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SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

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.

Currently reading

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
Progress: 6 %
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Ed Yong
Progress: 40 %
Wizard's First Rule
Terry Goodkind
Progress: 49 %
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Tracy Borman
Progress: 14 %
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski
Progress: 20 %
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages

Turn the Angst Up to Eleven

The Magicians: A Novel - Lev Grossman

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.