Friday, April 15, 2016
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The first two thirds of this book were somewhat entertaining, though perhaps a bit of a ripoff or maybe a veiled sendup of Harry Potter and Hogwarts, written for the disaffected loner teen genius crowd. The hero, Quentin, arrives at an interview with an Ivy League alumni who can recommend him for his alma mater to find the man dead, and is given a mysterious package with his name on it by one of the paramedics. The package leads him to an entirely different interview and series of tests that end with him being admitted to Brakebills, a college for magicians in upstate New York.
His studies there are somewhat amusing and interesting, with a more R-Rated take on life in a school filled with very very bright teens.
Quentin has been obsessed for most of his life with a series of books about a land called Fillory - a slightly twisted version of the chronicles of Narnia - wherein a family of youngsters experiences adventures in a magical land, until they are too old to return.
The book turns much more serious and sadder when Quentin and his companions are finally given what they've dreamed of, entry into the land of Fillory to free the land from evil powers. The story goes through a number of unexpected twists from that point forward, and Quentin is, we hope, a much wiser magician at the end of it all.
There are sequels. I might pick them up on a slow reading day.