The Magicians – Lev Grossman

The Magicians

Quentin receives an envelope from a dead man he had an interview with and in it finds a book, The Magicians.  A wrong turn and seasons changed and he is offered the chance to take a test.  What’s he got to lose?  He passes and so begins his entrance into a magicians school, something he had dreamed of as a child but never knew such a thing really existed.

I was quite charmed with the first half of the book and highly entertained at the escapades of the blossoming magicians and the school they were in.  It was kind of a Harry Potter to the university level, complete with adult activities such as drinking, sex and an occasional orgy.   There was even a special game, not quiddich, but it did ring heavily of borrowing the concept, if not the actual game.

The second half of the book was not quite as fun as the first half.  All of these students have read a series as children about a place called Fillory, which is almost borrowing close to the Lion, Witch And Wardrobe books.  Add to that, throwing in the God influence and struggling story, it became tedious to get through.  It felt almost like he had set up the second half with the Fillory references and therefore had to follow through with it.  And its not that it was “bad”, just a bit tedious and drawn out and lacking in the fun and humor of the first half.  And its obvious that he has set it up for a sequel.  We’ll see what he does with that.

I am torn on what to rate this one.  I would give the first half a 4 and the second a bare 3 and since you can’t rate at a half star, I think I will have to go with 3.  Its a good book, but could have been a whole lot better.

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