BOOK REVIEW: The Paper Magician – by Charlie N. Holmberg

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Title: The Paper Magician
(The Paper Magician Trilogy #1)
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Genre: YA, Fantasy, Historical Fiction
First published: September 1st 2014
Finished reading: October 29th 2015
Pages: 224
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“Faith is a very personal thing, really. Just because you don’t meet with a group of people once a week who believe everything exactly the way you do doesn’t mean you don’t believe in something.”

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I admit I mostly picked up my copy of The Paper Magician because of the beautiful cover. The blurb of this novel sounds really interesting as well, but this promise lacks proper execution. I had a love/hate relationship with both Charlie N. Holmberg‘s prose and the characters. I really enjoyed the paper folding descriptions and some of the historical references, but somehow the fact that half of the story literally took place inside the heart of Magician Emery Thane just didn’t do it for me. Both his character and Ceony Twill switched between being interesting, cliche and acceptable so many times that it became annoying… And the Excisioner as a character felt mostly flat. The paper folding magic in itself is a really original idea and I really wanted to enjoy The Paper Magician, but overall it just didn’t do it for me. I ended up giving it the benefit of the doubt with a 2,5 star rating, but I don’t think I will continue the series at this point.

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Ceony Twill graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, but somehow she never got to pick her own element for her apprenticeship. Paper is the weakest element, and Ceony is quite upset she is forced to learn paper magic instead of bespelling metal. Once she is bonded to paper, that will be her only magic for as long as she lives… But Magician Emery Thane turns out to be a more than interesting teacher and Ceony soon finds herself being quite interested in paper magic. She also learns more about the dangers of forbidden magic when an Excisioner rips Thane’s heart from his chest with dark flesh magic… Ceony is still an apprentice with only the weakest element at her side, but she is determined to face the evil magician anyway. Will Ceony be able to beat her and save her teacher’s life?

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Even when I’m writing my summary, I keep thinking of how promising The Paper Magician sounds. The idea of paper magic is really original and it has all the signs this could be a great read, but the final product simply didn’t convince me. The plot didn’t feel as strong and the scenes inside Thane’s heart were just plain weird. I liked the paper folding descriptions (and most of the other descriptions for that matter), but both characters and prose felt a bit weak at points. All in all it was unfortunately mostly a disappointment…

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WWW Wednesdays #62 – October 28th

wwwwednesdaysWWW WEDNESDAYS is hosted by Sam at Taking On A World Of Words and is all about answering the three questions below.

  • WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

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I have finally started reading The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey, although it’s still too early to say if I like it better than the first one. I’ve also started the prequel novella The Fear Trials by Lindsey Cummings… I’m going to try and finish this series ASAP. And I’ve put Outlander by Diana Gabaldon on hold until November because there is no way I will be able to finish it before the end of the month anyway. It’s not that I don’t like it so far though!

  • WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

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I didn’t have that much time to read last week and I was also quite distracted by my new food blog Easy Peasy Delicious Food, so I only managed to finish three books.
* The first is The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings, a read I really enjoyed and I will be reading the sequel soon as well.
* Next up was Ochoco Reach by Jim Stewart, a very entertaining and well written read.
* Last but not least: The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg. Quite a short read, but not as good as I hoped for.

  • WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

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I really want to read Girl Of Nightmares by Kendare Blake… I loved the first book and reading this one also means I will finish another series. Although I might give in and start yet another series first with Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender… I should also read Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver since it has been appearing on my monthly TBR and WWW posts for ages. The last one, The Valentine Circle by Reinaldo DelValle, is still my latest TBR jar pick I will most likely put on hold until the month is over.

Teaser Tuesdays #65 – October 27th: The Paper Magician

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TEASER TUESDAYS is a weekly book meme originally featured at A Daily Rhythm. To participate, just open the book you are currently reading to a random page, and choose two ‘teaser’ sentences from somewhere on that page. (no spoilers!)

I haven’t been having a lot of spare time to read during the last week, but I managed to start The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg the other day. This is definitely a case of cover love; I mostly bought this one because of the cover and I’ve heard mixed things about it… Hopefully it won’t end up to be disappointing.

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My teaser (6%):

“Her hand gripped the wooden handle of her suitcase as she stared up at the monstrosity, even worse than her fitful dreams had imagined it to be. If it weren’t bad enough that Mg. Thane – the only Folder this side of the River Thames – lived on the wild outskirts of London itself, his abode looked like the creation of a campfire story.”

What are you reading right now?