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on 24 August 2017
Just watch the TV show.
I am always the first to say - YOU NEED TO READ THE BOOK, whenever anything is adapted from book to screen - however in this case I struggled, with the writing, with the continuity, with the story. I really wanted to like this, I kept with it and kept reading however I had to give in and put this down because it was hard work, I can usually read a book over a few nights - 3 weeks in and I was missing out on other books that I wanted to read.
I would say give this a go, the writing style just isn't to my taste - however I can appreciate his work and would say read it - but if you struggle but want the story watch the show - I doubt it is as good as the book, but you'll get the picture.
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on 7 April 2015
Am reviewing all three books at once without spoilers, as together they make a coherent, pleasing whole.
This is much better than just "Harry Potter with sex and Narnia" as the main character begins as a geeky dick, but we see him mature through a series of crucibles into a reasonable facsimile of a reluctant hero. It includes a very credible love element that is rather astonishingly satisfying, maybe because all the central characters, male and female, are plausibly fleshed out, warts and all.
The romantic bits are quite fun because in this world, sex ultimately appears to mess things up, driving the story into places you wouldn't see in Hogwarts.
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on 8 July 2017
Not as good as the TV adaptation but still very readable. Narnia for adults
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on 3 August 2017
Absolutely adore this book, it's like Harry Potter with a much darker twist.
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on 7 September 2017
Really enjoyed it
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on 26 March 2017
Awesome story
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on 28 May 2017
Pity the TV series and the book don't match.
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on 14 August 2017
Amazing overall book, characters and plot really pulled me in and the twists were great, the ending seemed a bit rushed though
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on 6 April 2017
The main character's development is fantastic for the majority of the book. However, Quentin's constant return to nihilism every time something bad happens is slightly frustrating to read and several boring chapters of the main character expressing how miserable he is becomes a bit of a drag after the third or fourth time. Conversely, despite being ridiculously unlikeable, you still find yourself supporting him throughout the book. Other than the farce of an ending, feeling like it was slapped together as an afterthought, this book was pretty satisfying and I'd recommend it to anyone who grew up reading Narnia or playing dungeons and dragons.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 27 February 2015
At first glance this book looks like a combination of Harry Potter and Narnia as it deals with an imaginary land and a college for wizards. You need to be very careful not to approach reading the story expecting it to be like that though because then you will miss the irony which the author has introduced and the book will read like a poor imitation of its predecessors. In fact, this is a highly original story which uses the knowledge that the readers have of the traditions in the genre in order to undermine them.

The main character in this book is Quentin. He is a highly intelligent young man who has a long standing love for a series of British novels about an imaginary land called Fillory which was visited by a group of children who eventually became its rulers. When he discovers that magic is real Quentin is invited to attend a college for magic users where he learns to use his new powers. Gradually he makes friends with other students and Quentin falls in love. At the start of the novel you engage easily with Quentin but as the story progresses you realise that far from being the hero you expect Quentin is a passive character who reacts late or not at all to danger and actually causes harm to others by his unthinking attitude - he is more the person I think I would be in his situation rather than the Harry Potter hero I would want to be. His friends are little better and they all consume vast quantities of alcohol as they try to work out how to live and what to do with their powers and abilities.

This is a complex and quite dark novel about the use and misuse of power and what happens when people have abilities but not the responsibility to work out how to use them. There is real jeopardy here for people and actions and inactions have consequences. There is a lot to think about. The author references much popular culture and makes quiet fun of other works in the fantasy field. There is considerably more depth here than there is in a lot of modern fantasy - this is not a young adult novel irrespective of the age of the main protagonists.

I really enjoyed this book and am avidly looking forward to reading the next in the trilogy.
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