The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4) By Charlie N. Holmberg

    Wall Street Journal bestselling author Charlie N. Holmberg returns to the enchanting world of The Paper Magician.

    Alvie Brechenmacher has arrived in London to begin her training in Polymaking—the magical discipline of bespelling plastic. Polymaking is the newest form of magic, and in a field where there is so much left to learn, every Polymaker dreams of making the next big discovery.

    Even though she is only an apprentice, Alvie is an inventor at heart, and she is determined to make as many discoveries—in as short a time frame—as she can. Luckily for her, she’s studying under the world-renowned magician Marion Praff, who is just as dedicated as Alvie is.

    Alvie’s enthusiasm reinvigorates her mentor’s work, and together they create a device that could forever change Polymaking—and the world. But when a rival learns of their plans, he conspires to steal their invention and take the credit for it himself.

    To thwart him, Alvie will need to think one step ahead. For in the high-stakes world of magical discovery, not everyone plays fair… The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4)

    The Paper Magician trilogy holds a very special place in my heart - and I'm only too pleased to add this next book into their illustrious company!

    Alvie is a complete departure from Ceony (who has a very satisfying cameo!) - she's logical, mathematical, quite the overthinker and very much in the scatterbrained genius mold when she's working. . She's an American too, brought to the UK as part of a program to encourage foreign students to take their apprenticeships there.

    Expanding the world like that allowed us further glimpses into how this world fits magic alongside technology - and though one character dismisses technology as the uneducated man's magic, Alvie is quick to correct her. Her own father is a co-creator of the light bulb, a purely technological marvel even in this world. But things like long range travel and communication by mirror, left mostly unexplored in the last three books, were an absolute delight in this one.

    An absolute delight is probably the best way I could ever describe this book. Alvie's sense of discovery and marvel at the possibilities afforded by the chance to study and learn were absolutely contagious to me as the reader. The wait for the next book is going to be a long one!

    I received a free digital copy in return for an honest review
    The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4) Oh dear...this was somewhat disappointng. It lacked the sparkle, the flirtatious fun and the thrill that made up The Paper Magician series. Alvie and Bennet weren’t a patch on Ceony and Emery. Not sure whether I will continue with this series now.
    The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4) Thank you Charlie Holmberg and NetGalley for the opportunity to dive back into this magical world. This is truly one of my favorite series, and I am so happy I was able to read another story.

    The Plastic Magician is a spin off, which takes place after the events of The Plastic Magician trilogy. I believe that you could read this as a stand alone, but wholeheartedly recommended doing the trilogy first.

    We meet a brand new character ( Alvie ) who is leaving her home in Ohio to travel across seas to apprentice under the prestigious Magician Praff.

    Magician Praff is a prior attendee of the Discovery Convention, where he gained lots of attention with his last creation. He's been stumped for something to showcase this year, but as luck would have it, it seems like Alvie was just the person he needed to make things happen. Together they work on an invention that will shake the magical and medical world. However, there are issues that arise that no one anticipated, and Alvie's got to find a way out of a very tough situation.

    Alvie is an absolutely wonderful character. She's smart, ambitious, confident (except when it comes to cute boys) and is a giant clutz. She's adorable and everything you'd expect from a main character in this series. Magician Praff also amazed me. He is so supportive and attentive to Alvie, and I loved their dynamic together. The supporting characters that Alvie builds relationships with are adorable, I love her interactions with them.

    For fans of the trilogy, this has everything you love about the series. There is magic, there is love, and there is mischief.

    There's also the painful feeling at the end that this simply wasn't enough, and you need more!! The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4) I suspect that I am not the target audience for this book. I think this quote about the subject of The Plastic Magician, makes it clear who is. “I think you can do it, Alvie,” the injured woman said. A smile touched her lips. “I really do. We don’t know each other terribly well, but I see your drive. People with drive do amazing things.” This is a “coming of age” story and it is meant to be encouraging to its readers.

    Alvie Brechenmacher is a young adult, from a hundred years ago, who lives in a world quite like the one we live in, but with magic developed and, in some cases, perfected. She has a firm idea of what she wants out of life: no surprise, it is to become a plastic magician, a “polymaker.” Plastic magic is only one of many specific disciplines and I don’t want to diminish your potential delight in discovering how well author Holmberg has thought this all through.

    Alvie is a very near-sighted “wallflower.” That is brought home when she goes to England to enter an apprenticeship with a well-known polymaker. He is rich and she lives and studies at his estate. Our youngest, Martha, is recently married and has moved to the country. She’s just a couple years your junior.” Eighteen and already married. Not that it was uncommon; it was just that Alvie had only been on one “date” her entire life, to a dance after graduating from secondary school, and she’d never so much as kissed a man, let alone been proposed to. She had the nagging feeling she and the Polymaker’s daughter were very different vegetables.

    In addition, it seems intended to be inspirational. “It has been a long road for these men and women, but they have prevailed. They have overcome difficulties of all kinds to be sitting here today, representing their disciplines. I give them the highest praise.” He turned and cleared his throat. “To you magicians, I give you the admonition to continue to persevere. Make your mark on this world. Expand your gifts. Reach out to those in need, and reach high to your Maker. Treat your magic with respect and loyalty, and it will do likewise. Leave this world a better place than it was when you entered it. The future calls to you. Now is the time to answer.”

    Rather than encouraging any cynicism that I might possess, I found that I enjoyed the positive messages and magical world-making. If this is too sweet for you, I will understand but who knows what might have happened if I had read this when younger. Thanks to my GR friends Fiona and BAM for showing me this pathway.

