When the show, “The Magicians” came to Syfy I thought I would give it a try and if I liked it, then I would finally read the books I have been eyeing at the bookstore for ages now. I had to watch a couple of episodes before I decided that I liked the characters and wanted to know more about them. I went out to my local used bookstore and picked up a copy of “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman. I got the last copy. I guess I wasn’t the only one who wanted to know more.
From the very beginning, the book is quite different from the show. This was expected, but it was drastically different. The characters on the show are so vibrant and full of life. The characters in the book are boring and two-dimensional. The story goes by so fast, you barely get to know the characters let alone get to see them grow. Unlike in Harry Potter, where each HP book shows how Harry learns magic and progresses in his skills, makes friends and enemies, and we learn more about him, the wizarding world, and about the people he surrounds himself with whether they be friend or enemy, whereas “The Magicians” covers Quentin’s entire magical schooling years with the fast-forward button pushed down most of the time. You barely get to know Quentin, other than the fact that he is obviously depressed and not happy with his life and even with the introduction of a school of magic, friends, and even a girlfriend, his outlook on life doesn’t get any better. He spends most of magical schooling years drinking or drunk. Which granted, it is a magical college and who didn’t drink a lot in college, but it just gets boring. Every now and then there are things like the appearance of “The Beast” or leaving to Brakebills South that break up the monotony of the story, but even these pivotal points in the story that should be life changing for Quentin turn out not to be. It wasn’t until towards the end of the book, that I got really into the story though I think part of that had to do with the fact that I was also getting to the end of the season on the show and I wanted to know what could possibly happen. I finished the book the night before the last episode of the season aired. I was so disappointed. I had hoped that Quentin would finally learn something, but by the end of the book, he seemed to be the same depressed boring character he was at the beginning. All the magic he had learned, all the friends he had made and lost, all the experiences he had, none of it seemed to make a difference. I almost wished he was the one who had died in the end. Did I miss something?
I haven’t decided whether or not I am going to read the rest of the books in the series. Part of me says, “Hell No, don’t do it.” But there is part of me that really likes the show and wants to know what could possibly be in store for the characters next season. I guess only time will tell. I have some time to decide before season 2 starts.