Sunday, March 11, 2018

Audiobook Review: The Magician King By Lev Grossman

The Magician King By Lev Grossman
Publisher: Books on Tape
Release Date: August 9, 2011
Format: Audiobook narrated by Mark Bramhall
Source: Library via Libby App
My Rating: ★1/2

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Quentin Coldwater should be happy. He escaped a miserable Brooklyn childhood, matriculated at a secret college for magic, and graduated to discover that Fillory—a fictional utopia—was actually real. But even as a Fillorian king, Quentin finds little peace. His old restlessness returns, and he longs for the thrills a heroic quest can bring. 

Accompanied by his oldest friend, Julia, Quentin sets off—only to somehow wind up back in the real world and not in Fillory, as they'd hoped. As the pair struggle to find their way back to their lost kingdom, Quentin is forced to rely on Julia's illicitly-learned sorcery as they face a sinister threat in a world very far from the beloved fantasy novels of their youth. 

When I read the first book in this series, The Magicians, I gave this series the benefit of the doubt. I thought I was going to like the sequel a lot more because it starts out in Fillory. However, that didn't really matter because it seems like our "hero" Quentin has had zero personal growth. It feels like he has learned absolutely nothing from the events of the first novel. It really annoyed me, because I thought maybe he would have been a more interesting character in his novel. Not the case! He's all, "Oh, woe is me, I get to be a king of Fillory, but I haven't had any adventures!" STOPPPPP!!!!

I was so not here for Quentin and his bullshit in this sequel. The novel was structured weird because it kept flipping back and forth between the present day and Julia's past. We see at the end of the first novel that Julia ends up with the group as a Queen of Fillory, but we don't know how she learned magic or why she is not "all together there." I was interested in Julia's journey, and honestly the book might have been more engaging if it focused on her entirely, and left out Quentin. *The reason that Julia is the way she is, is because she has gone through the truama of sexual assault. I really did not like this, because it felt like there was zero reason why there needed to be a rape scene in this novel about magic. I also feel like it was written off as a joke, there is a line that says, "This wasn't his first rodeo." WTF! That really pissed me off, and I think it was completely unnecessary to the story. The story tried to explain it by this is how Julia has become something not human, but I call bullshit. I think the author just wanted to get away with a rape scene in a book that 100% DID NOT NEED IT.

I also really found myself annoyed with the audiobook narrator in this one. I don't think it irritated me as much in the first book, but in this one it really started to grate on me. He pronounces the word "white" so weird, and since in Fillory they live in Castle Whitespire, I had to hear it all the time. He also pronounced the Egyptian god Anubis super weird! Is it just me? I just couldn't stand him, and I don't think I can stomach another audiobook done by this narrator.

I felt like this book was just entirely too long. It just also became apparent just how derivate of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia this story really is. I'm really put off by this novel, and I don't think I'm going to be continuing with this series. I think there is only one more book in the series, but I can't stand another book about whinny Quentin Coldwater.

What do you think about this series? Am I being too harsh?

Happy Reads Everyone!