Author: Lev Grossman
Publisher: Thorndike Press
Quentin Coldwater is a genius. He's pretty much guaranteed admission to any college he chooses; yet, he's miserable and unhappy with his life. The only time he's really happy is when he's rereading his favorite childhood books set in a magical kingdom called Fillory. One day Quentin finds himself being admitted to a very secret college of magic in upstate New York and his entire life changes. Not only does he learn that magic is real but he also learns that Fillory just might be real also. But will Fillory provide Quentin with the happiness he's been seeking? Or will it end up being a nightmare?
I'm a little bit at a loss as to exactly how I feel about this book. It's obvious that Lev Grossman borrowed ideas from J.K. Rowling, C.S. Lewis and other fantasy greats; however, he does openly acknowledge his influences and even makes direct references to them inside the story. My problem is not with the basic storyline. I can accept the borrowing (in all honesty, I think it would be very difficult to write an original storyline in the fantasy genre). I was put off a bit by the language, drinking and very adult lifestyles the characters lead. Also, the hero wasn't very heroic. I kept waiting for him to find that inner strength and become the hero of his story but it never came. That bothered me a lot (although that was an original turn in the story). I would tell people to approach the book with an open mind but if you're sensitive to adult themes stay away from it.