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Paranoid Mage  By  cover art

Paranoid Mage

By: Inadvisably Compelled
Narrated by: Jeremy Frazier
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Publisher's Summary

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 30, 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.

An urban fantasy and magical realism story with a healthy dash of genre subversion.

Voted Best Ongoing on Royal Road!

©2022 Inadvisably Compelled (P)2022 Inadvisably Compelled

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What listeners say about Paranoid Mage

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Round up to 3.5

I was actually loving this book for the first half - I couldn't put it down! Anti-establishment fiction right now is the kind of escapist fantasy I can seriously get behind.

Unfortunately, the author hits their 'Paranoid' and up-to-that-point stellar protagonist with a stupid stick to set up the finale, and it was utterly unneeded.

Callum is ignorant enough of the magical world, he could easily be forgiven if that ignorance became his undoing (and it kind of does), however the way he's found is just so...amateur and annoying that it really tarnished my experience towards the end.

It's the kind of stupidity I hate in protagonists, but it's also the kind I desperately hope authors use as learning experiences for the protag and have them never do again, because if this becomes a trend I'll drop this series in a heartbeat.

Normally an ending like this would have seriously soured me on this book and I'd have rated it lower, but I so enjoyed the premise and setup I stopped myself.

While not one-to-one, this book gave me serious Enemy of the State vibes (you know... just with magic and more murdering), which I loved. I also love space and gravity magic as a concept, and using his lack of knowledge about traditional dogma as an advantage.

Though Callum's magic learning is starting to lean back towards using traditional methods, which I would find a serious shame if it ends up going that way.

Either way, unlike his other book, I will definitely be picking up book 2.

3 people found this helpful

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IC does it again!

Another great story by Inadvisably Compelled! Love it and the narration on it! - MelasD

3 people found this helpful

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Confused

I feel as if I was tricked by the sample, I should have done my research. I expected this to be a litrpg integration you have to learn to be a wizard now and the protagonist does so in unorthodox fashion.

The story started out strange... he was at a funeral sixth sense style some guy only he could see... some mention of his parents were not really his parents they were too old or something. Then instantly next scene he's in a gym, lizard guy telling him to give workout advice. One moment funeral then bam he's talking about how he's not good at flirting and doesn't have as much muscles as other guys. I then tried to refund the audiobook, audible wouldn't let me so here I am.

I tried to give the book another shot and skipped forward to the where the cherry picked sample was but instead I found myself on a chapter about his mortgage and being frugal then skipped ahead to someone being tracked to a mobile home. I think I might have stuck with this if I wasn't expecting something else.

1 person found this helpful

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a naive adventure

I want to preface by saying this is a good book, and I would recommend it. I can't wait for the sequel, and feel like it's got a real future ahead of it, but I have some honest critiques. first and foremost the world building.



**spoilers**

I get it, the world is a totalitarian nightmare, but how did they get that way? why would anyone prop up a system that has a mortality rate of 30%? All it would take, is a handful of people like Callum to topple the system, and it looks like that's where this series is headed. but this doesn't begin to explain why the system is totalitarian in the first place, for example, the Fay in the Dresden files are assholes because it is their job to defend the world from the outsiders, they have to be brutal because if they weren't the world would be overrun and while I understand that this is probably the case in this universe, it would be best if we had a glimpse of why things are the way they are.

the enchanting:
I get it, in the last 30 minutes of the book it's explained that enchanting steel is against gar laws... for some reason... but hey, so is speeding. people would have done it a thousand times by now, why is it that the main character is discovering things that an organization who has existed for thousands of years can't wrap their head around?? is it because he's just so much smarter than everybody else? I don't think so, again I want more of an insight into why things are the way they are

setting fatigue:
during the first few hours of the book, Wells is under an assumed identity named "Chase Hall", he relocates to a small town in the Midwest called winnit, however, despite hours of the setting being built up, it gets tossed away at the first sign of trouble, don't give me wrong I understand that this is part of the story, but why would you spend all that time referencing a place that would never be talked about again? The reason why he left was idiotic as well, for someone so paranoid how could he not put two and two together that maybe he should act like, he can see people's glamors, The whole reason he left winnit was because of Faye, wasn't able to charm him, he even noted that the voice sounded weird, he knew what it was supposed to do, It was painfully obvious

more world building:
in the book and it's outright stated that shifters can turn humans, and this fact alone is terrifying. what is stopping some alpha, be at the Midwestern alpha or one of the others, from finding all the mundanes they can, turning them, and then killing all the rest of the factions? and the immediate thought that comes to mind is "because gar would stop them", but why would gar stop them?? So you're telling me this organization can murder 30% of the oncoming mages, coordinate all the incoming mages, and also keep tabs on every alpha in the world? I'm sorry even if you're an organization has existed for thousands of years, that is an incredible lift.

