2015 Reading Challenge: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Photo Cred: goodreads.com
Title: The Magicians
Author: Lev Grossman
Series: The Magicians (#1)
Release Date: August 11, 2009
Publication: Penguin Audio
Medium: Audiobook
Voice Actor: Mark Bramhall
Awards: ALA Alex Award (2010), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Fiction & Fantasy (2009), The Kitschies Nominee for Red Tentacle (Novel) (2009)
Fulfills: A Trilogy (1/3), A book with magic, A book by an author I’ve never read before
Finished Reading: March 19, 2015

About: “Quentin Coldwater’s life is changed forever by an apparently chance encounter: when he turns up for his entrance interview to Princeton he finds his interviewer dead – but a strange envelop bearing Quentin’s name leads him down a very different path than any he’d ever imagined.
The envelope, and the mysterious manuscript it contains, leads to a secret world of obsession and privilege, a world of freedom and power and, for a while, it’s a world that seems to answer all of Quentin’s desires. But the idyll cannot last – and when it’s finally shattered, Quentin is drawn into something darker and far more dangerous than anything he could ever have expected…”

Before we get too involved in the book. Shout out to Bramhall. An amazing voice actor. Each character got a distinct voice and their personality was easily deciphered. Enjoyable listening experience with him behind the mic.

I love magic.

I can’t believe I haven’t read this book sooner. It’s right up my alley. Magic. Magic. Magic. I love magic.

I really liked Grossman’s take on how his version of magic is different than the typical magic that we think of. There are no wands. There are insanely intricate hand and finger movements with hard to pronounce incantations. These students need to be at the top of their class and still have that child-like wonder. I love how there’s different disciplines within the overall umbrella of magic. The physical kids are able to control physical things (duh), like fire or light spectrum.

So. I know I’m not the only person fangirling about the fact that these magicians were all fans of a book that focused on magic and a whole magical world. Does this mean that there’s hope to still get my letter to Hogwarts or a comparable school? I’m thinking yes.

The characters Grossman creates are all so beautifully flawed. They have the same worries, hopes, dreams, and inner demons that we do. The relationships between each of them is more than two-dimension. They’re so complicated and built on so many different threads of awesome. If you’ve read my previous reviews, you’ll know I get all weak in the knees for flawed characters and intricate relationships. *Swoon*

Throwing this out there: I love how Julia develops as a character. Since we’re focusing on Quentin, we don’t really get to see anything of Julia and how she’s progressing. We’re getting an outsiders’ view and it’s amazing. Each time we meet her in this book, I get more and more excited. She’s definitely the most interesting character and, for sure, my favorite.

I won’t lie, I was a little worried about the pacing of the book. They’re out of school before we’re even a quarter of the way through! There’s so much that could have been glanced over that I missed or should have been fleshed out. Never you mind, fellow reader. It all makes sense. The whole “we’re in school” section is just the basis for the actual story at hand.

HERMAHGERD.

I do have one small problem, though. Since I got this at the library, and as an audio, there were times when the disc skipped. There were several sections that I had to skip completely. Whole tracks! There was a point when I got out of the scratched up woods and all of a sudden there’s characters I don’t know. Like, who or what is Dint? Who’s Henry and Anais? I HAVE NO IDEA!

My rating and why: I gave this book four stars! I read it and super enjoyed it. At the time of writing this, I already have the second book on hold. (EEEEEEE!) Grossman’s writing is amazing. He throws in one-liners that grab at pop culture and make the read all that much more accessible as a reader. I believe this would to be real… and I’m waiting to take the test to get into Brakbills, the school (apparently that wasn’t mentioned before).

Your turn! Have you read this book and what did you think? What’s your favorite book or series with magic? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow bibliophile beasties!

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My Year In Books: Legend by Marie Lu – Book #50

Photo Cred: goodreads.com
Title: Legend
Author: Marie Lu
Series: Legend Trilogy (#1)
Release Date: November 29, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Medium: Audiobook
Voice Actors: Steven Kaplan, Mariel Stern
Awards: Rebecca Caudill Young Reader’s Book Award Nominee (2015), YALSA Teens’ Top Ten Nominee (2012), Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee (2014), Goodreads Choice Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy and Science Fiction (2012)
Finished Reading: November 3, 2014

About: “What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slims, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.”

I’ll admit it: I love dystopians. I have another thing to admit: I’m getting bored of dystopians. When I first saw this book it was back during the summer. I really wanted to jump into it. It seemed to be really popular, showing up on several summer reading lists, but I had a hard time bringing myself to read it. With dystopian being the new hot topic, I’ve realized i need to be a little more picky when picking up these books. So I waited. A long time before I picked this one up. And I’ve got to say: I’m glad I did.

High five to both Steven Kaplan and Mariel Stern. Stern did an amazing job voicing the characterization of June. Steven, well, on point. That’s all I can say about that.

I really enjoyed the structure of this novel. The switching between June and Day’s perspective added a lot to the story with the different approaches.

I loved the commentary on such a stress on testing and scoring, since testing is an end-all-be-all way of teaching and learning right now.

I was definitely entertained and would continue the series, unlike a recent first book I read. *Cough* City of Bones *Cough* It also didn’t leave me with too many questions to where I give up with reading the series. *Cough* Maze Runner *Cough*

Of course there are similiarities with other dystopians. That’s how it’s classified in the same little pod. There was enough to separate it from other books I’ve read to keep me interested and even surprised a couple times.

I’m curious to see where Lu is going to take me in the next installment. I just received it from the library and am eager to jump in. While a lot happened in this book, there’s still a ton of set-up – but not to the point where I’m bored.

My Rating and why: I gave this book three stars. I read it and enjoyed it, but it could have definitely been more fleshed out. I’m ready to see what else Lu dives into and what we find out about the Republic and our main heroes!

Have you read this book and the others? What’s your favorite YA trilogy? What else have you read by Lu? Let me know in the comments below! Like. Comment. Follow.

Until next time my fellow bibliophiles!