Monday, July 11, 2011

Review: The Magicians

The MagiciansThe Magicians by Lev Grossman

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was like Hogwarts: The College Years

This started off SO good. At first, I really enjoyed the way it was similar to Harry Potter in some places, and to Narnia in others. Unfortunately, as promising as the magic school Brakebill seemed at the start, it didn't really live up to what I was expecting of it. For a school of magic, it was extremely dull and nothing much happened there. One of the things that stand out to me is that the students were matched with their particular "discipline" or the branch of magic they had the most affinity with. This started off rather intriguing, but then went nowhere. They were just sorted into their groups and that was that.

The characters are what saved this novel for me. They were enough to keep me drawn into the story wanting to know more about them and their motives. There was a few times where the author almost went into possible controversial subject matter, but then kind of let it go instead of following through. This was kind of disappointing. The main character, Quentin, was a bit of an anti-hero as well. I liked him less and less as the story progressed. If the school would have been as interesting as the characters, this would have been an amazing read.

Once the story progressed to the introduction of the Narnia-like world, the similarities between both of the more famous series (Potter and Narnia) was beginning to be annoying. The Magicians is so much like them that it was almost as if the author simply replaced the original characters in both series with the ones he created. Ultimately however, I did enjoy The Magicians, both because of the compelling characters and because it was an interesting retelling of Narnia with a Hogwarts-like beginning.

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