thinly veiled Copper Harbor?
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:32 am (UTC)
Actually, if anything, Copper River is loosely based on Negaunee :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 01:40 am (UTC)

FYI, I finally got around to reading Libriomance a couple of weeks ago. First book in several (many?) years that kept me up until the wee hours of the morning - WAY past my bed-time!
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:18 am (UTC)
This makes me happy. Thank you :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:00 am (UTC)
Ok, as an English teacher, you are never supposed to start a sentence with the word But. It is a segue word and is proceeded by a comma. Sorry, can't seem to stop myself. This really makes me want to read the series though. My fiance has the first book and I am waiting not so patiently for him to send it to me, since he bought it FOR me. Silly man, reading MY BOOKS.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:33 am (UTC)
An article I was just reading says the "rule" against starting a sentence with a conjunction is actually a false one: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-culture/Most-of-What-You-Think-You-Know-About-Grammar-is-Wrong-187940351.html
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:35 am (UTC)
*sigh* Just tried to reply to this comment, noting that an article I'd just read said that that rule was a false one, but LJ marked my comment as spam, presumably because it contained a link to the article in question. :-(

Oh well - the article is on the Smithsonian web site, and is entitled "Most of What You Think You Know About Grammar is Wrong". That should make it findable...

Edited at 2013-02-03 02:35 am (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:39 am (UTC)
Just unspammed the original comment.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 04:42 am (UTC)
Not that I wasn't going to buy the next book anyways. But...

Yeah, I'd buy a book on that teaser.

By the way, if you need to make secure, offsite backups of your book files, feel free to email them to me as I have plenty of storage in my email. :)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:30 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'll keep your generous offer in mind :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 04:45 am (UTC)
This felt long to me. Having read your earlier comment about usual length, I wonder if perhaps part of that is because of the density of information? There are a few places where I think broader strokes could serve this better and be more likely to catch a casual reader who hadn't read the first book. (Which I did, and thumbs up! I thought it was great fun.)

Possible example: "He had been cleared by Johannes Gutenberg to do libriomancy once again, to reach into books and create whatever he chose from their pages" => "He had been cleared by the Porters to once more reach into books and create whatever he chose from their pages"

I was really engaged at the "They know Lena's history" paragraph, and I liked the "the outcome will forever change" last sentence (if true).

[Edited for correct thumb pluralization.]

Edited at 2013-02-03 04:46 am (UTC)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 03:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks. And yes, that last sentence is very true :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 06:41 am (UTC)
Picky woman is picky on a sentence level--which shouldn't surprise anyone. *g* I think this should be: where a pair of septuagenarian werewolves have discovered the body of a brutally murdered wendigo.

The way it read to me before was that the body was murdered and not the wendigo. Which might just be me.

The rest rocks. I'm looking forward to this book.
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:29 pm (UTC)
I wouldn't have posted it if I didn't want people to be picky :-) Thanks!
Feb. 3rd, 2013 02:27 pm (UTC)
I haven't read Libriomancer (sorry, I'm embarrassed to say that), and I'd give Codex Born a try from this blurb. Well, actually, I'm going to go find Libriomancer, because I hate reading books out of order. The backstory is just right to fill me in. The only part that threw me for a loop was completely mundane: UP. I had to stop and think about that one. :)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 03:51 pm (UTC)
I think I'll probably change that to "Upper Peninsula" in the last paragraph, because you're not the only person who stumbled over that bit. Thanks!

Oh, and that's nothing to be embarrassed about!
Feb. 3rd, 2013 05:22 pm (UTC)
I already have Libriomancer in my TBR list, but if I hadn't this blurb would put me on the hunt for both books on the double.

Oh, new follower here, pleased to 'meet' you. :)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks! And welcome! :-)
Feb. 3rd, 2013 10:03 pm (UTC)
The "Brutal Murder" of a Wendigo is usually called "self-defense".
Feb. 4th, 2013 04:00 am (UTC)
Heh. Yes.
Feb. 4th, 2013 12:46 am (UTC)
I would second the removal of the first reference to Gutenberg, making it a bit more general. And I'd like to know why having a dead wendigo is a problem? Normally I'd think a dead wendigo is a good wendigo. But perhaps I am prejudiced. The rest, however, just makes me want to read the book, like, yesterday.
Feb. 5th, 2013 07:21 pm (UTC)
Ah, but would you read the book to find out why a dead wendigo isn't a good wendigo? :)
Feb. 4th, 2013 05:44 pm (UTC)
Regular reader, occasional commenter here. I loved Libriomancer so much that it inspired a custom-ordered button at a convention last month, and this blurb makes me look forward to Codex Born even more than I already was!

Feb. 4th, 2013 06:24 pm (UTC)
Very cool! What was the button?
Feb. 4th, 2013 09:25 pm (UTC)
Well even if I hadn't read the first book, I'd be intrigued. As it is: I waaaant to reeead it noooow!

I felt like the 5th paragraph (They know Lena's history...) was surprisingly detailed for what I'd expect on a dust jacket. Almost too spoilery for the back of a book. But on the other hand it was more intriguing than what you normally get from a dust jacket.... How's that for a balanced and unhelpful comment?? :)
( 41 comments — Leave a comment )


Jim C. Hines

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