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The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Series) Paperback – September 1, 2014
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“Charlie N. Holmberg does a fantastic job of making her characters interesting and complex...The Paper Magician is my kind of story. I love anything set in England, especially historical England, and the pace of the story, while incredibly fast, cuts to the point and leaves plenty of room and questions-left-unanswered for a sequel. I appreciated that it didn’t end as a typical fluffy romance, but had an interesting twist and what I felt was a lot of delicious tension. Plus, the cover’s awesome.” —Devin Brooks, The Figmentist
“Harry Potter fans will likely enjoy this story for its glimpses of another structured magical world, and fans of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus will enjoy the whimsical romance element. The ease of read makes this a quick getaway when compared to something complex in terms of language like Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. So if you're looking for a story with some unique magic, romantic gestures, and the inherent darkness that accompanies power all steeped in a yet to be fully explored magical world, then this could be your next read.” —Amanda Lowery, Thinking Out Loud
“Ceony displays commendable pluck facing a more experienced mage trained in the dark arts, and Holmberg gives her a complete story while leaving ample room for sequels…This promising debut recalls the early work of Patricia Wrede.” —Publishers Weekly
“A fast-paced, perilous romp…The story was the perfect tempo and I immediately fell in love with Ceony, her astute mind and quick thinking. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!” —CheriePie’s Book Reviews
"Stephen King once said, 'Love is a uniquely portable magic,' and if so, The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg must be a kind of love...If you can take yourself out of the real world for a little while and imagine yourself as one learning how to be a magician, this novel will easily become one of your favorites. With a little bit of magic, romance, and suspense, The Paper Magician is truly a fun and exciting summer read for anyone who needs a break from the real world.” —The Triangle
“The plot is pretty tightly focused on Ceony and Emery, but the glimpses I caught of this larger world were fascinating...If you enjoy fantasy or steampunk at all, give this one a try.” —The Introverted Reader
About the Author
Charlie N. Holmberg was born in in Salt Lake City. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English and minored in editing at Brigham Young University. Her debut novel, The Paper Magician, is the first title in her fantasy series, and is followed by the equally whimsical and enchanting The Glass Magician. When she’s not writing fantasy novels, she’s working as a freelance editor. A self-proclaimed Trekkie, she currently lives in Idaho with her husband and children, and hopes to someday have a dog.
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Top customer reviews
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As the story moved along, I found myself becoming disappointed as I felt the book didn't live up to its potential. The character development fell rather flat and I found myself annoyed by the immature behavior of the protagonist - I often had to remind myself she is 19 years old in the book since she came across as someone much, much younger. I especially needed to remind myself of this as the romance factor was introduced. Even with her being 19, there was a definite "ick" factor and since her behaviour was so juvenile, I had a double "ick" factor.
The premise of the magic is what saved the book for me but even that wasn't developed to its full potential. The folding was such an intricate part to the success of the plot that I wish the author had taken more time to expand on it. Great start but suffered due to the romance taking over.
Bottom line: While some of the whimsical aspects reminded me a lot of the early Harry Potter books, the comparison to those was its downfall. While J.K. Rowling maintained the creativity throughout seven books, this author wasn't able to capitalize on a brilliant idea. While I think this book might very well be appreciated by the YA reader (much better than "Twilight" or other novels geared toward this age group), I didn't find it to be a particularly engaging read for the adult reader who appreciates YA and is looking for more than a romance story with some magic thrown in.
Ceony sulks a little but I was pleasantly surprised at how non-mopey she generally was...it seems like characters like this are usually 100% pro-pity parties. But even though she wishes it hadn't been so, she dedicates herself to learning the craft of paper magic. She's settling into a mostly comfortable groove when suddenly she and Emery, on who she is starting to develop a bit of a crush, are brutally attacked by an evil magician, and although she's been forbidden to, she (of course) adventures to save him. She has to make a journey, both literal and metaphorical, through his heart in order to do so.
The journey through the heart is where most of the character development comes from. It's in a way a kind of blunt plot device...instead of having to learn things about her Emery's inner life organically, she's treated to highlight and lowlight reels of the most sensitive, defining moments of his life. But I think it works, mostly. It not only rounds out his character, but it makes her growing crush seem less like the oh-so-tiresome InstaLove trope. And the system of magic that Holmberg creates for her world is fresh and interesting. But at the end of the day, this isn't high literature. It's fluffy, and perfect for the way I read it: on an airplane. Or at a beach. It's pleasant and light and thinking about it too hard isn't recommended. There are sequels, but I'm not nearly invested enough to seek them out. If you need something to help pass the time, though, you could do a lot worse.
There was a villain, and lots of blood, which wasn't especially scary. There was one scene in which dead bodies, children, adults, animals, were described, and I didn't like that at all. Not especially scary, just too grisly.
I did enjoy the paper creations that came to life, especially Fennel. While I did finish this book, I have no inclination to read the later ones in this series.
A young girl graduates from what seems to be the magician's version of high school, and begins her apprenticeship. Each graduate must chose a specific man ace material with which to bond--as magic only works on man man made materials, and each magician only gets to bond with one material. However, this student does not get to chose, but is stuck with paper magic.
Her master, Magician Thane, is a weird dude, very cold and distant, but clearly extremely talented. However, it quickly becomes apparent hat there is much more to Thane than appears at first blush.
Evil quickly appears in the form of Lira...a magician gone bad. At some point someone figured out that humans were man made, and they could be the subject of magic. While strictly prohibited a renegade band nonetheless took advantage of this power, and became some combination of criminals and social outcasts. Lira arrives and takes Thanes heart. This sets the stage for the main action in the book, our heroine's quest to save Magician Thane...a quest which takes her into his past, and into his heart.
Very well done. Looking forward to the second volume in the series, the Glass Magician.
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