June: The Magicians

I did not finish this book. I did not come close to finishing this book.

I mentioned before about how our group (particularly me) did not want to get stuck reading one particular genre just because we all liked it. One of our newest members suggested we read The Magicians, a fantasy book about twenty-somethings who attend a school for magic. She made the sell by saying, “It’s like Harry Potter goes to college. A darker Harry Potter.” And I’ll admit that there definitely was an element of that. There was even a quick quidditch joke, which I enjoyed.

My problem with this book was that it was so goddamn slow! I’m all about books that are heavy on exposition, but a book with no conflict until page 300 out 400 is not enough for me. Sure, there were mini-conflicts throughout the book, but none were significant enough to keep me interested. There was no central conflict introduced until the very end, as @No_Yes_NOYES, one of our members, explained to us during the meeting.

This book club meeting was drastically different than other meetings. Not a single person, even @No_Yes_NOYES, the one who actually liked the book, did not finish it. Ali had read the most, so it was her job to explain what had happened as far as she had read. We actually had a really interesting discussion because so many of us did not enjoy different parts of the book. The biggest complaint was that Quentin (protagonist) was not a relatable character. The author kept Quentin at a distance from the readers, even though he was our main guy to follow around. I never understood or related to his motivations for doing things, and thus never quite aligned with him throughout the book.

The way @No_Yes_NOYES described the rest of the book was actually quite interesting, although she even said that it may not be worth it to read the rest of the book because there was SO MUCH explanation. She actually just finished the book and was telling me everything that happens at the end, and as stated in her email, “SHIT GOES DOWN.” I’m not sure it’s enough for me to actually finish the book [spolier: someone’s hands get EATEN], but the end sounded a hell of a lot more interesting than the bit that I read.

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