Rex Libris: Book of Monsters by James Turner is the second collection in the continuing saga of Middleton Public librarian Rex Libris. Middleton Public Library sits atop a conjunction of forces that keep the librarians on their toes. Rex frequently travels the universe to collect long overdue books and the fines their borrowers owe for them. Of course, in the process he also fights evil because it is usually only the ones who are evil that don’t return their library books.

Book of Monsters sees a rupture of the forces that keep the monsters in their books and they begin to escape, first across books and then from the books. Circe, Hypatia and Rex think they’ve got everything under control until they learn that Cthulhu, evilest of evil monsters is about to awaken on his island of R’lyeh. Rex, his fellow kick-ass librarians, and the U.S. Navy head to R’lyeh with the goal of whispering some secret words into the ear of Cthulhu that will force the monster to be at their command.

But evil draws evil and all the Dr. Evils and wannabe Dr. Evils are heading to R’lyeh too, after a stop at Middleton Public library to pick up a pamphlet with the secret words of power on it – it is a public library after all – to try to be the one who controls the ultimate evil.

Everyone arrives on R’lyeh at the same time and a huge battle breaks out with evil fighting evil. Rex and company just try to keep out of the way but of course it is never that easy.

In the end, Rex and the powers of good win out and all it right with the world again. At least for a little while.

This graphic novel was an enjoyable and fun read in spite of several typos (how do you get typos in a graphic novel?). In spite of enjoying it, I liked the first Rex Libris collection better. Maybe it was the novelty of the first one, but this second collection seemed to be missing something. I can’t say what it was missing other than it just didn’t have the same spark.

I know Turner stopped doing Rex but I am not sure if there is one more collection or if this is the last one. Rumors were flying several years ago about a movie, who wouldn’t want to go to a film featuring smart, literate librarians who could handle swords, small arms and heavy weaponry as well land a mean flying kick? So far no film, but at least there are the graphic novels.