Book Title: Lev GrossmanWhat did I think? I loved the idea of a protagonist who wishes magic was real and the fantasy world he enjoyed growing up actually exists, but even though it all drops into his lap, he still can't find happiness.
Author: The Magicians
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Goodreads, Amazon UK
Goodreads Summary: Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.
He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin’s fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.
Something's always missing, even if your dreams become real.
That's a great premise and a problem I deal with frequently. You idealise the next stage of your life, thinking love/school/promotion/publishing contract/marriage/kids/graduation/etc. will make you happy and then you realise, nope, still not quite there.
But...I had a hard time getting into The Magicians. Mostly because Quentin is an unlikeable character who I wouldn't want as my friend. At least not at first; he did grow on me somewhat. The world is bleak, everyone is miserable and people are shitty to each other. Then I understood the tone of the novel more began to enjoy myself.
The author took the Hogwarts years from Harry Potter and mixed in Narnia in the second half of the book. It sounds old, but it worked well, and I thought it was done in an original and surprising way.
The characters are well developed and the world feels real.
I recommend this book to everyone who grew up wishing Narnia was a real place and who doesn't mind unlikeable and miserable characters.
I'll definitely read the next one at some point.
I absolutely love this series! I've read them all. Yes, Quentin is definitely unlikable. He's a brat. But he experiences awesome character growth. Unfortunately, he doesn't become likable until book 3 - but it's well worth reading it all to get to that point! Great review.ReplyDelete
Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
Follow me on Bloglovin'
I will definitely pick the other two up, I find them intriguing. And Quentin started to grow on me.Delete
I adore this book! One of my favorite series; though I totally understand that tone is subjective and while I loved it, it isn't for everyone. I don't remember Quentin being unlikeable but I did read this years ago.ReplyDelete
I can't wait to see where the series goes!Delete
I've had this on my TBR list for years. My brother read it recently and also the cross between Potter and Narnia that you've described. It may be time to finally give this one a go!ReplyDelete
Just don't expect the innocence and fluffiness of Potter and Narnia, this is gritty and has sex and drugs lolDelete
Good review! I tried on this one, but Quentin's character really turned me off - I was so irritated with him for a good part of it. I have to admit though, I really like what I've seen of the tv adaptation. :)ReplyDelete
I've heard the show is really good, some people even told me the show is better than the book, so I'll have to check it out!Delete
I have had this book in my mind for a while now but I read a few reviews saying exactly what you say about Harry Potter and Narnia, so I wasn't too sure. Glad you did like it!ReplyDelete