Reviewing ‘The Glass Magician’

I think I made a mistake, picking this one up. I was hoping for more worldbuilding, but mostly what I got was these wrong characters in the wrong setting with the wrong plot. I feel like screaming “You had such PROMISE!” the same way Obi-Wan screamed, “You were the Chosen One!” on Mustafar.

I don’t want to hate our main character, Ceony, but I think I’m three-quarters of the way there. She just needs to be carefully cut out and pasted into a more suitable book, like a cozy mystery where she gets to be a mommyblogger who solves crime on the side. Because I’m THISCLOSE to kidnapping Charlie N Holmberg and making her watch Upstairs, Downstairs while duct-taped to a chair.

We did get some more worldbuilding, but it took the 60-70% of the book to build up enough steam to get there. Honestly, the real plot of these books is the TIRESOME will-they-won’t-they between Ceony and her mentor Magician Thane, and the cool stuff with the magic is more of a subplot. And that is disappointing.

It does have some natural conflict because of course Magician Aviosky, Ceony’s supervisor, is NOT OKAY with the budding romance, and it’s perfectly legit, what with the power differential between student and teacher and all, but I wonder why the hell did you not hire a chaperone for Ceony. That was a pretty normal-ass thing to do for the times.

Not that it would exactly prevent such a romance, but then she’d be less antsy about having Ceony alone with a man. Just an easily-solved conflict like that being used as a plot convenience really bugs me.


The actually interesting plot is about the cohorts of Lira, the villain of the last book, trying to track Ceony down to discover how she defeated her. We learn more about Gaffing, which is glass magic, and I’m having another Mustafar moment because that stuff is actually interesting, what with spying and magical teleportation through mirrors and stuff.

And we discover that magicians CAN break their one-true-only bond with their material to switch with another. And while Ceony chooses to stay with paper magic, she never once thinks about Smelting, which supposedly caused her so much angst in the first book.

This could have made it SO MUCH MORE INTERESTING because turning into a Smelter would solve all the red-tape-type conflict about having a relationship with Thane. He wouldn’t be her teacher, and they could date and hold hands and suck face without any problems. But that would cause NEW conflict because he’s taught her to love Folding for itself, which is only BETTER, plot-wise. We could have some REAL STAKES, but she opts out of it entirely.

obi wan chosen one



Reviewing ‘The Paper Magician’

“The Paper Magician” by Charlie N Holmberg is some good creative stuff. Ceony Twill is a student magician being placed in an apprenticeship to Paper Magician Emery Thane. This means being magically bonded to paper and being unable to do any other kind of magic, when she wanted very much to be bonded with metal. Then Bad Stuff happens to Thane, and Ceony recklessly plunges off to adventure in order to save him. It’s the first book of a series, too.

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Reviewing ‘Blood Song’

This feels like Not a Real Review because “Blood Song” is a short prequel to Robert Mullin’s series that starts properly with “Bid the Gods Arise.” Why didn’t I do that instead? “Blood Song” was free for Kindle as a promotion that I only found out about because we have some internet acquaintances in common.

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Scientific Railgun > Magical Index

I didn’t actually get very much into either of these, but I made it through one season of Railgun while only just a couple episodes of Index. Why?


Whatshisface from Magical Index is just some bland motherfucker. Yeah he’s supposed to be the Everyday Guy, but what the hell is his actual personality? He’s nice sometimes, in a vague way? A little stubborn? What’s his motivation? He’s nice sometimes, in a vague way? A little stubborn? He spends way too much damn time whining, then. And there’s something just off-putting about a harem building around this Nice-ish Guy.

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Reviewing ‘Connect the Shapes’

I’m trying to be more cautious about the books I actually buy copies of, and that goes double for yarn-project books, because I don’t want to spend twenty bucks on a book with only a couple patterns I actually like in it.

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Happy nice time review: Natsume Yuujin-cho

Disclaimer: I own all 20 currently translated manga volumes of Natsume’s Book of Friends. I have Nyanko-sensei merch. I’m just a teensy bit biased.

This is actually pretty unusual for a shoujo manga/anime, mostly because while there’s a lot of romance, it happens around rather than to our main character, Natsume, who is a dude (which is in itself rather unusual for shoujo).

The background for the story is that the titular Natsume is an orphan who has been bounced around from distant relative to distant relative because of his erratic behavior caused by yokai that no one else can see. He inherited the titular Book of Friends from his grandmother Reiko, who took the names of yokai she defeated as a contract to control them.

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Almost good: Engaged to the Unidentified

Or Mikakunin de Shinkoukei if we’re purists (and I tend to be). It’s a romantic comedy anime which is heavier on the comedy than the love part, which saves it from the crapper, I think.

It revolves around an arranged engagement, so we have believable mixed emotions and turmoil, but we don’t get bogged down in it because of ridiculous obsessions.

This is a show about weird contrasts, which are inherently funny to our brains, so I think it has a solid humor base. The yokai-girl is obsessed with UFOs and Unidentified Mysterious Animals from the Japanese version of the Syfy Channel. The super-popular student council president has a (non-sexual) “little sister fetish.”

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