Because you can't judge a book by its cover


paper craneCeony Twill has worked so hard to fulfill her dreams of becoming a Metal Magician but on the eve of her graduation she is asked to become one of the few Paper Magicians and once bonded to a specific type of material she will only be able to perform magic with that material. The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg begins with Ceony arriving at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane but not everything is as it seems when it comes to paper magic and sometimes we are lead to where we need to go even when it wasn’t part of our original plans.

When Magician Thane is attacked soon after Ceony’s arrival, it will take all her ingenuity, courage, and determination to save him from the practitioner’s of the forbidden dark arts.

I picked up The Paper Magician because it has been awhile since I read a true fantasy (as opposed to a paranormal/scifi/fantasy mix) and awhile since I read a Young Adult novel. The Paper Magician is an interesting fantasy novel, very different from most of the high fantasy I have previously read. In the world Holmberg has created, you only get a glimpse of the outside world as Ceony spends most of her time in the cottage or in a specific spot trying to save Thane (I’m not going to say too much because it will give away part of the novel) but the rules of magic are interesting and the few characters are well developed but it is Holmberg’s way with words that I really enjoyed. The images she weaves are, dare I say, magical.  Little pearls of wisdom are disbursed throughout the novel and are so spot on, “The ghostly images lasted only a moment longer before fading away, as all unread stories were wont to do.” But ultimately the great theme of the novel is summed up as this “Everyone has a dark side! But it’s their choice whether or not they cultivate it.” The Paper Magician is a fun fantasy novel that is well worth a read and I look forward to reading The Glass Magician. 

You can read an excerpt here.

The Paper Magician Series Reading Order

The Paper Magician

The Glass Magician

The Master Magician

paper magicianRating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon no background

Title: The Paper Magician

Author: Charlie N. Holmberg

Format: eBook

Page Nos.: 226


Publisher: 47North

Release Date: September 1, 2014

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica

victorian horse racingMia Carrington has been in love with Vander Septimus Brody, Duke of Pindar, since her painful teens. In Four Nights With a Duke by Eloisa James, Mia knows that the action she is about to take will make him hate her forever but she can’t find any other way to take care of what needs to be done other than to blackmail Vander into marrying her. Vander has always felt bad about how he treated Mia when they were in their teens but that doesn’t give her the right to come to his house demanding that he marry her immediately.

I was so excited to get Vander’s story after really liking him in Three Weeks with Lady X and I feel like Four Nights With a Duke just didn’t quite deliver. Don’t get me wrong, there are some great moments and fabulous, FABULOUS, secondary characters (I adored the drunk great uncle spouting Shakespeare, with only Mia realizing he was quoting the bard and not just being crazy) and the initial scene between Mia and Vander were painfully awkward and well done. BUT (and is a big BUT) I ended up not liking Vander very much and I really didn’t like his treatment of Mia. I get that one of the great tools for a romance novel is mis-communication between the characters but it felt like Vander was just constantly mean in what he said to Mia and how he treated her and I struggled to understand why she would keep going back to him. I get it, the sex was great, but sex alone is not enough to fulfill someone and goodness knows that all Mia wanted was to be loved for herself. I also felt like Vander was unnecessarily crude during the scene where Mia is approaching him to marry her, he was a Duke raised from birth to treat ladies a particular way and I just feel like it was a bit out of character for him.

I did love Mia’s character, I loved that she was a secret novelist and loved the wink Eloisa James gave to other contemporary historical authors Julia Quinn and Lisa Kelypas “P.S. I include herewith not only Miss Julia Quiplet’s works, but a new novel written by Mrs. Lisa Klampas, which I believe you will enjoy.” And I really loved the reference to a Julia Quinn character who was an author “Another Author she knew had caused a character to be pecked to death by pigeons. Pigeons?” It is a stand alone novel but I recommend reading Three Weeks With Lady X before reading Four Nights With a Duke just so you understand the relationship between Vander and Thorn. Four Nights With a Duke is a good one time read but I doubt that I will be rereading it like I do with most of Eloisa James’s other novels.

There is some use of the “F” word.

You can read an excerpt here.

Desperate Duchesses Reading Order:

Desperate Duchesses

An Affair Before Christmas

Duchess by Night

When the Duke Returns

This Duchess of Mine

A Duke of Her Own

Three Weeks with Lady X

Four Nights With The Duke

four nights with a dukeRating: Star 3copy

Content: favicon5 NB

Title: Four Nights With a Duke

Author: Eloisa James

Format: Paperback, eBook

Page Nos.: 384


Publisher: Avon Romance

Release Date: March 31, 2015

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica


**I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss but was not required to provide a review and it did not impact my review in any way.

As you can imagine from the title, Jane Slayre by Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin is a retelling of the beloved classic Jane Eyre only with paranormal creatures added. Is this humorous retelling Jane is the daughter of vampire slayers being raised (after her parents are killed by vampires) by her vampire aunt and three vampire children. I have to admit the scene where her cousin John attacks her takes on a whole new level of scary when you add in the fact he could easily drain her blood.

I enjoyed that Erwin kept the original story line for the most part, light gothic elements and truly a story about Jane coming of age and staying true to who she was. The one place, interestingly enough, where I felt like Erwin deviated from the original story was how there was some discussion about souls or minds being linked across distance in the original Jane Eyre. For example there were the twins who were part of the house party at Mr. Rochester’s that the doctor was there asking them questions, truly believing that souls could communicate across distance. So this one paranormal element that was in the original story, was left out in the new paranormal version of the story. I just that it was amusing that this was where Erwin deviated from the original, other than the one moment that Rochester calls out for Jane but it felt slightly out of nowhere especially considering all the other paranormal elements.

If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies I think you will be entertained by Jane Slayre. I giggled through quite a bit of it (I mean really, zombies with bits falling of them while they are performing their tasks as servants) and appreciated the additions of the truly gothic elements. If you are expecting a more serious retelling of Jane Eyre you are better off just rereading the original but if you are interested in an entertaining couple of hours then Jane Slayre is a fabulous choice.

You can read an excerpt here.

Rating: Star 4copy

Content: favicon no background

Title: Jane Slayre

Author: Charlotte Bronte and Sherri Browning Erwin

Format: Paperback,  eBook

Page Nos.: 402


Publisher: Gallery Books

Release Date: April 2010

Available for purchase: Amazon

Reviewer: Jessica













Buzzfeed recently had a great post about 21 books-to-movies coming out in 2015.  There are many I am excited to see (Seventh Son and The Jungle Book) there are some I definitely won’t be seeing (that’s right, I’m looking at you Nicholas Sparks’ The Longest Ride, if I wanted a main character I like to die then I would just read The Game of Thrones series). And there are several I am intrigued by and may or may not see (Moby Dick never seemed as exciting when I suffered through it in college as In the Heart of the Sea). 

Are there any movies coming out this year that you are super excited for? Besides the obvious Hunger Games and Divergent?!

Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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