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Book One: Paranoid Mage

Callum had seen things all his life.  There are monsters and beasts living among people, but he learned very early not to admit such things, not if he didn’t want people to think him crazy.

It turns out that the supernatural is real, but at thirty Callum has no desire to be part of that secret.  Not that he has a choice when it turns out he is a mage, albeit one that hasn’t cast any spells in all his life.  There are requirements, duties, and education that the powers that be insist he be subject to.

To hell with that.

Book Two: Renegade Mage

After escaping from the Guild of Arcane Regulation and the Bureau of Secret Enforcement, Callum has lost his greatest protection: his obscurity.  Now the powers that be know who he is, and hiding is harder than ever.  Nor is hiding a plan, just a reaction.

Now Callum is forced to decide how he wants to approach the supernatural world, and how he’s going to keep himself secure when the apparatus of government is arrayed against him.  Even if he wanted to live as a mage, that bridge has been thoroughly burned, and even if he wanted to live as a normal person, he is far too deep to close his eyes to what he’s seen.

He has to make his own terms.


Paranoid Mage is an urban fantasy but it goes rather sideways from the normal stuff fairly quickly. 

Chapters are Fridays, 5PM EST, with approximately 5,000 words per chapter.

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drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
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Batcard
Overall

Love the chapters so far and love the concept of the series. Liked authors "Blue Core" series and I am waiting a little bit before I fully dive in to this series. It is about a dude who apparently has a rare space affinity but he is 30 and is too old to put up with this secrect societies shit and is doing a wait and learn as much as possible before escaping. I can't wait to see what happens. 

the25thYoru
Overall

The story is very fascinating. The MC is cool, decisive, kind* and most importantly relatable. So can be said for the side characters as well. The misunderstandings also make this story a lot funnier. The multiple POV's also add to the overalll consistency of the story.

The only cons I see are that the world is overall still a mystery. The power system is still largely unexplored. So is the world actually. 

Waiting for the next volume!

magpie
Overall

Good Start and a Good MC in an ModernUrban Fantasy

Reviewed at: Chapter 6 – Violence

As of Chapter 6:

A sympathetic MC that suddenly finds himself conscripted by the shadowy mages government he had never heard of. So he naturally flees his inept minder after he discovers he would be an involuntary "employee" (sounds more like a serf) if he survives the 30% fatal forced military service.

The MC is a smart, self reliant person without being the iron-jawed hero of the Pulp Era. He is scared much of the time but "soldiers on". The Magic is a system developed by the author but is presented in digestible chunks as the MC is learning on his own. 

So far (Chapter 6) the story is well worth reading.

STORRM
Overall

If you want to read ahead go with patron

Reviewed at: Chapter 3 - Escape

up to chapter 13 and at this point I would describe the book as "MacGyver with a portal gun, an architecture degree and a penchant for killing vampires" there is of course a lot more to it then that and the world building so far seems quite good.
I have only noticed a few spelling mistakes but im dyslexic so I'm not the best person to talk about spelling and grammar. 

if you end up going with subscribestar over patron for reading ahead be very careful you don't get double billed there's no confirm payment button and only thing i found is [email protected], no button or anything on the site for refunds. there conversion rate for AUD to USD is just weird and not spelled out in a readable way, what should of been 10USD +vac 11.39USD = 15.88AUD ended up 16.26AUD compared to patrons 14.54AUD.
you will also need a Epub reader(calibre) or just read the PDFs if you hate your self.

pewpewcachoo
Overall

Honestly the story concept is new and I am a sucker for hidden fantasy world in our world. The writing is not bad, it's readable and flows well. The grammar is good and the story is good. The MC is okay but some of the side characters are really nice. I like Miss Moneypenny the best. But she hasn't had much time on the page yet.

WaifuBucket
Overall

Quality writing - Some personal pet peeves though

Reviewed at: Chapter 4 – Portals

I'll be reviewing based on book 1 here.

