Review: The Librarians and the Lost Lamp by Greg Cox
Published by Tor Books on October 11th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Urban Fantasy
The Librarians is one of the biggest new hits on cable. Spinning off from a popular series of TV-movies, the TNT series begins its second season this Fall. The Librarians and the Lost Lamp is the first in a series of thrilling all-new adventures that will delight fans of the TV series and movies.
For thousands of years, the Librarians have secretly protected the world The Librarians from dangerous magical relics and knowledge, including everything from Pandora’s Box to King Arthur’s sword.
Ten years ago, Flynn Carson was the only living Librarian. When the ancient criminal organization known as the Forty steals the oldest known copy of The Arabian Nights by Scheherazade, Flynn is called in to investigate. Fearing that the Forty is after Aladdin's fabled Lamp, Flynn must race to find it before the Lamp's powerful and malevolent djinn is unleashed upon the world.
Today, a new team of inexperienced Librarians, along with Eve Baird, their tough-as-nails Guardian, is investigating an uncanny mystery in Las Vegas when the quest for the Lamp begins anew . . . and the fate of the world hangs in the balance.
Season Two of The Librarians debuts Sunday, November 1st on TNT.
I have to confess, I have never watched the TV show The Librarians that this book is based on. Because of that it really wasn’t on my radar, mostly for fear that I would be at a disadvantage from not knowing anything about the show. But when I received a review copy of the book, I had to admit it still sounded like a fun quick read, so I figured it was worth a shot. I mean, come on. Combining libraries and magic? Who doesn’t want to give that a read? And I am happy to say, that based on my experience, I would say this book can definitely be read without prior knowledge of the series. The pace is quick, the characters entertaining, and I never felt like I was missing some crucial backstory or information.
The premise of the series is something I think any avid reader of fantasy has to love. There that a secret group called The Librarians that serves to protect the world from all those dangerous magical things. What the Librarians are protecting people from are very familiar things we hear about in folklore, fairy tales and legends. In this particular story, the conflict revolves around the recovery of Aladdin’s Lamp. The timeline is actually split, featuring two story lines 10 years apart, and the Lamp features in both.
Flynn Carson was the sole Librarian 10 years ago. I found Carson to be very likable and fun. His chapters reveal a group called the Forty Thieves is trying to attain the Lamp, and his mission is to make sure it lands in Librarian hands, where it will be safe. Fast forward 10 years, the Librarian team has grown and they are also seeking the Forty Thieves and Lamp. The introduction of more Librarians brings more personalities to the mix, they work together well and keep things varied.
Also, as a complete aside, as far as I am concerned, the unofficial theme song for this book (in my head anyway), is Beastie Boys Alibaba and the Forty Thieves. I can’t even write this review without hearing it in my head. I’m not sure that helps or hurts, but I guess I quirkily have a very strong association with the “40 thieves” that are featured in this book and that song.
There was a variety of personalities and good pacing in this. While I have not watched the show, I can see how the adventure style story would be well suited to an episodic TV series. It’s a fun premise with good characters that keep you entertained through out their mission.
Now the main aspect that I did not love for the book is that some of it felt just a bit over the top for my taste. And I don’t mean it was bad, this is a quality that I am quick to nit-pick in a book, but that I know others will still enjoy. It comes down to personal reading preferences and even if that bit was a bit outside for me, overall I did still enjoy the book.