    3.5* The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4) Buddy read this with the most beautiful mama penguin 🧡

    Well. This book is a cute spin-off to the TPM series, but that's all there is to it. To be fair, the author probably didn't want to turn this into another three-book series and therefore kept it light and short, but I still wished there would have been some more depth to the story.

    If you're in the mood for a cute magical romance novel, though, this is definitely your book. The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4)

    Read & Download The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4)

    I had really enjoyed the Paper Magician series, so I was pretty excited to see there was a spin off.

    I liked Alvie well enough. She’s super smart and passionate and I enjoyed reading her dedication to her magic. Ethel and Bennet were fantastic and supportive secondary characters and I could have read a million more scenes with them. Oh and the brief scene of Ceony and Emery was just perfection.

    Plot wise it was just okay. I didn’t get caught up in this branch of magic. And while the idea of getting a discovery stolen made for a good {but quite mild} villain, there wasn’t a sense of urgency. The build up was slow and the confrontation was fairly lackluster.

    Overall, it was a quick read and an interesting start to a spin off. I did like it, yet I’m not sure I will be reading any of the others.

    **Huge thanks to 47North for providing the arc free of charge** The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4) Real Rating: 3.5* of five

    This read was very cute. These Paper-Magician series books are meant to be YAs, I found out; not my natural grazing grounds. I assure you it is so, but it doesn't seem to be explicitly stated anywhere that Author Holmberg is very much a Mormon and very committed to its Manichean dualism. Good girls aren't simpering idiots, but they sure as heck aren't going to third base, still less all the way; I think there's exactly no one QUILTBAG in this universe.

    I don't think I'm drawn to read the others in the series, but wouldn't say that anyone else shouldn't. Of course, I'm not warbling my fool lungs out to encourage you to do so. It's just fine. Really fun, fairly obvious, very predictable, and pleasantly dense in its magical world. So much fun to imagine Magician Praff's The Imaginarium, a key plot point that doesn't feel freshly invented but rather like something Author Holmberg developed earlier in the series. And I like the way the author uses the honorific Magician without gender reference. In this book, Alvie refers to her mentor as Mg. Praff which also gave me a happy smile.

    Pretty much perfect for today's sensibilities, as witness the film option that Disney+ took out in 2016. It's still in pre-production, but that's not surprising when there's this much f/x work to do. I hope they stay with Allison Shearmur as producer, she of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, to get the women's point of view right. This is a series I'd encourage parents of tween daughters to casually mention.

    I read Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet a few years ago. Like this read, it was just fine...not superb, but certainly not sub-par, and pretty much perfect for light, undemanding, yet involving reading. It suited me well for my LT group's Fantasy February shared read. The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4)

    She shook her head. “I think it was only one. I just heard it, and saw a shadow.”
    The policeman nodded, jotting something down. “Can you describe this shadow?”
    “Um. Black and shadowy?”

    Buddy read this with the patroclus to my douchilles 🎄❤️

    The Plastic Magician kindly transported me back into the enchanting world created by Holmberg, a world I came to absolutely love after reading (and obsessing over) The Paper Magician trilogy.
    The magic system in this universe is something new in the fantasy scenario and I always appreciate the insight we get into the various spells and techniques our heroines dwelve into when they start their apprenticeship.
    Alvie is a good protagonist and, for me, she was incredibly relatable because she's realistic, confides in logic and brain more than anything, and is a bit of a dorky nerd like myself.
    I like how goal-driven and progressive she is and it was really cute seeing her approach the dating world while having zero clues about how social rules actually work.
    In fact, her scenes with Bennet were sweet and among my favorites.
    The only thing that let me a bit down, was seeing how hastily the mystery aspect of the plot was treated. I get it that this short book probably mainly focused on Alvie's life and Polymaking (the branch of magic she majored in), but since it was there, I expected it to be a big part of the plot and definitely didn't expect it to be so underwhelming.
    Like I told Leni when we discussed our feelings about this story, I probably would have liked it better if Alvie was introduced in one of the previous TPM books and this book worked as a novella.
    Overall, it was a nice read and it was also short enough to be enjoyable.

    ACTUAL RATINGS 3,5/5 The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4) Netgalley #65

    Many thanks go Charlie Holmberg, 47North, and Netgalley for the free copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased review.
    I’m was so excited to see the Magician series was given new life! Such a great series, but I kinda love magic. But now we have new categories to manipulate, which just gives those sneaky, manipulative mages new ways to break the law. Our new heroine is adorable and brilliant and American! YAY! I just adore how dorky and intelligent she is (and she still gets a smoking hot boyfriend). The plot wasn’t over the top; it was almost whimsical in parts. This book wasn’t nearly as cruel as the first set of books. Holmberg is quickly becoming one of my favorite fantasy authors. I can’t wait for her next release. The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4) Thanks to Netgalley and 47North for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review!

    Holmberg's Paper Magician series did something really cool: it introduced a very unique and very fun magic system. This standalone follow-up/spin-off book follows the adventures of Ceony in the first three books and this time, it's through the very poor-sighted eyes of Alvie, a fledgling Polymaker (plastic magician) who is taking an apprenticeship in England, far across the sea from her home in the US. She's smart as a whip, and she's strong in her own way, but she doesn't suffer from the same quick-to-jump-into-trouble nature as Ceony did. She's logical and methodical, and a very good protagonist.

    While the twist wasn't all that shocking (I mean, we'd figured out the twists pretty early on, hadn't we? *wink*), the magic was a fun ride, and the story had some cool ideas.

    All in all, I enjoyed it. The Plastic Magician (The Paper Magician, #4)