Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians By Lev Grossman
Publisher: Books on Tape
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Format: Audiobook narrated by Mark Bramhall
Source: Library via Libby App
My Rating: 

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn’t bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin’s fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.

At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, THE MAGICIANS boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren’t black and white, love and sex aren’t simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.
A lot of the reviews I read about this book called it "Harry Potter for Adults" and thought it was a little too much of a ripoff of The Chronicles of Narnia. Now I would not disagree with them and I think those are some really valid points. At the same time going to magic college and finding a new world in the form of Fillory was what kept my interest in this novel.

This is a book that I just mildly endured the main character because the plot was what kept me interested. I really didn't like Quentin. It seemed like he objectified every woman he came in contact with, and it got to a point that I just couldn't stand him anymore. I thought at one point he was having some changes and his character was developing, but then he just had to go do stupid things. And then later he was being so petty about said thing, I found it so irritating. Honestly, I found Elliot to be more interesting and fun that I would rather him narrate this novel or Alice. Alice was a hidden BAMF in this book. I wish Quentin wasn't so mean to her. I'm tiptoeing around what Quentin does that annoyed me because I think it's a big spoiler, but I think he just not a good person and he's a bad friend. So it's really hard to give this book more than 3 stars, because the main character just was so depressing and "woe is me" the entire novel.

I do think that this novel was a touch too long. I think the book focused way too much on the 5-year schooling program and went through way too much on that. The pacing could have been better, especially since the more important stuff comes at the tail-end of the novel after Quentin and his friends have graduated from Breakbills.

I think if I read this normally maybe I would have put this one down (or maybe not because you all know how bad I am at DNFing books). I liked the narrator, and I was glad he didn't try to overdo the female characters voices, but I do have a beef with him. He over pronounces the word "white" or any other word with the same "wh" sound. Normally these sorts of things don't really get into my head with audiobooks, but there were so many instance of these "wh" sounds in this book that it started to drive me crazy!

This book was okay, but I think it mostly acts as an introduction. I think I would have liked it better if Quentin wasn't so down in the dumps all the time. I started watching the TV adaption and it seems a lot different already. I kind of like it better, which is a weird thing to say as a reader. I am listening to the second book already and I find the plot of that one more interesting. Q is still annoying, but I think I'll still finish this series.

Have you read this book? What do you think?