Friday, February 11, 2011

The Magicians


Quentin, James and Julia walked together in the cold. James and Julia held hands and it has always been this way. As Quentin felt sorry for himself James asked what's his strategy for his interview to Princeton to change the mood. As they near the destination of interview, Julia says goodbye and good luck to the boys.  Quentin rang the bell of the old building and they waited, 5 minutes later he knocked and pushed lightly and the door opened with a crack. The house was dark and he slowly made his way to the den. He looked around and saw a big cabinet with lots of liquor and then he saw a dead body lying on the floor.

15 minutes later the paramedics came and a woman confirm he was dead. She slipped him an envelope and after they have left the scene, James went to meet up with Julia leaving Quentin all alone. While walking he opened it, there was a notebook inside and on the first page handwritten in red ink: The Magicians - Book six of Fillory and Further. As far as Quentin knows he has not heard of this book at all in the series. He turned the page and there a piece a white notepaper and the paper slipped off with the wind. He chased after the paper and ended up in a place where the green lawn is perfectly leveled. The sky was blinding blue  and in the distance stood a house. Fifty feet away there a thin teenager leaning on a tree smoking and Quentin called out to him. He asked whether is he in Fillory and the young man answered no, it was upstate new york.

And so the journey of magic begins for Quentin, he was tested whether he was qualified to enter Brakebills College to learn magic and stay there. Of course he passed and got in. He asked to stay there until the new semester started and spend most of his days hanging with Eliot the boy he met at the tree. In his journey he met interesting people, had a dangerous experience in class where a monster showed up. He also joined a certain specialty on his third year there where there is a clubhouse located for them. It doesn't end just in college, it carried on till he graduated where his friends and he found out a secret which leads them to the most dangerous journey they have taken.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman is a combination of Harry Potter and Narnia but in a much more darker side where magic is very dangerous. The "Harry Potter" part of the book is during Quentin's college days but not much details in term of schooling as in Harry Potter books is one book per school year. Everything is cramped up and sped through. Of course it's hard to compare the two where Harry Potter purposely written in a way where the whole school year is detailed. The Magicians is a book more concerned on the main character's interaction with his friends in school. What kind of people his friends are. There are some interesting parts in the middle of the book and towards the end. Towards the end of the book, it is more related to the dark side of Narnia where he is not as pleasant as Narnia was and the world was more damaged and corrupted.

I picked up this book  because of the title and the reviews that were printed on the book. Surprisingly it's not what you expect but sadly not that exited to me. I merely sped through when there was not much conversations and it was all descriptions. When it was interesting it was really interesting and when it's bland it was boring. In my opinion it's not a well balanced book kinda like a movie having climaxes all of a sudden and then when it's subtle it bores you. It's a good exposure for me because I usually stick to certain authors when it comes to fantasy books and this is a different type for me. It's the kind of fantasy that incorporates reality at the same time and powerful magic is not always rainbows and it comes with consequences. The way magic is done in this book is definitely different where a lot more studying is required and a lot of logical thinking.

Overall I rate the book as a one time read book, not something that I would pick of the shelf in 2-3 years time to read again. It's just interesting to explore the darker side of Narnia and magic but not interesting enough to get me hooked on for long.

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