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Review: The Paper Magician

The Paper Magician (The Paper Magician Trilogy, #1)The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At the moment I’m saying 3 but it’s possibly 3.5

As usual, my reviews contain spoilers so if that bothers you stop reading now.

So, I wasn’t bored reading this book but it did leave me questioning the point of it all. Let me begin this by saying I think it was an interesting concept, I have faith it is going to be an entertaining series, and the writing was fine. That being said, it was a short book and a substantial amount of it took place through sort of flashbacks. What I mean is they weren’t flashback scenes but during the climax of the story Ceony is pursuing an excisioner (and her teacher’s former love interest) to rescue Emery’s heart.

Of course, it’s a bit of a play on meaning since Ceony is also in love/starting to fall in love with her teacher and is willing to go to great lengths to rescue him from his past. I thought the world itself has potential as does the magic system but we barely see any of that. We know Ceony was familiar with the magical world and the non-magical world so it wasn’t like Harry Potter, the two worlds are integrated.

The story is really only two parts. There’s the first portion where Ceony is learning how to be a folder, and the second part when a dark magician bursts through the door, takes Emery’s heart, and Ceony pursues. We learned far more about Emery than we do about Ceony. Though Ceony tries to hold her own with Emery’s troubled past by listing every mistake she made in life, it didn’t paint nearly as whole of a picture as the scene by scene journey through Emery’s life.

As I said, I was entertained enough to continue this series and I see a lot of potential upside, but nothing about this book blew me away. That being said, the series might end up being fantastic since all my complaints are of omission and not faults in the book itself.

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Garden Fantasy

I still need to come up with a good title for my reaper novella. The current working title is Big Boy. . . . . so yeah it needs some work. Especially now that the MC is thirteen and not eight, so calling him a big boy just feels kind of creepy.

I’ll start with the good news. I am ahead of schedule on the garden fantasy book. This is my fifth day of writing and I just hit the 18k word mark. It would be SO cool if I could hit the 20k word mark today, but I’m not gonna stress about it. I already hit my 3k minimum for the day so I’ll probably get in some much-deserved reading time. I’m currently beta reading the 2nd book in my friend Lauren Lee’s Demons of New York series.

The bad news is, not only do I need to come up with a title for my reaper tale (though I do have a cover and it looks pretty sick) but I’m running behind on my edit goals for it. As you can probably put together from the paragraph above, I’m running behind on edits because I’m running ahead on a rough draft. I’m doing my best not to stress about it, I don’t think the reaper tale requires any major changes, I just need to add a little more depth to each character so it’s more a tale of interesting characters than one of a pretty plot.

since I’ve proven I can’t effectively edit one project and write another at the same time, I’ll probably relieve the self-imposed stress I’m feeling and just focus on writing the rough draft first. It’s easier to take a break from editing than it is to take a break from a rough draft. One is all about objectivity and the other is all about momentum (at least for me).

At least I have a week before I move down to New Orleans for the summer and in that time I’ll probably crank out another 20k words, but ideally, I’d like to finish the rough draft by then.

Remember my summer goals: I want to publish two novellas and one full-length novel. I already published Third Life. My reaper tale will be my second novella (about 120-130 pages) and my full-length novel will either be my garden fantasy or Skipping Over Sundays.

All in all, I’m pretty optimistic about where I am right now.

As always thanks for reading.

Review: A Conjuring of Light

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

As always my reviews will contain spoilers so stop reading here if that bugs you.

This was a very satisfying ending to a very entertaining series. As a trilogy, it felt more like book one introduced us to the world with a quest that made the big bad guy possible and then books 2 and 3 were just one massive text that was split in two out of courtesy to the reader.

Osaron was a fantastic big bad guy, he had a believable motivation, a clear weakness, which was still difficult to target, and you could really get the sense that he could break the world. He was treated with the respect a villain capable of ending the world should have.

The interparty rivalries was where the personalities of characters came out and kept the human element of the story intact and each goal in the plot had its own minor conflicts for the characters to overcome so it wasn’t just a clean arc but a volatile one. I appreciated hearing more of Holland’s backstory, he really was a tragic figure and probably the one I enjoyed hearing about the most, however all the characters had an interesting backstory. While some revealed more of themselves to the readers than others each was clearly the protagonist in their own story and could have a book written about them.

All in all, this was my favorite book in the trilogy. I loved it.

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Simple Math Large Results

It’s funny how something so simple like basic arithmetic goes write over my head sometimes unless I’m looking right at the results. What I mean is, obviously writing every day has its perks, but writing a little more than you’re used to can yield major returns.

When I first started writing (late 2014 early 2015), I had a daily goal of 1000 words, not bad, and I would play with that sometimes going up to 1500 sometimes just settling for 1200. Anyway, I always wanted to hit 2000 so I finally started doing that and of course, the product finished sooner (twice the speed duh).

Then I bumped my daily word count goal up to 3k (where I currently am now) and of course, I finish books even faster cause DUH! The 32k novella I just wrote was completed in 10 days (the final day I wrote 5k).

