Title: The Librarians and the Lost Lamp
Author: Greg Cox
Paperback: 288 pages
Publisher: Tor Books (October 11, 2016)
For fans of the hit television series The Librarians, which returns on November 1, 2016 for its second season on TNT, the wait just got a little bit more tolerable. The #2 new series on basic cable of 2014, it is obvious that a loyal fan base has followed along from the original made for television Dean Devlin (Leverage, Independence Day) productions of The Librarian: Quest for the Spear (2004), The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines (2006), The Librarian: Curse of the Judas Chalice (2008).
Scheduled for release October 11, 2016, from Tor Trade Paperback (Macmillan), The Librarians and The Lost Lamp by bestselling author Greg Cox (novelizations of Godzilla, Man of Steel, The Dark Knight Rises, and tie-ins novels of Leverage and Warehouse 13) will fill that agonizing void until the show’s return. Though the franchise has appeared in other types of media, including books and comics, this is the first time the characters from the television series showcasing the dynamic team of Librarians has appeared in print.
For those of you fresh from under a rock, a Librarian is one who procures, archives, and protects all of the priceless relics from throughout history. More often than not, the adventures resemble the antics of Indiana Jones while maintaining the suspense of the classical mystery. These stories are pure entertainment. As the subject matter sometimes borders on absurdity, audiences can always rely on the frequent historical facts and documented literary references to bring plausibility back within grasp. I wouldn’t use the series as a learning tool, but I have no doubt that it has been influential in some of the younger fans interests in history and literature (noted from personal experience).
The Librarians and The Lost Lamp is two complete stories in one volume. Broken into two separate adventures, both of the stories are linked to the search for Aladdin’s magical lamp. At times the flow gets jumbled as readers are taken back and forth between a span of ten years, but it is actually a quick read and the flow is much smoother when the action lingers in a single timeline.
One plot-line follows the original Librarian Flynn Carson (played by Noah Wyle in the films) as he travels around the globe in 2006 in search of the oldest known copy of Scheherazade’s classic The Arabian Nights, which was stolen by an ancient criminal organization known as The Forty Thieves. Suspecting the bad guys are intent on finding the storied lamp and using the genie for evil, Flynn must use all of his intellectual prowess to find the lamp first and secure it in the safety of the library.
The other plot-line occurs ten years later in 2016. The current team of Librarians find themselves heading to Las Vegas where a struggling gambler mysteriously becomes an overnight lottery winner and continues to increase his winning ways in the casinos. When their investigation leads them on the trail of the lamp, believed to have been long lost forever, the past and the present converge in the notorious city where the genie is close to being released from the bottle.
Loyal fans of the films will be happy to see that the Flynn Carson character and events become the focal point of the story, stealing the limelight when he is present and influencing scenes when he is not. The newer fans to the franchise familiar with the main characters of the television series will recognize their favorites right away. Rest assured, if you are not familiar with any of the films or the television show, you will still be able to follow along with ease as the author Cox does a fine job of introducing each character in a manner that will not overwhelm newcomers and will not frustrate or bore those already invested.
For a refresher, the list of hero characters include:
Flynn Carson (Wyle) – original hero from the three films, once a socially awkward brainiac with 22 college degrees, Flynn accepted the role of Librarian, protector of the world’s rarest and often times magical artifacts. The new additions include Eve Baird (Rebecca Romijn), a counter-terrorism agent who becomes the teams’ protective Guardian. Jake Stone (Christian Kane) is the chiseled muscle with a high IQ and a specialty in history and art. Cassandra Cillian (Lindy Booth) is a fragile math whiz who is living on borrowed time as a grape-sized brain tumor ticks away in her skull. Ezekiel Jones (John Harlan Kim) is the team jokester with a knack for cons and thievery. Rounding out the team is the ageless Jenkins (John Larroquette), the silver haired curator of the Annex, the Portland portal of the Library.
If you’re looking for a confirmation on which media version is better, the book or the film/series, look elsewhere. The novel The Librarians and The Lost Lamp by Greg Cox is pure entertainment and a fitting literary companion to the live action series.