From the beginning, this story is pretty clearly written or revised to be a book rather than a serial webnovel. It's not often authors put outlined and drafted works up chapter by chapter like this online, but I'm certainly not complaining.  The main effect of how it is written though, is a level of polish on the plot and concisiveness of the writing you don't often see in other webnovels. The first book is covered in just 20 quite sizable(for a webnovel) chapters. While it doesn't quite follow the published 5 act model, book 1 presents a more complete package than how a serial novel might just arbitrarily swap book numbers between arcs.

The story itself was enjoyable for me. I like the main character well enough. His exploration of magic and his magical aspect is fun to read. For the most part, he lives up to the moniker of Paranoid. Though, there are a few events I can't help but think of as being forced errors for plot's sake. The supporting characters don't just mindlessly revolve around MC but rather live their own lives, which is suprisingly hard to find from a webnovel. 

Really, as far as characterization goes, I have only one major complaint. That being how the vast majority of non 'mundane' characters are written: almost uniformly ignorant, 'speciest', and often outright malicious towards all things 'mundane'. It's to such an extent that they feel like paper bad guys rather than actual characters. It wouldn't be so bad if it were a few antagonists, but instead it is nearly everyone that is a member of non 'mundane' society.  It feels to me the author is way overplaying the muggle/non-muggle thing, to such an extent that most magical characters just feel totally flat and unnatural to me. Makes it easy for MC to have something to fight against, but also makes it hard for me to maintain suspension of disbelief.

That aside, I really enjoyed book 1. I can't really recall the pace dragging anywhere. If anything, the pace might be a bit rushed. Months can pass between story scenes and it can be a bit hard to feel that happening... if that makes sense. The last major conflict in the book did feel a bit rushed to me. I think I was expecting something like you might see from a 5th act, but that's not to say it wasn't satisfying. 

I'm looking forward to book 2. There are a number of plot-threads the author left hanging for the more attentive readers. I'm interested to see how they're resolved.

Balipsol
Overall

An interesting change of pace.

Reviewed at: Chapter 5 – Trouble

This is a wonderful work of fantasy. Very well written and a strong plot made this jump to my personal top three. The Mc is practical and well-balanced. While magic in a more modern time makes it easier to relate.  Highly recommend giving the story a chance. Thank you and keep up the good work.

qmanol
Overall

Probably one of the best early-stage stories I've read here, up with Beware of Chicken. Have read up to chapter 15 at the time of writing.

I was actually really skeptical about the premise for the first two chapters, but the divergence from the typical "lifting of the masquerade" plot arc was deftly handled and justified, and ended up being far more interesting than i would have ever expected.

I also appreciate that so far the paranoia of the titular mage seems appropriate and well considered, and the lapses and mistakes in his paranoia don't seem too contrived. (unfortunately a novel about how he goes into the middle of nowhere and spends the rest of his life in peaceful seclusion would probably not make for great reading)

Finally, the usual "outsider has new and unusual powers/insights that nobody else has realised before" plot point is handled pretty well at this stage - though i hope it doesn't ramp up any higher in future chapters. 

Sigfreid
Overall

I really like the main character and really empathise with his point of view. Some of the other cast need more fleshing out but that will come with time. I can't wait to see the rest of the story.  If you have read the authors other story please be assured this one does not have the smutty start

KaillicSterling
Overall

Quality writing! Read through Ch6 then decide!

Reviewed at: Chapter 6 – Violence

Excellent story thus far, although a bit strange at chapters one and two. A lot of the role of the magical world is not explained clearly or consistently (with regards to my personal satisfaction), but it seems as though the author is trying to avoid info dumps (which is appreciated). Get past those (admittedly necessary) chapters and the story begins to develop in a very amusing and entertaining way.

Grammar is excellent, as is vocabulary. Pacing is good, without too much time spent dwelling on any one subject. Multiple POVs add flavor and depth to the story without taking too much page time from the MC, who is (and should be) the main focus of the story.

Also, the author does a good job of portraying someone who is fairly paranoid, but not so much as to be unrelatable to the average reader. I'd put him at the level of your average zombie prepper with a maybe-slightly-more-than-healthy dose of cynicism regarding his fellow man rather than full-on doomsday Illuminati-are-going-to-destroy-the-world conspiracy theorist or the "My neighbor is always a serial killer" level of anxiety.