the mages:
every single mage in the book is arrogant aloof and an asshole, why??? maybe it's just a stereotype that people who have magic are dicks, but grace isnt, why? why is she the only exception? also why do mages not research Mundane topics?? It is hinted at in the final hour in the book that gar even knows that certain Mundane topics can lead to restricted knowledge, but as far as I can tell they do nothing to restrict that knowledge even letting mages live in the mundane world, why??? It is briefly mentioned that "oh may just wouldn't research Mundane topics because they hate Mundanes", and this is an incredibly naive approach to the world of academia or at least some magical equivalent, for example, I know of people who specialize in Egyptian diets, Just their diets, If there is a field of study people will research it regardless of what you think they will research. So now the magical spooks have to disappear a whole bunch of people who stumble upon readily apparent knowledge, while also being able to track down every rogue mage that exists. Don't even get me started on me just having access to the mundane internet and just not using it, for some reason,

the pointless of it:
So the major reason why the main character did not want to be drafted is because he did not want to be used as a weapon, so what does he do? he kills at least 50 vampires, and I get it, "theyre vampires they don't count!!", and you know whats funny? I bet that's the same way the mages feel about mundanes, or the magical beasts they slaughter in the draft, So let's pretend that the main character did nothing, got drafted, and served out his service. at the end of the novel it is stated by the archmage that spatial magic is the only pacifist aspect, he killed more people on his own volition than he would have if he just went along with the system! he caused more death, and destruction on his own. It makes absolutely no sense! his choices don't matter, and the moment you take a step back you realize that they never mattered and he's doing more harm than good.


this book would be perfect if you explained why the world is the way it is, what choices and logical conclusions could have possibly led to a world that is this top down? It also seems like the writer is a little naive, and needs to experience more of the world, people don't generally act the way they do in the novel, and I think that this is a major sticking point, but like I said I genuinely like the book and can't wait for the sequel



1 person found this helpful

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a nice story with good World building

I first saw the story on Royal Road subscribe to its you pay on a few times about the book on Amazon Kindle when it came out and it recently released has an audio books and I listened to that and I enjoyed listening to it without having to concentrate on reading it in one lump sum fair warning this is basically a part one kind of thing for a kind of web novel so book one is not the whole story but it is a complete story within the first book but not the finish and it's like a webnovel so it'll just keep going on but it is interesting to see book bring me some new insights into the world and it's kind of like if Harry Potter found out he was a wizard when he was 30 instead of heating when he was 11 years old and instead of the out of dates Wizards who manipulate the normals but live comfortable lives it's pretty much that but with a side of centuries of doing that has led to corruption at the highest levels with a tyrannical bent. and our main character is very much an individualist who believes in principles of Free Will and stuff determination the two do not mix well in the explosions are hilarious and pretty cool.

1 person found this helpful

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Great MC

Suddenly one day in your mid-thirties an event reveals that your world is completely different than what you believed and that a secret government is running the show. Great story with decent character development. The Audible narration is good enough. It took be a while to adapt to the narration. The character voices are fine, but the story telling part of the narration is too forceful, like someone talking at a loud party but there’s no party. Once I got used to it and lowered the volume more than usual, it became more comfortable and eventually it was good enough. I highly recommend this book.

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Anti establishment fun

Most people get magic powers and get romanced into a magical world, this mc recognizes immediately that the magic world is a tyrannical authoritarian nightmare that must be avoided at all costs. The people of the magic world are so indoctrinated they don’t give regular people consideration, don’t question the status quo and can’t even imagine his motives for running away.

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Glad I finally got this one

I looked at this one several times, I thought the cover art looked dumb, but it turned out to be great.

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Nice

That was a great start and it will be interesting to see where the author takes the story.

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Urban Fantasy

Excellent narrator. Story flows, but sometimes feels like it was written by an engineer... so much detail in magic contraption building.
SPOILER: my fav part, was the assault on the 1st vamp nest.

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  • Voyager
  • 07-12-22

Really Excellent book

No spoilers, only want to say that this is one of the best books I have listened to in a very long time. Easily as good as "He who Fights with Monsters".
I really want book 2 in audio format but will have to read it instead for now.

Well done and please can we have more ?.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-09-22

Really great book!

Quality book! Narration was good, story was great! Picking up the second one instantly. If you're on the fence about picking this up. I'd definitely recommend getting it.

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  • Callum kay
  • 08-24-22

great

just an overall great listen compelling story realistic yet interesting characters. fun easy to follow magic system and a sensible yet amusing tone

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Morris
  • 07-26-22

Good story but very fast character progression

This is a great story with an amazing premise. However, for someone who's been unaware of mage life his whole life then to revolutionise certain aspects surprises me. He is commonly referred to someone at the arch mage level after several months of training. Either he's a peerless mage with talents surpassing gods or he's just a bit OP. Nonetheless, this book contains an interesting story and the cliff hanger ending sure makes me want to read the second in the series.

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  • Texnik
  • 07-25-22

Glorious

I didn't expect much, but the characterisation was realistic, the protagonist was reasonably cautious, and the exploration of magic was pretty thorough. And there were significant undercurrents of (rightfully absurd) politics that the main character had to navigate. All because he couldn't tolerate a totalitarian bureaucracy!

The only bad thing about it was that it ended so soon. Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-08-22

loved it

absolutely loved this book, It's got some of my favourite lesser used tropes with magic and magical societies. I enjoyed all the characters, the story kept me thoroughly entertained without using off the wall insane fights