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3.7 out of 5 stars27
3.7 out of 5 stars
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Guess what? I actually really enjoyed this book. I went into The Magicians knowing that it had mixed reviews. I knew that a lot of people had issues with it, so naturally, I expected that I wasn’t going to end up liking it very much. Turns out I was wrong. I found this book to be entertaining and pretty damn humorous.

The Magician’s tells the story of a smart young high school senior named Quentin Coldwater who is trying to get into University. During a scheduled interview, a series of peculiar events take place which lead him to Brakebills, a school for the magically gifted. Quentin has dreamed of something like this to be real after becoming obsessed with his childhood favourite books, the Fillory series.

I had first heard of the Magicians series about two years ago. I volunteered at a book fair and the third and final book in the trilogy had just been released. The cover itself definitely caught my eye and I was instantly intrigued, but then I forgot about it. I didn’t end up picking it up at the book fair and it kind of fell off of my radar. That is until I happened to find the first novel at a thrift store. I quickly picked it up off of the shelf…only for it to sit on my own personal shelf for almost a year. For whatever reason, I just never picked it up. Fast forward a little and it was announced that The Magicians was going to be picked up as a television series on SyFy. This time I knew I needed to read it. I had a free credit with Audible so I figured, if I wasn’t going to actually physically pick up the book, I could at least listen to it while I got ready for work in the mornings. And that was what finally did the trick.

Maybe the audiobook version of The Magicians played a factor in my liking towards it. Maybe I just really enjoyed the story, who knows…but it definitely wasn’t as crap as everyone made it seem. I can see why some may have had issues with it. I understand that, yes, it has similarities to popular children’s novels like Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia, but in no way does The Magicians try to be those stories. If anything, it is more of a satirical, or almost comical take on these popular fantasy novels. For one, there is a ridiculous amount of adult humour that you would never find within our beloved children’s tales. I think that Lev Grossman was going for a more adult and playful take on the stories that we loved so much growing up. In no way do I think that he was trying to mimic them at all.

I really enjoyed our primary character, Quentin. However, his personality started changing as the story went on. I guess he is supposed to be growing up and I know that the first novel alone takes place over several years, but he started to become unlikable as The Magicians continued. Eliot is probably one of my favourite characters from this novel, but once again…as the story progressed, he started changing and I began not to like him as much. I’m really curious to learn more about Julia and what the hell went on with her behind the scenes. We forget about her for a good chunk of the story until we are finally reminded that she exists towards the end of the novel. I would just like to know what went on with her during that time. I also would love to learn more about Alice and her family’s past. Especially in regards to her brother. I feel like this storyline was introduced for a reason and we just haven’t got to the gritty details yet.

I personally really enjoyed the first half of this novel and the scenes that took place at Brakebills. Then The Magicians started getting a little weirder when it started getting into the Fantasy and Adventure aspects of the story. I’m not sure I was a huge fan of these moments, but I’m hoping they open up more storylines for the remainder of the series.

I mainly began reading this trilogy because I am really interested in watching the television series. I was actually so eager that I decided to watch the first two episodes after reading this first novel. Turns out that was a huge mistake as the series is completely different. I thought maybe they just decided to take it down a different path, but I was later told that the series has combined storylines from all three novels in the trilogy. Oops. I may have spoiled myself a little, but it does have me intrigued to keep going with both the trilogy and the television series. In fact, I have already started listening to the second audiobook!

As you can plainly see, sometimes it is a great idea to go into a new book or a new series with low expectations…or no expectations at all. It is also clear that just because a whole bunch of people didn’t enjoy something, doesn’t mean that you won’t. Keep an open mind when going into a new novel and remember to always have your own unique opinions!
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on March 16, 2016
it was alright, let like an adult retelling of the chronicles of narnia at times which bugged me.
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on March 10, 2016
Loved it
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on March 9, 2016
I read this book as a prelude to the TV series. It is extremely well written. My vocabulary has expanded as a result of this book. He does create a "magical" world similar to what was done in Harry Potter but this one is for adults. I loved how the story began but you have to be a real lover of fantasy I think to read the second book. For me it started to feel weird and I admit I liked the first Harry Potter best and the others not so much so for me its a repeat. I think others will like it.
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on February 20, 2016
i was disappointed, I bought this book because i heard good things about it but it was pretty bad, the writing style is... not the best, and quentin is sooo depressing, actually the whole book is pretty depressing.

i wouldn't recommend it to anyone.
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on December 4, 2015

I probably put too much faith in another person's review that this was like Harry Potter for adults. A more accurate description would be that this book is a depressing, dark, sexual, fairly pointless story, told by a depressed guy, that is about self-discovery, adventure-seeking, and meh, that's about it.

I guess it starts with kids going to a magic college, but it's nowhere near as majestic as Hogwarts. I imagined a regular high school, but with magic courses... but there was nothing fancy or exciting about it. The first half of the book goes through years of school, where I care about none of the characters nor the story. I was quite bored. It was more about the characters and their depressed lives trying to find something exciting. I didn't like any of them. Actually, I kinda liked Alice.

Then the 2nd half of the book is more like a depressed version of an evil dark Narnia. It was better than the first half though.

I would only read the next one because I already have it, and because I am slightly curious as to what will happen. I was more relieved it was over.

This is written by a guy, with a guy protagonist, and I would say even more catered to guys. Most of the jokes and internal dialogue comes from a guy's perspective. I thought there were some pretty realistic perspectives where I would have said the same thing as Quentin.
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on November 20, 2015
Great purchase, shipping took a while
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on September 13, 2015
Loved this book!
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on August 5, 2015
This book had been recommended for anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter books. Having read all of them with my children, I'd looked forward to reading it. Having said that, we found it very derivative and it failed to grab our attention. I'd ordered all three in the series at the same time but have yet to even start the second.
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on July 2, 2015
Holy angst, Batman. Let's see... you have unlimited magical power, unlimited wealth... and you choose to dress up like the lead singer from the Cure and flounce around all day mumbling "I am so sad, kill me...". The writing is fine, the premise is clever enough... but the characters... if I lived in a world like this, I would be deliberately evil just to snuff out these whining, ungrateful little sods. I understand there are more in this series, and that the later ones are better. We shall see.
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