Title: The Glass Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy #2)
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Genres: Fantasy | Historical Fiction | Magical Realism | Paranormal | Romance
Length: 222 pages | 2877 locations
After the events of The Paper Magician, Ceony attempts to resume her apprenticeship with Magician Thane.
However, she soon finds her life is in danger, because now two bad guys are chasing her, each with their own agenda.
Ultimately, Ceony has to learn to accept help, and realize she cannot handle these two on her own, whether she wants to or not.
The Glass Magician started really well for me. One of the things that bothered me by the end of the previous book in the series (the romance) did not quite work out as the protagonist intended. Good. Realistic.
I enjoyed meeting her family too, though they did not strike me as poor as we were told.
Shortly after, I was again reading about Emery’s eyes, and whether his smile reached them or not, and about Ceony flushing, and her heart fluttering – particularly whenever he touched her in the slightest way -, and her racing pulse, and her dropping her gaze to the floor so he wouldn’t see her blush and… You get the picture. The book lost me for a while.
Again I felt that the scenes featuring Ceony against magicians who have years of experience on her were not the least realistic. And I just could not like her, not only because of what I mentioned above but because she was not put in the middle of danger, she actually went to it willingly. She says she knows she doesn’t have much of a chance, but both in book 1 and this one she just does it, putting herself and others in harm’s way.
I continued to be annoyed by Ceony’s miss know it all attitude, her recklessness, her perfection in everything she does. So at the risk of sounding like a horrible person, I have to admit I was glad to finally see her cry for a reason other than Emery not loving her back (woe is me) – especially when everyone else can see he does (Why? No idea.) – but actually because she was at a loss on what to do. It is a shame that emotion was not explored, to bring a new dimension to this character.
The issues with language not belonging in the time frame remain – there was even a sentence beginning with Methinks, what the heck was that??
The plot twist towards the end sounded rushed and much too easy. Why would the bad guy tell Ceony something he has been struggling to find for years? It reminded me of the cartoons I used to watch as a kid where the bad guy would reveal his ultimate plan, as well as everything bad he did, because he was so sure the hero would not live to do anything about it. Again, too easy. Not to mention that, again, she is able to reproduce something she has never done before flawlessly – several times over the book. Apparently as many times as she wants *sigh*
Despite all that, overall, I found The Glass Magician a large improvement over the first book in the series. Let’s face it, the whole walking through Emery’s heart thing was beyond lame. Let me start with the obvious: the heart is a muscle, memories and emotions are not stored in it. This whole adventure went on for roughly 50% of the book, from the beginning of which we knew what would happen: Ceony would have to go through all four chambers to get to the end. Knowing that from the start, as well as knowing she would obviously see both the good and the bad of him, brought a lack of enthusiasm because there was just no build up. Plus, it was just her prancing around. Every now and then, Lira the bad guy would pop up, but never presenting much of a menace; Ceony the perfect, brave girl would always outrun her.
Unlike The Paper Magician, not only do we get to know several characters, though never to much extent (and here I would like to note that it was nice to see some fire in Magician Thane, he was rapidly progressing from mysterious and enigmatic to bland and hollow), but there are also several surprises, plenty of action, different settings and, most importantly, we get to see some actual magic. Different kinds too: not just paper, but also glass and even some rubber and metal. Also, people actually die, both good and bad guys.
Again, I wanted certain things to have been handled differently, because this world has such potential! To name a few, I would have liked better character development, a less annoying main character, and even more information about the magic – not only just the spells themselves and what they do, but more particularly how the whole world interacts with this magic system, how it is viewed and accepted; there has got to be a difference of opinions regarding it, right? After all, a handful of people are capable or able to access magic and the large majority isn’t, right? And what does having tires that never wear, and other objects I am sure, do the economy?? And do policemen wielding guns that never miss their targets even need to practice anymore? Ah, there is so much I would have liked to know…
The Glass Magician was an interesting read which did capture my attention here and there, despite the eye-rolling in between. With several tweaks, it could be an awesome book.
I am not interested in continuing the series, though. I think the covers are misleading. I expected something entirely different. I am sure it will please other people but not sure if these covers would appeal to the actual intended audience.
Disclaimer: I would like to thank the publisher and Netgalley for providing me a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
Read from Jun 14 to Jun 15, 2015