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9 Reviews
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious, dark, coming of age novel with a magical twist
It pays homage to the Harry Potter and Narnia novels, and it has similarities but that's where it stops. It's a coming of age novel which features Quentin and his friends he meets at Brakebills. It's definitely a more serious novel and delves deeper into emotions and it's more dark and definitely not a kid's book! there's action and drama, romance too, but there's some...
Published on Nov. 1 2009 by Karoline

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay read but not yearning for the sequel
Overall, I have to say that I mostly enjoyed the story. I thought it was well told and the character development was very well done. The biggest problem I had was Quentin, the main character. I tried and tried to like him but just couldn't. He's one of those people who always want or need something more to be happy but once they get it, they need something else...
Published on July 13 2011 by C. Jones


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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Serious, dark, coming of age novel with a magical twist, Nov. 1 2009
By 
Karoline (Richmond BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Magicians, The (Hardcover)
It pays homage to the Harry Potter and Narnia novels, and it has similarities but that's where it stops. It's a coming of age novel which features Quentin and his friends he meets at Brakebills. It's definitely a more serious novel and delves deeper into emotions and it's more dark and definitely not a kid's book! there's action and drama, romance too, but there's some twists and turns that make the book more darker and includes more "dangerous" themes which makes the book catered towards adults.

I liked the book. It certainly did grab my curiosity when I first heard about it and as I read further into it, I had to try and not put Harry Potter and Narnia comparisons, or it'll ruin my enjoyment of this book - which I'm glad I managed to fight off. I thought it was pretty well executed and very well thought out especially with trying to juggle the Fillory part into this story and having to put it as once a fictional world that Quentin had been reading since he was a boy into a full fledged real-life fantasy world and also adding a fantasy epic plot into it as well, while also juggling the plot happening on real Earth. However, it went smooth and it did not leave me, as a reader, confused. There's even a helpful map on the inside of the book which is an added bonus. The plot was great, as it followed Quentin from his beginning years in the college, to his graduation, to his real life entrance into the world, and to his adventures in Fillory and afterwards. It's a great chronological way of running the story.

I have to admit, this is one of the few books I liked, but where I also had an intense dislike for the main character. I actually did not like Quentin at all. He's such a whiner! and he's made out to be such an "emo" I had to roll his eyes while he whined about how unhappy he was, and it was as if NOTHING could absolutely make him content not even for a full fledged chapter. Even as I finished the book, I still found that I did not like him. He just wasn't that great, he was the main character, yes, and you saw the story through his eyes but he wasn't really what you might think as a main character would be (not your stereotypical character in fantasy novels I suppose). I found myself drawn to Eliot more, only because of his charm and although at first I wasn't that impressed with Alice, she earned a lot of respect from me towards the end of the novel. She certainly was a realist and was the main anchor and stability to the group of friends. Character development was great. They were all well rounded and developed as they grew older (except Quentin, who eventually matures much much later in the book).

So the only thing I disliked about the novel was Quentin and his whiny personality. Even the part with his rocky romance with Alice aggravated me. He is definitely not boyfriend material to me. (More like sledgehammer bashing material). As to the ending, I am now curious and intrigued. Is there going to be a sequel, because if there is, count me in. I'm definitely going to read it! there were some questions I found myself asking. Especially when I reached the ending.

Overall, it's a great book when you're in the mood for something serious, but something with fantasy as well. Be forewarned, it's not a happy go lucky epic quest, it's quite dark and serious. Nevertheless it was a great dramatic coming of age read that will leave you asking for more.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An okay read but not yearning for the sequel, July 13 2011
By 
C. Jones "reggiesgirl2" (NB Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Magicians (Paperback)
Overall, I have to say that I mostly enjoyed the story. I thought it was well told and the character development was very well done. The biggest problem I had was Quentin, the main character. I tried and tried to like him but just couldn't. He's one of those people who always want or need something more to be happy but once they get it, they need something else. Nothing is ever enough to make them happy. I'd say more about certain aspects of his character that I found revolting but that would give away some of the story so I won't.

There's a sequel coming out in September 2011. I will most likely not bother getting it or reading it. This book is a complete story without a sequel and, honestly, I didn't care enough about the characters to want to read more. That's why I gave it a three. To get a four, it would have to be good enough to make me "need" the sequel.

I'll still recommend it for people who like this type of book (Harry Potter, Narnia, etc) but with reservations.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of Surprises - it was Awesome!, Oct. 7 2010
By 
Cozy Evenings with a Book "Book Lover" (Toronto, Ontario, Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Magicians (Paperback)
I have maybe 30 pages left to read but wow, so different and full of imagination. This book is very close to the stories from Harry Potter and Narnia but with a twist and if it was a movie it would probably be rated 14A. There is a bit of swearing but it's perfectly timed. Humour is amazing - even when i read this on the bus i dont mind smiling because it's so funny. And the best part, it's full of suprises. Just when you think you know what is going to happy, the book catches you fully off guard. I can't believe how things are turning out to be in the end of this novel. This is a grown-up Harry Potter and Narnia all in one. I believe the second part is coming out Summer 2011 - I can't wait!

