Quentin Coldwater is brilliant 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.
I disliked this book immensely. I kept waiting for it to get better, but it just didn’t. The “plot” was almost non-existent. It just kind-of rambled around taking bits and pieces from other (much better) fantasy novels. There’s a school of magic that has 1st through 5th years. Sound familiar? Except at this school the kids are college age, and mostly alcoholics. There is a magical land that was once entered through a
wardrobe grandfather clock, and now you get to it with magic buttons (a la Magician’s Nephew/Narnia books). In the magical land, there are animals that talks — Beavers, Fauns, Bears, Centaurs. Sound familiar? Yes. It even called a cave “Hobbit-like” and there were references to Hermione. However as much the author appreciated the referenced novels, his own novel failed in comparison.
As I mentioned, the plot was weak. There was pretty much no antagonist throughout the book. Sure at the end the kids had to fight a monster, but it showed up with about 20% of the book left to finish, and it wasn’t there all along. It just was very incoherent. On top of that, the language was horrible. There was a lot of swearing “f-this and that” all throughout, which is a big turnoff to me in a book. Also, there was a lot of sex and substance abuse, most of which really had nothing to do with moving the storyline along. So, not one I’d be recommending to anyone.
Would I recommend this to my BFF? Nope. Nor to my enemy (if I had one).
Would I recommend this to my teenage daughter? Absolutely not.
1 of 5 stars.