By Lev Grossman
Viking, 2009. 402 pgs. Fantasy.
Quentin has spent his entire life waiting for the ‘something more’ he instinctively knows is out there. Then suddenly, at the start of his senior year of high school, he is transported to a hidden school where he discovers a world of magic and possibility. The problem is that when anything is possible and troubles can be banished with a quick spell, life loses its wonder. After graduating, Quentin and his friends find they must travel beyond this world to find the adventure they crave.
This is Harry Potter for adults, complete with whiney teenagers and adults who are unnecessarily cryptic and secretive. While I didn’t love the book, I didn’t hate it either. Some of the characters are intriguing and the storyline had some merit. I think what bothered me most were how obviously the author was paying tribute to classic fantasy works like the Chronicles of Narnia and The Wizard of Oz. Everything seemed a little stolen which made me feel a bit like a guilty accomplice. But it was still crafted with skill and epic fantasy readers will probably enjoy this first book in the Magicians series.