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The Magicians: A Story About Growing Pains of a Magician

Updated on November 18, 2018

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians by Lev Grossman Smoothie Review

I have recently fell in love with a TV show that I did not expect to like. It’s The Magicians on the Syfy channel, and after I binged through the first season I learned it was based on a book series. And after learning the existence of the books, I wanted to give it a try. So here is my review on The Magicians by Lev Grossan.

What is it about? Well the book is advertised as Harry Potter for adults and that is a bit of false advertising. The book actually is a bit of a personal slice of life story that chronicles the life of Quentin Coldwater from the moment he learns about a magical college and then the book follows his life in his years at college and from that point on. It follows his ups and downs, relationships, changing ambitions, and where they all lead.

Now let’s go onto the good and bad. And I feel we should start with the bad because I feel people need to know about what this book is. So what was so bad? The book is advertised poorly. It’s not Harry Potter for adults. It has no sense of whimsy or awe inspiring elements. It’s a tale of eight-teen year old Quentin as he grows up and the magic mostly is window dressing. There’s couple parts in the middle and the ending that are fantastical but it never is the focus of the story. It also moves quickly, going through each year in 60 to 70 pages. This leads to a lack of detail and because much of Quentin’s life is somewhat mundane and as the story meanders it does make the reader wonder what the point of this whole thing is about. The point is this more of a slow burn coming of age personal story.

The good? This is a story about Quentin’s journey of growing up. It is in many ways like reading his diary. And though it is dry and dull here and there, this is a story that is a sum of all of its parts. The journey of a wide eyed young adult to man in his mid to late twenties who has been hardened and somewhat jaded with an entirely different outlook on life is a good one. After all is said and done, this is somehow a very well-crafted and smart story.

Overall this story is a great read. Despite the pacing, false advertising, lack of fantasy heavy elements until the end, and the dull chunks of story, the resulting book is somehow something well-crafted and worth the read. It really is one of the those books that you will not really get the point or appreciate until you reach the very last page. There is something special here and I recommend it to everyone if you're looking for a fantasy that is different than the norm. It’s not be perfect, but the sum of all of the parts makes it worth the read.

31/2 smoothies out of four.

Overall Rating: A Story About Growing Pains of a Magician.

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