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

Title: The Paper Magician
Series: The Paper Magician
Author: Charlie N. Holmberg
Date Added: June 17, 2016
Date Started: August 9, 2018
Date DNF: August 9, 2018
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult (YA)

Cover of The Paper Magician by Charlie N. HolmbergPages: 222
Publication Date: September 1, 2014
Publisher: 47North
Media: eBook/Kindle

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic… forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined — animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner — a practitioner of dark, flesh magic — invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

I wished I’d just passed on this based on sample, but I don’t think I read enough to make the correct call.  The beginning is intriguing enough to draw you in, but as I went along the first chapter, I didn’t get much from the MC Ceony except that she’s a good student who wanted to work with metal instead of the paper craft foisted upon her.  Usually students can choose their material, but because Folding is dying out, she was assigned to that.  It’s a pretty common set up for a narrative, and while I did wonder how Holmberg might bend this ubiquitous motif in a unique way, it just didn’t hold my interest, and after rereading the blurb, I felt less of a draw to find out.

I’m not counting the author out though.  I do like her style, and I have Smoke and Summons from her Numina series on my list.

The State of the Gamer: 5/21/20

<–The State of the Gamer: 5/7/20           The State of the Gamer: 6/4/20–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

What I Purchased

  • Picross S4 – $9.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Just Dance 2020 – $39.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Picross S – $7.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • Picross S3 – $9.99 @ Nintendo eShop
  • The House of da Vinci – $4.99 @ Amazon

So many Picross games.  I love Pic-a-Pix and this is pretty much the game Pic-a-Pix is based on so it was an easy sell.  I think I actually like it a little better than Pic-a-Pix, and I especially love the color puzzles.  I’ve gotten used to the Mega Picross puzzles after a fashion.  I’m just hoping they have DLCs for this, too, since eventually I’m going to run out of them.  The House of da Vinci 2 is similar to The Room, so if you like that, you’ll more than likely enjoy this.

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The State of the Reader: 5/20/20

<–The State of the Reader: 5/6/20         The State of the Reader: 6/3/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.


Yeah, I spent a lot of money on research materials over the past month.  I actually should’ve included the top two last week, but I guess I forgot?  The film studies book has been on my radar ever since I heard about it in a video I watched a few months ago.  That literally screams FFVII at me, and I knew I’d need it for critical analysis of that.  It’s not an uncommon paradigm, and I guess I’m just surprised I haven’t really seen anyone else talking about since it’s such a major influence in that narrative, but video games are a bastard medium *shrug*.  The Jung alchemy book was a must buy after watching Reinstall Paul’s Silent Hill analysis, because (of course) I thought about FFVII and the alchemical influences in that.  I only have/had a passing knowledge of alchemy e.g. lead into gold, but had no clue it was so universally prominent.  Now that I know a little more, I’m picking it up everywhere, so I need to learn more about it.

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Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler (Tales of the Drui #1)

Title: Dolor and Shadow
Series Title: Tales of the Drui
Author: Angela B. Chrysler
Date Added: June 16, 2016
Date Started: July 4, 2018
Date Finished: August 8, 2018
Reading Duration: 35 Days
Genre: Fantasy, Mythology

Cover of Dolor and Shadow by Angela B. Chrysler (Tales of the Drui #1)Pages: 588
Publication Date: May 31, 2015
Publisher: Creativia
Media: eBook/Kindle

As the elven city burns, Princess Kallan is taken to Alfheim while a great power begins to awaken within her. Desperate to keep the child hidden, her abilities are suppressed and her memory erased. But the gods have powers as well, and it is only a matter of time before they find the child again.

When Kallan, the elven witch, Queen of Lorlenalin, fails to save her dying father, she inherits her father’s war and vows revenge on the one man she believes is responsible: Rune, King of Gunir. But nothing is as it seems, and the gods are relentless.

A twist of fate puts Kallan into the protection of the man she has sworn to kill, and Rune into possession of power he does not understand. From Alfheim, to Jotunheim, and then lost in the world of Men, these two must form an alliance to make their way home, and try to solve the lies of the past and of the Shadow that hunts them all.

I had started reading this before and Initially thought it was boring or the characters irritated me for some reason, but as I’d barely finished the prologue, I figured I’d give it another chance.  The beginning quote is directly from The Poetic Edda, which I’d recently finished, and the novel itself if rife with Norse Mythology.

