Posted in Book Discussions, Book Review

Book Discussion: The Paper Magician

Ceony Twill is a recent graduate of the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined. Hopeful and excited, her dreams are destroyed when her teacher tells her the magical world is lacking Paper Magicians and that she must become one. Magicians can only bond with one form of magic and Ceony is less than thrilled at the prospect of folding paper for the rest of her life.

Her new teacher, Magician Emery Thane, is a hermit living at the very edge of society. At first, Ceony sees him as just another eccentric freak, but she quickly learns that even hermits have dark secrets. Within weeks of meeting, Ceony must save her teacher’s heart, figuratively and literally, by harnessing the very magic she despises.

Is Paper Magic really just airplanes and origami? Ceony will have to look past her grievances if she wants to stay alive, especially in the face of forbidden magic called Excision, or the practice of controlling human flesh and blood.


Characters:

Ceony Twill has a photographic memory, which is her “protagonist superpower”, and the ability to remember spoken instructions word-for-word. As an apprentice, she has real potential. As a person, she’s still immature. Her personality is difficult to sympathize with; she’s bullheaded, cowardly, and reckless. In her defense, she’s only nineteen and started to show signs of maturing in the last few chapters, but I still found her to be pretty annoying.

Emery Thane is a broken man still trying to heal from his past. I liked his character; he’s guilty of loving someone he probably shouldn’t have and is trying to right his wrongs.

Lira is a confusing antagonist. I still don’t understand exactly what her motives were and what happened to so drastically change her personality. I would’ve liked, as a reader, to see more of her backstory.

Plot:

The Paper Magician is unique in that I haven’t read anything like it. Most magicians control natural elements, like water and air, so the concept of only being able to control man-made materials was a breath of fresh air. What I don’t understand is how Excision can even exist. Human flesh is a natural thing, not man-made in the same sense as glass or paper. The backstory, how things came to be, are overshadowed by Ceony’s quest.

Ceony’s falling in love with Thane as she explores his memories seemed strange to me. For the few weeks they lived together, she tolerated her eccentric teacher and then, at the flip of a page, he’s suddenly extremely attractive and lovable.

Writing Style:

  • For a book supposedly targeting a younger audience, The Paper Magician has a lot of blood, death, and just general darkness.
  • A bit wordy at times.
    • Ceony describes her heart rate about every other paragraph
    • Every conversation gives her a lump in her throat
    • She hesitates before she does anything
      • Are you seeing a pattern here?

My Overall Rating:

Image result for 3.5 stars

 

Posted in Book Discussions, Book Review

Death Comes to Pemberley: Book vs. Mini Series

I can’t believe I’m actually saying this, but this is one of those rare times when the movie is better than the book. To summarize the plot, Elizabeth and Darcy have been married for six years since the end of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, have two young sons, and are comfortably living in Pemberley. Elizabeth has taken over her role as Mrs. Darcy with flying colors and even the gossips who thought she only married Darcy for the money are begrudgingly agreeing that she actually is a nice, intelligent person.

But their peaceful life is interrupted (once again) by Lydia Wickham, Elizabeth’s wild-child younger sister. She appears at their front door, hysterical and crying, saying her husband and his closest friend are dead. As the master of the house and the local magistrate, Darcy sets out to investigate. What he finds confirms his fears: he’s once again entangled in another of Wickham’s schemes, one that might cost them both dearly.


Elizabeth Darcy’s Role:

I was disappointed with how P.D. James portrayed Elizabeth in the book. She sort of characteristicobserverdissolves into the background and becomes just another typical wife during that time period. She’s not the feisty, brave heroine we all came to love in ‘Pride and Prejudice’.  Granted, it is more realistic that she stays behind while Darcy handles all the legal business, but still…

What the book lacks, the mini-series made up for. Elizabeth is the protagonist – she’s the one who pieces together the mystery surrounding Wickham’s life, the one who ultimately saves his life and the one who rescues Pemberley from disgrace.

Mr. and Mrs. Darcy’s Relationship:

While Darcy says several times throughout the book that he misses and loves his wife, they have maybe two conversations and short ones at that. As a fan of ‘Pride and Prejudice’, I was looking for a lovely sequel to their roller-coaster affair, not a few sweet references here and there. As I said before, Elizabeth dissolves into the background and Darcy is so overcome by Wickham’s trial that all he does is worry.

On the other hand, the mini-series treats the underlying issue of Georgiana’s future more gravely than the book does and this dilemma causes friction between Elizabeth and Darcy. Elizabeth is for one suitor, while Darcy is for the other. There are moments where it’s suggested Darcy regrets their marriage and Elizabeth fears for their own marriage. It adds extra drama to the story, while the book is pretty monotone and laid-back.

Darcy’s Role:

I was also disappointed with Book Darcy. He loses that spark, that gentlemanly mysteriousness that women fell in love with. Darcy is overwhelmed by Wickham’s trial; he worries constantly, he simpers and mopes, and, to be brutally honest, he’s annoying. Again, it is more realistic that he lets the legal system do its thing while he watches from the sidelines, but that realism is what made the book slow and dry.

In the mini-series, we see that strangely endearing Darcy temper. He’s a handsome man who walks with confidence but is also not afraid to show his wife and family affection. While Book Darcy lacks personality, Movie Darcy takes Wickham by the neck and demands answers (figuratively speaking).

Final Verdict:

The mini-series is filled with surprises, drama, and Darcy magic, while the book falls short with a dry, monotone narration and laid-back plot.

I seriously recommend the mini-series to anyone, not just ‘Pride and Prejudice’ fans. It was beautifully filmed and the actors fit into their roles perfectly. The book…not so much. I’ll still include information for anyone interested, but I’m actually really curious about your opinions. Am I being overly critical or do ya’ll agree?


Death Comes to Pemberley:

Author: P.D. James

291 pages

For more information: Publisher Website / Goodreads / Amazon

Mini-Series:

3 episodes

For more information: IMDb Overview / PBS / BBC Trailer

Posted in Book Discussions, Reading

Book Discussion: The Bennet Family

Pride and Prejudice has been recognized time and time again as one of the greatest romance novels of all time. Society’s expectations are challenged, alliances are made and lost, familial ties are stretched to the very limit, confessions that make female readers swoon with jealousy…and that’s just the first chapter. As a fan myself, I’d like to share my thoughts on P&P‘s iconic centerpiece: the Bennet family.

Obviously, I didn’t live during this time period and only have novels to go by, but I honestly believe that, if they were real, the Bennet family would be complete outcasts of society. They wouldn’t be invited to balls or dinner parties, and the daughters definitely wouldn’t have so many suitors. In modern terms, they’d be that weird family that lives at the end of the street whose kids you wouldn’t be surprised to learn ran away with a drug dealer boyfriend (Lydia, cough…)

I never caught what exactly Mr. Bennet did for a living, but he apparently made enough money to support six women. I’m curious, though…did his business partners think he was strange? Or was he self-employed?

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