Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Young Adult

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

I don’t remember the first time I read The Secret of the Old Clock, the first in the Nancy Drew series, but I do remember devouring the series the way I now devour Godiva Chocolates (can’t get enough and approach cautiously unless you want to be injured for interrupting me). For the first time in my life the main character who went out and solved the problem was a female. Don’t get me wrong, prior to the Nancy Drew series I had read most of the Boxcar Children series but Jessie follows her brother’s lead in that series whereas Nancy leads the way. It allowed me to see that girls should be asking “why” and “what if”, questioning the world around them and paying attention to what is going on. I still have my original copy (which was my mother’s first),  a dogeared well used hardbound edition. I read some Hardy Boys novels but I didn’t devour the series like I did the Nancy Drew series. Although I will admit I really wanted Frank of the Hardy Boys and Nancy to get together (I always felt like Ned was a little wishy-washy for Nancy) and when I was in middle school I LOVED the Nancy Drew-Hardy Boys Super Mysteries.

This week marks the 85th anniversary of the publication of The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene. There is a wonderfully written essay by Theodore Jefferson about “The Girl Who Started it All” found here and a nice tribute on The Mighty Girls Facebook page here. I love to see the books I enjoyed in my younger years still being enjoyed today! I also love it when publishers embrace newer (ebooks are not really new anymore but some older published books haven’t been updating older print books into new formats) formats and you can get The Secret of the Old Clock in hardcover, mass paperback, ebook, audible CD and audible download.  In addition to the original novels, Nancy Drew has also been the star of a film (2007 starring Emma Roberts) and an entire series of mystery video games (Jillian, a reviewer here at Novel Reaction, is addicted to them and I think has almost all, if not all of them).

When my younger sister Jordanne and I found the newer artwork at a book story I was seriously tempted to get a new copy just because I love the 1930s outfit they put Nancy in. After writing this, I may just have to dig out my copy of The Secret of the Old Clock and reread it for old time’s sake this week. Did you read the Nancy Drew mysteries? Any other books you grew up reading that made a huge impact on your life?













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?!

This week marks the 110th anniversary of Ayn Rand’s birth (1905-1982). While I am not a huge fan of the dystopian genre (yes I have read The Hunger Games and Divergent but I just didn’t love them), Ayn Rand’s Anthem had a HUGE impact on me in high school. For those of you unfamiliar with the term dystopian Wikipedia describes it as:

A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος, alternatively, cacotopia,[1] kakotopia, or anti-utopia) is a community or society that is in some important way undesirable or frightening. It is literally translated as “not-good place”, an antonym of utopia. Such societies appear in many artistic works, particularly in stories set in a future. Dystopias are often characterized by dehumanization,[2] totalitarian governments, environmental disaster,[3] or other characteristics associated with a cataclysmic decline in society. Dystopian societies appear in many sub-genres of fiction and are often used to draw attention to real-world issues regarding society, environment, politics, economics, religion, psychology, ethics, science, and/or technology, which if unaddressed could potentially lead to such a dystopia-like condition.

Anthem was an assigned reading for one of my English classes (I don’t remember which one) and I was blown away with the realization of how powerful language could be upon a society. When you take away a person’s ability to learn, to innovate, and to think in terms outside of a collective society you take away who they are and what makes them human. I’m sure I read novels with this concept before reading Anthem but for some reason this concept really hit home that time. Anthem is one of those books I usually read at least once a year because it is just that fabulous. For those of you haven’t had the pleasure of reading this thought provoking book I highly recommend you do. It isn’t very long (definitely not the volume that Atlas Shrugged is) and it is in the public domain which means you can legally download and read it for free here.

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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