The prologue introduces two characters, a grandmother and her granddaughter who are elves or Alfar (as the story calls them) living on Midgard, and there are mentions of Alfenheim and Jotunheim, which are other locales on Yggdrasil, the World Tree.  Gudrun, the elder, is telling the young Kallan about a war between the Aesir and Vanar with the latter on the losing end.  I’m always down for Norse Mythology, so my hopes were high, but they had been as soon as I saw the title had “dolor” in it, which not only means “sorrow” in Latin, but is also used in the Advent Children version of “One Winged Angel,” which has been stuck in my head since I started writing this review.

“Saevam iram
Iram et dolorum…”

The title translates to “Sorrow and Shadow” so I was pretty stoked.

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The State of the Writer: 5/17/20

<–The State of the Writer: 5/3/20         The State of the Writer: 5/31/20–>

A post updated every other Sunday discussing my current writing projects and any completed the prior two weeks.

Finished Projects: 0

Project: Story
The Broken Rose
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Type: Fanfiction
Fandom: Final Fantasy VII
Length: Novel
Current Word Count: 252,140
Prior Word Count: 252,353
Word Difference: -213
Status: Editing
Progress: Second edit of Chapter 23

I’ve used this picture before, but there is an excellent reason and method to my madness.  I discovered one of the readers/commenters on AO3 was none other than the artist of the glorious piece above BethanyAnnie who is both on Deviant Art, and ArtStation.  She is a freelance illustrator and concept artist from the UK per her ArtStation account, and I’m seriously thinking about commissioning her for artwork (if I can) if I decide to go the self-publishing route with any of my stories, BUT there’s more.  She’s on Archive of Our Own as OrtumnAllbones with a story called Parenthood’z Nightmare that I’ve bookmarked, which I found out during our conversations where she OFFERED TO DO ARTWORK FOR THE BROKEN ROSE.  Um ♥♥♥  So we’ve been in correspondence once I finally figured out what image I want.  She says she doesn’t charge for fanworks, but I’m honestly hoping she’ll allow me to pay SOMETHING because artists should be paid for their work.  She also has a society6 account.  Visual art is one of the most important mediums we have.  There would literally be no movies, no cartoons, no fashion, no anything without it.  The least I can do is spread the word when someone shows me such generosity ♥

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The State of the Gamer: 5/7/20

<–The State of the Gamer: 4/23/20           The State of the Gamer: 5/21/20–>

A weekly post updated every other Thursday detailing my current gaming projects.  I have an account at Grouvee, which is a site you can use to keep track of your backlog, so please feel free to friend me there!

What I Finished

Title: Final Fantasy VII Remake
Series Title: Final Fantasy, Compilation of Final Fantasy VII
System: PlayStation 4

Cover of Final Fantasy VII Remake coverDate Started: 4/10/20
Date Finished: 4/27/20

I don’t think I’ve ever finished a game so quickly, though I’m still not technically done.  I finished it, but didn’t complete it.  I still need to do the Chapter Select to pick up what I missed.  I never got Bahamut probably because I still have two Chadley missions to complete.

I’m sure people want to hear my opinion about the ending.  Well, initially, I was pretty pissed off, because yes, it’s different, and it’s pretty obvious Squeenix is cashing in on fandom power to make some things happen.  I was also annoyed because at first it seemed like a middle finger to the old school fans, but after talking to EWE I’ve calmed down a bit.  One, the original still exists; two, there seems to be some Twitter talk from SE themselves that they’re not changing the story of VII, which is…confusing given the end of this game, but whatever, and three (and probably most importantly), they don’t owe the fans anything.  Many of us often fall into this trap of thinking creators owe us either the story we expect and/or want, and they don’t.  Now, this in no way means we can’t say what we want and/or criticize what we get (have you heard what I’ve said about Game of Thrones?), but at the end of the day, it’s the creators’ story to tell how they see fit.  There is definitely a give and take interplay.  They can choose to do what they want, and we in turn can absolutely say what we like/don’t like; we can be disappointed, or even choose not to engage, but fans often get to the point where they think creators owe them something, and to be honest, I still struggle with this, but it’s more along the lines that both sides have both freedom and rules.  Best way I can explain this would be to have you all just to listen to this wonderful song.

