Just another GR refugee. Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.
I have heard this novel is compared to Harry Potter, and I can certainly see why (hello, "neglected boy attends school of magic"), but the feel of it is utterly different. The tone is more like "Holden Caulfield goes to Hogwarts." The part actually set at Brakebills (the school of magic) was for me the best part of the novel, although our protagonist's last few years there seem to have been spent mostly hanging out with a small clique of friends (The "Physical Kids," who, of course, perform the hardest and rarest discipline of magic. Because of course they do.), and not in class or anything. I think my favorite part was when he wasn't allowed to speak.
I found our protagonist, Quentin Coldfield, unlikable, unendingly angsty, periodically very whiny, and ungrateful. Why ungrateful? Because this boy is sent to both Hogwarts and Narnia and doesn't appreciate it, or take advantage of his opportunities.
And then there's the problem of the ending. The ending was not out of left field; it was out of outer space.
I found it hard to rate this book. The concept was really intriguing; but the execution left a lot to be desired. (Not on the level of writing: the writing was fine. The problem was with characterization, and plot.) This book was all over the place, and so was my reaction to it.