These big chunks were easy to understand. I mean everyone knows writing 3000 words a day will hit a goal 3 times faster than writing 1000 words a day, but what if you started adding a couple hundred words to your daily word count goal. Nothing overwhelming, I’m talking next time you write and you hit your goal and 200 more words. What would that do for you?

Well, assuming you write daily that’s an extra 1400 words a week for possibly five-ten minutes more of writing.

I know this is pretty basic stuff, and almost insultingly simple to put down in a blog post, but I’m writing this because it’s one of those things that’s so simple I’ve completely overlooked it for so long. I’ve hit my goal and called it a day instead of putting in an extra ten minutes, which by the end of the month could earn me an extra 6000 words.

It’s why now I say my minimum is 3k but usually, I write 3100 or 3200 and the results are so obvious it’s cool. It’s fun to see how quickly you reach your goals just by adding an extra inch each day.

Anyway, thanks for reading!

Another Rough Draft Down

Well, it still needs a title but I just finished the rough draft of the project I started 10 days ago. It’s not long, in those 10 days I wrote close to 32,000 words, which translates to between 120-140 pages. It was a lot of fun to write though. I really love the story, I think the plot is pretty solid, the characters all have good motivations and overall I think it’s gonna be a fun read. I also have an idea in mind for a second book, which I think would be cool cause if it’s the same length I can package them together and have a full length 200-300 page book in two parts.

As for what I need to work on, well the ending is a little rushed. I know I can fix that in the edits but with the rough draft, I just wanted to get an ending on the page and worry about making it pretty later. It reached the point where it felt like the sooner I reach the end, the sooner I can start focusing on making it good instead of just prolonging it, cause no matter what it would need to go through multiple edits so might as well reach that stage a day earlier than planned.

I’m really excited to start editing it because I really feel like this story has a lot of opportunities. It’s a YA reaper tale. The main character and his best friend are 13 and his older sister is 15.

I think as far as characters are concerned his sister and best friend are the flattest. I need to give them more depth and development in the edits. I think their main guide is the richest character I wrote, the neighbor and the main villain are tied for second most in-depth and the MC is third most.

His parents probably should be improved in the edits too. At the moment they don’t even have names. At first, I did that purposefully cause I was thinking like Charlie Brown adults but I think it might just make the story weaker since they are a big part of the MC’s motivation to take the quest.

Anyway, I’m excited because my goals for the summer were to publish two novellas and one full-length novel. So far I’ve published one novella, I just finished the rough draft of my second novella, and the novel is written it just needs to go through severe edits. Since it’s only June 2nd I think I’m doing alright with my schedule.

Review: Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agena

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda (Creekwood, #1)Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As always my review will have spoilers so stop reading now if that bothers you.

I literally went “awww” out loud on more than one occasion reading this book. It was such a sweet tale! I’m happy I saw the movie first it helped me visualize everything that was happening while I read it.

Though it had it’s cute moments it sometimes, well, I don’t know what to say. I just couldn’t give it a five star rating. I really wanted to, I think if I’m pressed I’ll give it a 4.5.

It was sometimes static like nothing was really going on. It sort of had a conflict with the blackmail but that felt way more intense in the movie than in the book like up until the moment Martin outed Simon it just felt minor, then after he outed him I mean—I don’t know I know this is probably a very real account of the stresses of coming out, it just—-at times it felt so neat and done up like the conflict never escalated to a dangerous point we were always brought back to safety on the same (or very next) page.

It felt like the books timeline was going to be through the play but then it went through the talent show, which just sort of popped up out of nowhere I mean the band didn’t pop up out of nowhere but the talent show certainly did.

I also could not stand Leah and I felt bad because I want to like her but ugh!!!! Lol I loved the book and I loved how real all the characters were.

I honestly will probably reread this book it was really good. Yeah that’s all I have to say I guess.

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Review: A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As always my review contains spoilers:

This wasn’t quite a 4 star book but I’m rounding up to 4 instead of down to 3.

The first book was easily 4 stars, maybe a little higher. This book was tasked with the very important duty of creating the world. While the first book introduced us to the four Londons we only saw the London cities. In A Gathering of Shadows, we begin to see just how vast the red world is, while getting glimpses of the recovery in White London.

While this book did a phenomenal​ job with world building it was not nearly as engaging as the first. The plot was–well there really wasn’t a plot. It felt like it existed to show us how powerful Lila was and to introduce the big bad guy for the epic series finale. Again, this is obviously important, but that doesn’t mean it warrants as high of a review as the first book.

It’s a necessary bridge novel setting up what I assume will be an unbelievable third novel. I enjoyed the introduction of new characters, the expansion of the world, and the establishment of the main villain. I wished the tournament was a bigger deal, we only got to see it in the final 30% of the book and even then it was underwhelming (except when Lila was the participant). As usual she stole every scene she was in and was by far the most interesting character. Alucard Emery was second.

Yeah, I think that’s all I have to say about this one. It was a bridge novel, but it didn’t feel like it was filler. Everything was necessary; it just felt more like part 1 of the final book and not the 2nd book in a trilogy.

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