I also made the mistake once of excoriating a book/series after reading the first one when everything I hated/bitched about was fixed in the second, so I had to get down on my claws and do the apology dance.

Gif of Zoidberg doing the Apology Dance in front of Fry who is standing before a fire. Clip is from the show Futurama.

I NEVER want to do that again

So this is why I’m going to hold off on any major critiques until the entire series/story is out.  What I do need to do is watch a Let’s Play of the game now, and luckily Olizandri has one (more on that later), while I replay the original or rather a port of the original on my Switch.  I also need to replay Crisis Core, though I really wish they’d just re-release that for Switch or something to make my life easier.  I think this might be the Year of Final Fantasy VII where I finally finish the OG myself, write my review, and maybe a few essays.  I still have so much more research to do, but I also don’t want to wait on writing things because I don’t feel like I’m good enough to do so, you know?  I can always go back and update when I find more information and/or have more revelations.  Idk.  Maybe I’ll try to amp up my researching of core texts/works.

If you’re played or finished FFVIIR let me know what you thought of it.  I honestly felt like it was a (near) perfect game, and it was just…fun.  Not only was it fun in and of itself, but you could tell the devs had a fucking BLAST making it.  The part where they parachute back to the slums was just proof of that.  The voice acting is ace (omg Brianna White ♥), and the game is just BEAUTIFUL.  Alright, I’m done gushing about it…for now 😉

What I’m Playing

Title: Final Fantasy VIII (Remastered)
Series Title: Final Fantasy
System: Nintendo Switch

Cover of Final Fantasy VIIIDate Started: 3/31/20

I’m just about to head to Esthar for the first time.  I did some leveling near Cactuar Island so my current GFs know all of the important skills.

Title: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Spirit of Justice
Series Title: Ace Attorney
System: Nintendo 3DS

Cover for Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Spirit of JusticeDate Started: 3/13/20

Currently playing one of the theater cases.  I finished up the full length DLC about the time traveling bride.  That was fun.  The case I’m on now features Pearly so I’m not unhappy about that.  I love her so hard.

Pearl Fey from the Phoenix Wright series looking adorable

What I Played

  • Pic-a-Pix Deluxe

Let’s Plays

Oliz finished up his FFVIII Remastered Let’s Play, and I’m not ashamed to admit I shed a few tears at the ending.  It always leaves me with chills, and I have to say it really is one of the best if not the best final boss sequences in the entire series.  Then today he did the fight with the Omega Weapon in Ultimecia’s Castle, something I’ve never done.  I don’t even know if I knew about it lol.  I also don’t know if I’m going to do it since it seems needlessly hard for very little reward outside of bragging rights.  I have plenty to brag about so….

I’m also still watching his Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door Let’s Play, but I should be finished that soon, since he’s through the fore mentioned.  Next I want to start watching his FFVIIR LP.  I’m…not entirely sure why I’ve waited this long to start it.  I think I needed some breathing room from FFVII after I finished it myself to think about what I saw and how I feel.  My husband has also been playing it, so there’s that, too.

I guess i can consider Andromeda and Death Stranding on hold, but I will come back to them eventually.

I wonder if I should just change my day for this post to Friday, but eventually the world will start spinning again; my husband will go back to bowling, and I’ll need the free Fridays for recording.  Until then it’s nice to have the wiggle room when I don’t feel like doing it on Thursday, and of course there’s always Saturday, too.  Eh, I’ll keep it Thursday.

What has been your quarantine go to game?  Have you played the new Animal Crossing?

<–The State of the Gamer: 4/23/20           The State of the Gamer: 5/21/20–>

The State of the Reader: 5/6/20

<–The State of the Reader: 4/22/20         The State of the Reader: 5/20/20–>

A biweekly post updated every other Wednesday detailing my current reading projects and what new titles I’ve added to my to-read list.  Title links go to Goodreads, and if you have an account there feel free to friend me!  I’d love to see what you’re reading and/or planning to read.

On Hold

Title: Being and Time
Author: Martin Heidegger
Date Added: August 18, 2017
Date Started: April 3, 2020

Cover of Being and Time by Martin HeideggerMedia: Paperback

I think I got enough of Heidegger in FFVIIR haha yes my jokes are so terrible.  I decided to put this on hold after the first page.  It’s actually not bad, but I just wanted to read something else for my research at this time.  I’ll come back to it, though my list of books on hold is growing, hm.

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