The Plastic Magician is a novel based in the same world as Charlie N. Holmberg’s Paper Magician series.
Alvie Brechenmacher has completed her schooling and arrives in London to begin her apprenticeship in Polymaking, the magic of spelling plastic. It’s a new and exciting form of magic and Alvie is determined to make her name, so when she is assigned to a world renown Polymaker, she is thrilled and ready to get started.
From the start, Alvie and her mentor, Magician Praff, are inspired and together they come up with a new use for plastic that could change the medical world. As the work hard to prepare to present their discovery at an upcoming conference, a string of polymaker lab burglaries, has everyone on edge.
Alvie must use all of her skills to stay one step ahead of the thieves because it turns out that magic is a competitive business and people don’t always play fair.
I like this Victorian version of a world where magicians specialize in different materials. It’s fun and I like the magic and function of the manipulation of these materials. But just like the Paper Magician books, the book wasn’t to die for. I didn’t have to read them but I was entertained while I was doing so. I did really enjoy the nods to the previous books in this one and I bet I would have notice more if I hadn’t read the others so long ago.
I liked Alvie as a character a lot. She was smart and determined and yet insecure and quirky. But the story felt too easy for me. From the moment she met Bennet, there were no real trials in their way. She has a perfect mentor. A budding romance. An easy transition away from home to a beautiful mansion. And most things, societal things excluded, come easy to her.
The plot was also very clean and tidy. No real twists. You could tell, almost from the get-go who was behind the evil doings. There was no real surprise there. Holmberg probably intended the reader to suspect someone else but there really wasn’t enough intrigue to make it happen.
I was entertained even if this book didn’t wow me. So it gets 3 mediocre stars.
That’s all for now!