The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg (2014)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
This book has been sitting on my kindle for a long time and with the description of it from the blurb, I’m not sure why I didn’t pick it up sooner. Well now I know, whilst the premise for the storyline, having different types of magic that people are assigned to, was one that would intrigue me, the actually plot is very loose and weak.
Ceony is our heroine in this book and she feels like a forced one, her motives throughout the book are loose and I don’t think she’s a character I like. She is forced into paper magic because it seems to be a dying art, she is top of her class and yet she is the student that is forced into this trade, to me this is stupid. This should be perhaps thrown on one of the students that didn’t try so hard working towards their dream. Instead Ceony’s opportunity is taken away from her. Granted, this is not a reason to dislike her as a character, but within the limitations of this book’s world, it seemed unrealistic.
(Spoilers ahead) So Ceony is assigned to Emery Thane, a slightly crazy young magician who works in the art of paper magic. She is not best pleased, however it seems almost instantly she picks it up and is making paper dance across the room in no time. Now there is no context as to what Ceony studied at school to help her with this, as she was not assigned to one type of magic, did she do bits of all of them or was she just taught the theory of magic. I was left wondering a lot of things that would have potentially made this storyline more believable.
As the story progresses it seems Ceony is starting to fall for Emery and queue me to start rolling my eyes. I felt like this part of the storyline was just so obvious and predictable, it made it hard to enjoy the description of the magic because I was distracted by how pathetic Ceony seemed. Jump forward to the end of the book and we have her putting on makeup and wearing her second best outfit to impress a man, when originally she had not cared for such things. It seems she is very willing to adapt to impress and has fallen for Emery very quickly. Twice in this book she tells Emery his fortune and sees a woman sat beside him in his future, the first time she hopes this woman is her and then the second time she knows it is her. This seems to be an extreme of a childhood crush, do we ever actually see Emery reciprocate it?
The cheesiness doesn’t end there, you just wait until we get to step into Emery’s heart. This part of the book totally lost me, it was an okay concept but it was so confusing to read and follow. I think more time needed to be spent on this part of the writing, to make it clearer what was happening. This battle between Ceony and Lira is such a random aspect of this book, suddenly there is this threat that needs to be solved and she is dangerous and much more skilled than Ceony. Yet we still Ceony take on Lira and live to tell the tale, not realistic again; however we will let this slide given that in the most famous book series in the world a barely legal aged wizard defeats the most powerful dark wizard of all time.
I started this book thinking I knew what it was about, I ended it not having a clue. It really did start well, however as soon as Ceony went into Emery’s heart, it lost me.