So I just finished The Magicians. It sounded very intriguing, comparisons to Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but also compared to Narnia. This was a story where the magical world you enter might not be as welcoming and heartwarming as Narnia was. So I was intrigued, and excited to read it.
My first complaint about this book is virtually the same complaint I made about the Amulet of Samarkand. I didn’t like the characters. Any of them. They were mopey, unsatisfied, undriven, and full of self pity. All right, so there may have been one character with a little more drive and a little more reader sympathy, but she was peripheral for a good chunk of the book and it wasn’t until the very end that she became multi-faceted enough to really be interesting.
My second complaint is about how similar Fillory was to Narnia. But it was twisted and dirty. And while I think this darker version was very well done, it made me question some of the simple and good views I have a Narnia. I selfishly didn’t like this because I loved Narnia, I especially love Narnia on a very simple and shallow level, yes I know it is virtually one long biblical allegory. But Narnia, a tale about four kids and a witch and magic lion…that story I love, and I hate that for even a little while this book has made me look for dark, twisty corners in Narnia.
Personally, I won’t recommend this book to fellow readers. If you want a magical world, go read about Narnia, or Oz, or Hogwarts. This book left a sour taste in my mouth and I would have rather spent that time reading (or rereading) some other book, some better book. Or sleeping, I like sleeping and I don’t do enough of it 🙂