Stormtrooper Terry

Stormtrooper Terry

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Goodreads Book Review: The Magicians

The MagiciansThe Magicians by Lev Grossman

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I think the best way to describe this book is that it is chock full of unrealized potential. It sets itself up as a much more adult Harry Potter with a lot of The Chronicles of Narnia and even a little bit of Lord of the Rings mixed in, which, on paper, sounds like a recipe for a whole lot of awesome. The problem is, it ends up being too much for one book. Our main character, Quentin, gets accepted into a college for magicians when the book begins, and he's there for five years... and all five years are covered and done with in the first two-thirds of the book. There are a lot of good bits at the school, and it was a situation that deserved more than the rush job it gets. Likewise, the quest Quentin and his friends en up going on afterwards, a quest that easily could have been a book all it's own, is only given about twenty percent of the story, with a whole other ten percent left over for a rather lengthy ending. The reason for rushing the plot is obvious; there's a whole lot of character development and interpersonal reactions going on... which I'm generally all for, but here's the problem: Quentin and his friends are the single most unlikeable group of people I have ever had the displeasure of reading about. They're a bunch of maladjusted, self-absorbed idiots who find ways to take absolutely no pleasure in anything going on around them because they're too busy trying to find ways to hate everything because they're above it all, and they do this while trying to be ironic about everything. With the right amount of plot and better characters, this could have been a great book, but as it is, I don't recommend it... that is, unless you want to read what is basically a story about douchebag hipster magicians. In that case, knock yourself out.

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As you can see, I didn't much enjoy the twentieth book in the Recommended Reading Challenge, the second book in a row I took from random internet people because the recommendations have been dying down. I have two more of those to go through, but I'd rather read something from a friend, so if you've enjoyed a book recently, let's hear it!


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