If you're looking for magic, action, humour, surprises - then get this and read it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Badass harry potter, Dec 7 2013
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This review is from: The Magicians (Paperback)
Badass harry potter! Magician school, fighting evil, adventures ... but also sex and sarcasm. Can't wait to read the other books in the series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!, Oct. 16 2013
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This review is from: The Magicians (Paperback)
Perfect blend of magic and fantasy! Hard to put down. As a magician I was hooked from the very first page!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The First Great Fantasy Novel of the 21st Century, June 20 2013
By 
John Kwok (New York, NY USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Magicians (Library Binding)
Lev Grossman has reinvigorated the genre of fantasy with his "Magician" novels, merging traditional tropes of heroic fantasy with the elements and techniques associated with contemporary mainstream Anglo-American literary fiction, and creating what have to be regarded as instant classics in the genre of fantasy fiction. "The Magicians" is the first great fantasy novel of this century; a riveting coming-of-age tale about an intellectually gifted teenager, one Quentin Coldwater, eventually, a magician who learns that possession of great magical powers can come at a most terrible price. Paying homage to such illustrious writers as C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, T. H. White, and Ursula K. Le Guin, while also acknowledging a most respectful nod or two to J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" saga, Grossman has wrought a fantasy tale steeped in realism unlike any other, one in which reasonable, sound choices are those that can be expected and the usage of magic itself can not alter the past nor the present. An unexpected chain of events takes Coldwater from the streets of his Park Slope, Brooklyn home to the Brakebills College of Magical Pedagogy, whose idyllic grounds overlook the Hudson River, even as he dreams of Fillory, the magical realm depicted in his favorite fantasy novels. A passion that consumes him even as a young adult recently graduated from Brakebills, until, by accident, he learns that Fillory is indeed a real realm located in another plain of existence. Journeying with his college friends, Quentin makes a perilous trip there, finding it not the realm of his dreams, but instead, one that is far more dangerous than he could ever have possibly imagined, and uncovering a terrible secret whose discovery will cause great harm and emotional anguish to Quention and his friends. Much to my astonishment, Grossman has written a most compelling dark fantasy novel for adults that merges the emotions, wants and desires of twenty-something adults within the tropes of heroic fantasy; it would be an understatement to say that this is a "Harry Potter" novel for adults; it is much more, an epic fantasy worthy of comparison with the finest written from the likes of Homer to Lewis and Tolkien, and one that considerably raises the standard for writing epic fantasy tales, by merging it successfully within the genre of mainstream literary fiction. Without a doubt, "The Magicians" will be remembered as one of the great fantasy novels of our time, and it and its sequels as the first great fantasy saga of the 21st Century and one worthy of recognition as among the finest ever conceived.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A different perspective on fantasy with a few shining moments, Oct. 7 2012
This review is from: The Magicians (Paperback)
The Magicians ultimately left me disappointed at the concepts the author chose to focus on and what was set aside. What first feels like a mix of Harry Potter and the Narnia Chronicles, with a sampling of alien horror, chooses to focus on the faults of the characters and their vices over a heroic story. Their progression of magical study and journey is demoted for infidelity and clichéd school yard politics. The protagonist is set up as incredibly gifted and intelligent and then seemingly loses those qualities for the rest of the book. The setting does not seem to wander far from its sources, and when it does it feels perverted instead of tributary. There are some good concepts, good characters and even some moments in this book which made my disappointment bittersweet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great start to a trilogy, July 4 2012
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This review is from: The Magicians (Paperback)
There is so much information in the first half of the book, you might feel rushed. If you can stick with it through the first half- I think its going to be a great trilogy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Awesome Read!, Oct. 23 2011
This review is from: The Magicians (Paperback)
You know how sometimes you hear people talking about a book, but you don’t think much of it or you don’t think it would be for you. Or sometimes, even though the things that you’ve heard about it are good they’re kind of nondescript, so you don’t really know what they book is about so the recollection of it just sort of falls into one of those cardboard bankers boxes in the back of your mind ' that is until you see it on sale at your local book store and you think “Hey! That book! I’ve heard good things about it, I should totally pick it up for that awesome sale price”. Please tell me that that has happened to you ' just me? Well, anyways, that’s exactly what happened to me with Lev Grossman’s The Magicians.
I started reading the book, and about ten pages in all I could think was “holy cow, how did this book escape me!” Lev Grossman has created a great novel for adults that reads like those amazing books that those of us destined to grow up to be nerds read over and over, like the Narnia series, or for the younger generation, even Harry Potter. The whole time I was reading it I just kept thinking how great it was to have a book like this written for adults. It’s not a sugar coated fantasy world, and things can, and do, go horribly, horribly wrong.
The Magicians follows the story of Quentin, a high school senior who is ‘selected’ to take an entrance exam to Brakebills, the only institution of higher learning in North America devoted to the study of magic. Real magic. I suppose that I won’t be giving anything away when I tell you that he is accepted, and begins his studies to become a magician. I think you probably would have gleaned that much from the title. But really though, I don’t want to give too much away because I think The Magicians is a really great book, and I wouldn’t want to ruin anything.
If you liked Potter and Narnia, His Dark Materials and the Tolkien books, then The Magicians is for you, and I highly recommend it. It’s like Potter with more sex, drinking and other real-life-ish type stuff. I honestly couldn’t put it down. When I bought The Magicians, the cashier at the book store was genuinely super excited, and told me that the sequel had just come out, and even though she doesn’t generally buy hardcovers because they’re so pricey she bought The Magician King right away, and liked it even more than The Magicians. I’ve gotta say, I can’t wait to sink my teeth into the next book.
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The Magicians
The Magicians by Lev Grossman (Paperback - May 25 2010)
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