The Magicians by Lev Grossman (audio review w/giveaway!)
Quintin Coldwater is less than content hanging out with his two best friends James and Julia. He wasn’t always this discontented.
Yet when James and Julia started being more than friends, it just got AWKWARD. It probably didnt help that Quintin also kind of had a thing for Julia.
When an incident has Quintin chasing a paper up a tree, he finds himself in quite literally, another world. He is told that this is Brakebills Academy, a school for magic. Soon Quintin finds himself hanging out with the select few that pass the entrance exams. Although these teenagers are unknown to him, they seem to all have in common the love for a set of magical childrens books that took place in an imaginary land called Fillary.
But – as Quintin starts to learn, where really is that line between real and imagination? When he makes friends with the ever moody Penny, and the sweet Alice, things start to happen. As their magical powers become stronger they find themselves set upon a mission that no one could have ever dreamed up.
What do you do when the things of beloved fictional books suddenly become real? And what would you give… to have everything you ever wanted?
Why did I listen to this audio?
This audio book was recommended to my by John from Brilliant audio while I was in New York for BEA. He described it as very Harry Potterish and I was sold.
Opening words: Quintin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.
Imagine if JK Rowling would have written another book about Harry Potter in his college years… they could have called it Butter Beers College for Wizards, and THAT is what The Magicians is like.
Well… scratch that. That is what I THOUGHT I wanted The Magicians to be like. Always on my continuing search for the next Harry Potter book, I was hoping that was it… and it was, and it wasn’t. Yes The Magicians is a story of magical teenagers, going to school to learn their craft, but The Magicians does not have the innocence of the Potter books. For starters this is COLLEGE. And college means parties, and beer (not butter beer) and relationships. And I admit at first that bothered me…
Then I got over it because this is not Hogwarts. It is Brakebill. And this is not Harry. It is Quintin.
The Magicians really is fantastic on audio. Narrator Mark Bramhall did a fantastic job managing the many characters and in a way that made it hard for me to shut this audio off.
The teens of The Magicians are very likeable. We don’t get to know them all very well, a few float in and out of the conversations but a few like Quintin, Alice, and even Penny, you get to know a little better. They feel real, they are flawed… they are lazy teenagers, they are cocky and competitive. And if you were ever a teenager in college I suspect you can relate.
In the beginning I felt that this was so Harry Potter, three friends, two guys one girl…. uh huh…there is even a Quidich reference in the book! Towards the middle through the end it felt way more Narnia. The series of books Quintin and his friends all read as children about this other world… talking animals, etc… but it all works.
I recommend this read if you enjoy a deeply layered well-developed fantasy read and if you like good audio, I say definitely try this one in audio!
**I noticed on Amazon’s synopsis it mentions sex and yes, there are a couple of instances but nothing over the top.
For audio book week if you have an audible.com account I will send one lucky commenter on this post a gift of this audio through audible.com gifts. If you do not have an audible account I will send you a $10 Amazon gift card to hopefully be used on an audio book that you will enjoy, maybe even this one!