Book Review: The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Book 1) by Charlie N. Holmberg

Ceony is disappointed to find out she's being assigned to paper magic after graduating, and her mentor, Emery, is strange and eccentric. But then his heart gets stolen, and Ceony finds herself trapped inside it---literally---and getting to know him better than she ever thought she would in an attempt to get it back and save him.

Book Review: The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Book 1) by Charlie N Holmberg | books, reading, book reviews, book covers, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance
Title: The Paper Magician
Book Number: Book 1
Pages: 226
My Rating: 4 Stars
More Info: Goodreads, Amazon


I have a confession to make: I have fallen hopelessly, head-over-heels in love with Emery Thane.

He’s not your typical literary love interest. He’s not buff, mysterious, and brooding. He’s not an alpha male. He doesn’t ooze sex appeal and sleep with woman after woman yet still make you sympathetic because of his secret loneliness or unrequited love. He’s not the guy all the girls want. But my goodness, he is so absolutely perfect. He’s beautiful on the outside with his shaggy, black hair and sparkling, green eyes, and he’s beautiful on the inside with his quirky, weird, quiet, and sweet personality. He’s also passionate about the things he considers important and the people he cares about and has hidden strength and emotion that you don’t see coming. He thinks differently and sees the world differently than other people do, and it gives him that kind of uniqueness that some people don’t understand, but that’s ok because he doesn’t care what other people think; he’s just himself.

I swear this series was worth reading, to me if for no other reason than finding such a lovable character—there aren’t enough characters like him. But I did also enjoy the book as a whole. I liked the premise a lot; the concept of different forms of magic based on materials was unique, and I don’t know why Ceony was so bummed about being assigned to paper because I thought the paper magic was beautiful! This book actually had me appreciating paper, and all things related, like books, in a whole new way. The plot also kept me hooked and invested in what was going to happen next.

This was a magical book that’s part of a trilogy but works great as a standalone with no cliff-hanger if you decide not to continue. It’s got a unique take on magic and was an enjoyable read.

*I’ve read this book multiple times. This review was written after my 1st read.*

2nd Read Update:
I’m kind of embarrassed by my original review. 😅 I think I felt mostly the same this time, but not as extreme. It could simply be that I didn’t have the same sense of wonder, since I already knew the characters, plot, and magic system. I didn’t fall in love with Emery in quite the same way, but my description of him is not incorrect. He was eccentric and interesting and imperfect. I also enjoyed the uniqueness of the magic system and the whole idea of going into someone’s heart and traveling through the chambers, each of which represents something different. Ceony’s actions were super rash and not entirely believable, but I could let that slide for the sake of the story, and I could believe her falling for Emery after learning so much about him and really seeing the kind of person he was, in such an intimate, unfiltered way that would normally take far more time. Overall, not a book that blew me away, but a unique and memorable one!

*Rating: 4 Stars // 1st Read Date: 2014 // Format: eBook*
*Rating: 4 Stars // 2nd Read Date: 2020 // Format: eBook*


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  1. Lola

    Paper Magic? Now that sounds original! The whole magic system sounds pretty original with how they can have magic over certain materials and it makes me curious about how that works exactly. And what it looks like, can they move that material? And what are the limits of their pwoers? Emery sounds like a great character! It’s nice to encoutner a love interest that’s so different from what you normally see.

    1. Kristen Burns

      It was so much fun finding out about the different, creative things magicians could do with each material. Paper magic turned out to be surprisingly powerful and useful! And yes *sighs longingly* Emery. Lol. I really do love characters who are out of the norm.

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Awk I want to read this series!! I LOVE the titles and covers…that’s really what’s caught my attention. I need to see if my library has them ASAP now that I know they’re so good. And I definitely enjoy quirky characters so *sighs self up immediately* XD
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!

    1. Kristen Burns

      The cover was what drew me in too—it’s so pretty *and* it’s my favorite colors! Honestly, the first book is the strongest of the series, but if you like quirky characters, I think you’ll like Emery 🙂