Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

2010 Alex Award Winner!

I had such high hopes for this "next Harry Potter" novel and was singing its praises early on in my reading. The first half of the novel is very much like an adult Harry Potter book. Quentin is applying for colleges and doesn't know what he wants out of life. Then he gets a magical invitation to take a difficult test in a room full of smart kids. He makes it and sets off to Brakebills College. There he learns magic, meets friends, and realizes that he still isn't a very happy person. Like many teenagers, Quentin is just plain unhappy, and his unpleasantness got to me by the end of the book. I've read plenty of books where I didn't like the characters, but I found myself rolling my eyes toward the end of this one. The tone was so freakin' negative and I wanted just one kid in the book to be positive and fulfill his/her potential. Just one. I guess I was looking for Ron Weasley, HP or Hermione. I liked the "adult"ness of the book, and loved the inclusion of Quidditch, Lord of the Rings references, and other fantasy staples. But the overall tone of the book isn't good. I don't want to read a sequel, unless it reads like the first third of the book.

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