Author: Lev Grossman
# pages: 416
Date read: August, 2011
Quentin Coldwater is brillant but miserable. He's a senior in high school, and a certifiable genius, but he's still secretly obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a kid, about the adventures of five children in a magical land called Fillory. Compared to that, anything in his real life just seems gray and colorless.
Everything changes when Quentin finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the practice of modern sorcery. He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. But something is still missing. Magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he though it would.
Then, after graduation, he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real.
The first half of this book was amazing. Imagine suddenly discovering that Narnia was real all along and that though Hogwarts doesn't exist, there is such a thing as a magician's college, and you've just passed the exam to enter.
That was basically what the first 200 pages of "The Magicians" were all about. I immediately got sucked completely up in the story, and did NOT want to put it down. This was the stuff dreams were made of.
Unfortunately the second half didn't quite live up to it. After Quentin left college the book suddenly got very black and bleak. I understood the reason, but it made for a somewhat less engaging read, and I do wonder where Lev Grossman is going to take this in the sequel, "The Magician King".
So 5 stars for the first half, 3 stars for the second half, so 4 stars on average.