Magonia, by Maria Dahvana Headley…✧ /5

Title: Magonia
Author: Maria Dahvana Headley
Start Date: Aug 13, 2015
Finished: Aug 19, 2015

✧ /5

I know people are going to come after me with torches and pitchforks, but I did not like this book at all. Here’s to another gorgeous cover and interesting premise that ultimately falls shorts and ended up being a disappointing read. I gave this a 1.5/5. I just don’t have a way to represent the half point.

Let me just say that I really, really, really enjoyed it at first (when I had somewhat of an idea what was going on and the world building was stable and coherent). I loved how sassy Aza was and how each family member was portrayed, especially her sister for not giving a rat’s ass and treating Aza like a regular human being. I had so much hope for this book before she was inevitably beamed up to the Amina Pennarum and readers were sent in whirlwind of “Wtf is happening?!” and “Can I stop reading this now?”

With the way the story started out, I feel like this would have been much more successful as a contemporary YA novel. The whole fantasy aspect just fell apart when she boarded the ship. It was like a different author took over the writing and didn’t know what she was doing, so all she could do was slap on description after description of what could be fascinating aspects of the story but never actually lingers to tell us more. I was bombarded by so much information and I hate that. I couldn’t savour each detail properly because Headley was already moving onto the next piece of information. The way the second half of the book was written is exactly like what you would get if you opened up a pop-up book; everything is presented to you all at once, and don’t get me wrong, it’s incredibly pretty, but so overwhelming at the same time.

Warning: Spoilers ahead!
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Chapters/Book Outlet Haul

It’s become a daily routine of mine to check Book Outlet as soon as I turn on the computer for any good deals, and there has been SO many great ones lately. I receive those pesky emails every day telling me my shopping cart of purchases are waiting for me, and if it weren’t for the fact that I’m only working on-call at the moment, I wouldn’t have to hesitate on clicking ‘Checkout.’

Who needs to pay bills or buy groceries and other necessities when there’s a book sale screaming at you to check it out? That’s pretty much what happened at Chapters today. It doesn’t help that they were having a Back to School promo where you get a $10 gift card if you spend $40 or more.

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The Paper Magician, by Charlie N. Holmberg…✧ ✧ ✧ /5

Title: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Start Date: Aug 8, 2015
Finished: Aug 12, 2015

✧ ✧ ✧/5

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

I was conflicted with this one. What started off as a very interesting premise ultimately left me feeling like the story was rushed and lacked depth. I was pulled into the magical elements right away and the story seemed to start off at a steady pace, but I think Holmberg could’ve taken her time and allowed the readers to explore more of this magical world; it’s a shame it was glossed over. I ended up with so many questions throughout the book.

I wanted to know more about the other magicians and what it is they do, and how they do it. I wanted to learn about Ceony’s background and how she came to study at the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined. With a name like that, I had Hogwarts in mind and expected details to accompany such an enchanting sounding institute. I also wanted to have a better grasp of Ceony’s character. It was briefly explained and we only caught snippets of her past through Magician Emery Thane’s own memories. It would’ve helped for the readers to learn about Ceony’s previous dreams of being a Smelter. What was so intriguing about being a Smelter that made her yearn to be one? I really hope Holmberg reveals this to us in the next book.

At the same time I appreciated the quick read. It was entertaining enough, and I pictured it as a Hayao Miyazaki film. I had Howl’s Moving Castle in mind the entire time I was reading it.

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