The Magicians is an amped up version of Harry Potter meets The Chronicles of Narnia without the Christian undertones. It features young adults as they are accepted into Brakebills academy where they are learning magic, but also where they are experimenting much like college freshman do. It is full of sex and drugs, but not a gratuitous amount to where it’s a turnoff. As they progress through their studies, a strange world opens up to them and they must defeat both their inner demons as well as those in this new world.
Review – There may be spoilers
1. Concept: 7 It’s been done before, but not quite like this. It didn’t feel like a Harry Potter knockoff, and it made fun of the aspects of Narnia enough that it just worked.
2. Writing: 9 Lev did a wonderful job with this book. The jokes he made at the characters’ expenses and the clichés that he attacked added great humor to this book.
3. How long did it take to get into the book: 9 Who doesn’t love a good Harry Potter-esque book. The Magicians has much more to offer though and it didn’t take long for me to get sucked in. Quentin’s personal demons and depression made the start a little slow, but it picked up quickly and didn’t slow down.
4. Character Development: 8 The characters in The Magicians are each so wonderfully made. Each character has a distinct personality and from the start of the book to the end we see each of them grow. Quentin’s character took a while to warm up to and even then he gets a little annoying, but overall each character was crafted very well.
5. Plot: 10 The plot of The Magicians is very unique and has a good flow to it that leaves us guessing as to what happens next. Once they got into Fillory all bets were off.
6. Pacing: 7 The story progressed nicely, but there were a few too many spots where it slowed down to discuss just how horny Quentin was. I get that he’s a horny young adult surrounded by women, but the fantasies about every single female in his life just got to be a bit much.
7. Ending: 10 The way that Lev ended this first book was amazing. Quentin seems to be nigh unstoppable now and I have no doubts that he’ll find a way to help Alice. They wrapped up Martin Chatwin cleanly and still left enough room for a sequel.
8. Cover Art: 8 If there was a clock in the tree I would have given it a 10, but I’m not really sure what the cover is supposed to be representing.
9. World Building: 10 Lev did a wonderful job at describing the multiple worlds that were in the Magicians. I felt like I knew what Brakebills was really like and then from the animals to the flora and fauna of Fillory Lev did a great job at describing everything in detail.
10. Would I read other books by the Author: 10 Absolutely! I can’t wait to see what else Lev has to offer!
All in all, this is a great book and if you’re looking for something quaintly familiar but with enough craziness to keep you captivated check this book out.