So i finished up The Magicians by Lev Grossman yesterday and i really don't know what i think of it. I believe that i liked it but the whole feeling of the novel is so melancholy and lost and sad that part of me doesn't like it. The characters have this feeling of meaninglessness that is very familiar to me from being depressed before.
Quentin is a brilliant high school senior. He's lived immersed in the fantasy novels about the world of Fillory, a Narnia stand in. He's unhappy and lost and is waiting for his life to happen. When he finds out he has the ability to perform real magic, he thinks that is the life he's been waiting for. After finishing his magical schooling at Brakebills, the US magic college, Quentin is just as lost as he was at the beginning. He's got a girlfriend, friends, goes to parties and has no real job but he's not happy. When one of his schoolmates discovers Fillory is real, Quentin's group of friends decides to head there for an adventure. They find that adventures aren't as straightforward and easy as books make them out to be.
It's complicated. I liked that the book is very referential to other fantasy worlds: Harry Potter, Narnia, Tolkein, D & D. I liked that magic isn't the fast way to perfection. I liked the backstory of the magical world; if Grossman wants to write more in this universe it'll be a long while before it gets old. I didn't like the ending exactly, in fact i wondered whether Quentin was hallucinating. I didn't like that the book seemed both too fast and too slow. We don't get to Fillory until the last quarter of the book, yet i wanted to read more about Brakebills. So overall, i give this one a 5. I may decide to revise upward.