In some ways, I found this book to be even better than the first. For one thing, there was more action. It kept me engaged, always wanting to know what would happen next. It made the book more intense and climactic. For another thing, Emery was also just as wonderful and quirky as ever, and his unspoken feelings for Ceony this time were adorably cute. I also enjoyed the insight into his mind, even if it was only for a brief section.
Also, I actually didn’t mind the way Ceony was constantly thinking about Emery and wondering whether he liked her or not, as some other reviews have mentioned, because I thought it was an accurate portrayal of a young girl’s mind. To us readers it was obvious that he liked her, and to us it was easy to say she should’ve been focusing on other things, but it’s different when you’re on the inside of your own mind in that kind of situation. Have we not all been there, especially when we were younger? Even when someone gives you a million signs that they like you, you still worry and doubt their feelings when they have yet to actually state what their feelings are. It’s also easier said than done to focus on more important things when you have feelings for someone but don’t know how they feel about you.
What I wasn’t so crazy about though was the way Ceony made one “Don’t go in there!” horror movie-worthy decision after the other. And her actions continually put Emery in the position of having to scold and discipline her which made me feel uncomfortable because of their almost-dating relationship.
That being said, I felt the positive balanced out the negative, the book still had a unique form of magic and a beautiful, quirky love interest, so I enjoyed it.
*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 1st read.*
2nd Read Update:
Reading my original review, I think I pretty much nailed it. I do have a few additional thoughts though.
The author took an already interesting magic system (magic based on specific materials, though it still required education, preparation, and spells), put her own spin on it, and then made it more and more interesting by coming up with such cool, beautiful, innovative ways for the magicians to use their materials. Seeing all the things that can be done with paper magic has been really fun, but the glass magic in this book, especially traveling through mirrors (extra especially the imperfect ones), was really cool.
As to Ceony’s bad decisions, they were in fact bad, but being rash is not out of character for her, and who am I to say what someone might do in a situation? And she at least also did some really fantastic quick thinking when things went wrong.
In my update for Book 1, I said I wasn’t quite so in love with Emery this time. Well, I could feel myself falling more this time. He was so thoughtful and sweet, but he was also fierce and passionate when the situation called for it, and of course he was his lovable, eccentric self.
Also, very minor, but I loved that it was Ceony who made the first move, that she didn’t wait around for the man to do it.
Another good book with more cool magic!
Fans of Book 1 in Charlie N. Holmberg's Paper Magician Series. Anyone who enjoys a unique take on magic, quirky characters, and cute, clean romance.