codexCodex by Lev Grossman

I found this novel when I searched for other works by Lev Grossman.  I absolutely loved The Magicians Trilogy, and have read those books at least a few times each.  So I figured I would love other works by Lev Grossman, and I wasn’t exactly wrong.  I wasn’t exactly right, either.

The title Codex refers to a medieval text that has been lost to time.  Edward Wozny, an investment banker, has taken a new position with his firm across the pond, and is moving in only a couple of weeks from New York to London.  In the mean time, he’s given the task of cataloging the library of one of his firm’s highest clients.  Along with the help of Margaret Napier, a medieval enthusiast and grad student, he seeks to unravel the mystery of the Codex’s location, and how it ties in to his employers.  A secondary plot involves a role-playing game that keeps Edward up until all hours of the night.  Will the Codex tie in to the mysterious game?  What will happen to Edward’s life once the mystery takes over?

I don’t think I really understood this novel.  I think it was more “literary” than I’m used to reading.  I like me some genre books; science fiction or fantasy, especially if it has magicians or vampires in it.  I went into this book kinda blind, having only known about the author and knowing nothing about the plot.  As I was listening to the audiobook I kept waiting for the vampires to pop out of the woodwork, or the magic to enter the story.  It probably wasn’t fair of me to start reading a book when I hadn’t even glanced at the back cover copy.  I had no idea what kind of a book it was supposed to be.

Then again, I did enjoy the characters.  I liked Edward Wozny and his relationship with Margaret Napier.  As strange and unusual as it was.  I also liked his friends who played the game online.  There were some interesting characters there who kept me engaged, kept me reading.  I didn’t really understand the parallels between the book and the Codex or the book and Edward’s life.  I was at a loss sometimes as to why I was still following the story.  It wasn’t the basic Hero’s Journey like I’m used to reading, but something different.  And still interesting.  I read through to the end, and though I’m not sure I completely understood what I read, I’m glad that I read it.