The Paper Magician

Customer Reviews

3,467 Ratings

Overall Ratings

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3 out of 5 stars
By Ashley on 09-15-14

The narrator needs to relax

What didn’t you like about Amy McFadden’s performance?

As soon as she started speaking I flinched. She sounds manic, as if she drank several cups of coffee before narrating. Her voice was so shaky and shrill I couldn't listen to the story

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64 of 73 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By James and co. on 06-23-15

Valley girl reads book on faux British accent

I have seldom encountered a more annoying interpretation. Fortunately, or perhaps unfortunately the story is too compelling to quit.

It's maddening.

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36 of 41 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By GoryAnna on 10-08-14

Excessive Discription Can't Hold Up A Poor Story

What disappointed you about The Paper Magician?

Someone needs to account for this terrible book being published. I have thus far never listen to a book, good or bad, that made me want to vent like this book has. It is probably the worst book I've read in a long time.
I was sucked in by others' reviews of this book, and the idea of materials magicians. I was quickly disappointed to learn that barely any of the book deals with magic. The main character Ceony has time to learn only paper animals, three paper animals, before going up against the antagonist.
The characters are so poorly written! The antagonist is obviously a bad horrible woman by her description of having long fingers red lips and a bigger breast size than Ceony. Granted she does dabble in blood magic but you hardly learn any thing about her besides that. Ceony herself is a 19 year old recent magic school graduate with a terrible knowitall superiority that makes no sense since she spends most of the book crying out for help after shooting her pistol that contained one bullet, and then getting trapped. She whines about everything, but thankfully she's a good cook.
The author describes everything painfully in as many color words as possible, even once describing how lonely and forlorn half a cow carcass looked. Ceony never shuts up about her mentor's eyes taking time out of being chased to ponder his emerald orbs, and if they will ever shine with light again. The author also seems confused about the time period the story is set in. Even in an alternate reality the anachronisms are jarring and insulting to anyone who knows anything about the early 1900's.
This is a terrible try at a romance with a completely unearned relationship. A love which Ceony admits to having formed less than a month into her apprenticeship Her mentor doesn't even seem aware of the fact that Ceony is in love with him, probably because he's a sane person.
I was so frustrated with this book, and I rolled my eyes hard most of my way through it. It could have been interesting, but it reads like the fanfiction I used to read when I was 14. Even then I could tell embarrassingly bad writing, but at least I hadn't paid for it.

What aspect of Amy McFadden’s performance would you have changed?

I give the reader props, she had horrible material to work with but she was into it. Please don't make her do any more accents though.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Anger, frustration, disgust deep disappointment

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46 of 53 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By jnoh81 on 08-15-15

Great potential for a story but...

Audiobook Performance was grating. Too many tired details in story. I picked up this book hoping it would be similar to The Night Circus. However, the story was a more childish interpretation. The characters were strangely two dimensional, but the potential was there. It was almost as though i was reading parts of the main story while reading every insignificant footnote that accompanied each snippet.

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16 of 18 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By JTF on 09-15-14

A Delightful Story Whose Magic Draws Us In

Charlie Holmber's The Paper Magician presents an astonishing level of polish, comedic timing and ability to generate poignant moments in a first novel. Early on in the book, I found myself alternately smiling and chuckling at the protagonist, Ceony Twill, and her interaction with Magician Emery Thane, the magician to whom she's apprenticed. Set in turn of the 20th century London, Ceony has just graduated from well-regarded school for magicians and now must take up her apprenticeship. In Ms. Holmberg's well-constructed world, magicians must bind themselves to a material such as glass, metal or paper and may practice magic only with it. Mg. Thane is a Folder (bound to Paper) and that's considered about as sexy as it sounds. Ceony did well at school and would normally have a choice of materials among which she may bind herself. There are, however, a dearth of Folders, primarily due to the aforementioned lack of sexiness, and so the school assigned her to Paper. She is less than thrilled.

Ceony can come across a bit haughty and more than a little forthright in her dealings with those in authority. She certainly doesn't back down. Mg. Thane keeps his cards close to the vest, betraying little except through his expressive eyes. Through her ties to Emery, Ceony becomes embroiled in an adventure, risking life and limb, against the nefarious Excisioners.

As is my typical practice, I went between the Kindle and Audible versions of the book. Amy McFadden did yeoman's work through her narration. I particularly like her Emery with a mostly calm voice often infused with a hint of amusement. Her Lira's syrupy condescension and self-satisfied humor as she is about to harm or kill is also brilliant. My only nit is that the tone of Ceony's voice seems to waiver from posh Etonian English to a much more common flavor from time to time, again without circumstance seeming to warrant a change. I don't believe Ms. McFadden is a native of the UK, so maintaining the dialect throughout was quite a feat. Anyway, the flips are rare and didn't distract from a good narration of the book. I'm delighted she is also the narrator for The Glass Magician and anticipate her narrating any other additions to the series.

To sum up, the comedic touch is perfect, the action and danger well executed, the relationships are believable, nicely developed and drove the narrative, and the actual writing is spot on. Simply put, it was a fun read that was over all too quickly (even though this did save me from multiple sleep deprived nights). I'm seriously looking forward to The Glass Magician which is out November 2nd and which I've pre-ordered. I highly commend The Paper Magician for your reading pleasure.

For full review:

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27 of 31 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Bon on 08-05-15

The narrator.. oh my god.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes, it's a good enough story.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

A different narrator would have made this a MUCH better book.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Her fake accent was AWFUL. Not only that, her regular voice was so over done and harsh. She sounded a lot like the actress from bewitched but not in a good way. She needed to calm down. She punctuates every.single.word. and it gets very old. It doesn't sound natural at all.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

I would probably go see a movie and enjoy it a lot more than I did the audio book. The story isn't awful but I wish I had read it rather than listen to it.

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21 of 24 people found this review helpful

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