Thursday, May 3, 2012

CBR IV: Book 14: The Magicians - Lev Grossman

I just realized that I have already completed the Quarter-Cannonball that I committed to.  I've tried and failed for the last 3 years, but I have finally made it!  Now I'm going for a Half-Cannonball!

I'm going to be yet another reviewer who calls this book "Harry Potter for grown-ups".  But it totally is.  And isn't.  It's more "Chronicles of Narnia for grown-ups".  It's dark.  Sometimes disturbingly so.  There's also a fair amount of swearing and sex, so definitely not Harry Potter.

Quentin Coldwater is an overachieving douchebag.  He is the definition of douchebag.  His picture should be next to "douchebag" in the dictionary.  The summer before his senior year, he chases a piece of paper through a small Brooklyn garden and appears in a large grove.  He is asked to take an entrance exam.  He's not told what school it is for, and he never signed up to take the exam.  After an all day, grueling exam he is finally told that magic is real and that he has been accepted to Brakebills.  Brakebills is a school for magicians, hidden in upstate New York.  Magic may be real, but it certainly isn't easy.  Magic requires hours of complex calculations, which is why the entrance exams are so difficult.  The first half of the novel focuses on Quentin's magical education, and the friends he makes at Brakebills.  Then he graduates, and just like all other twenty-something college graduates, he doesn't know what to do with himself.  Fantastical adventures ensue.

I don't want to give any more away than that.  I really did enjoy this book, even if Quentin is a frustrating character.  I finished this about a month ago, and I read a few other books, but I just started the sequel, "The Magician King" yesterday.

4/5 Stars.

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