This is the third book series I decided to read after watching the Television version first. It is also the only one I liked. I watched Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell and liked the show but the book was a struggle to get through. It was so boring. The other series I watched before I read was Dexter. Again, I liked the show so much better than the books. This book was pretty good. There were quite a few differences from the show but I really enjoyed listening to this and looked forward to being able to read this even time I put it down.
This book is kind of a cross between Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia. Our main character Quentin is someone who is really hard on himself, suffers from depression and feels he doesn't fit anywhere. Instead he looses himself in children's books about a family of children who go to a magical place called Fillory which is the Narnia parallel. Quentin wants so much for this place to be real because the real world is not for him. On his way to an interview for college his life changes forever. Arriving at the appointment he finds his interviewer dead and a paramedic hands him a packet with what turns out to be the 6th book in the Fillory series that has never been published.
Walking around trying to make sens out of the gift that just landed in his Quentin wonders through a portal and ends up staring up at a large school known as Brakebills. This is a school of magic that has chosen Quentin to learn how to use his gifts. This is a dark book and at times the plot can make little sense. Overall I liked it and where I will admit I enjoyed the show more than the book I still really enjoyed this book. My only complaint is the plot tease. Let me explain, towards the beginning of the book we get this man who finds his way past the school defenses and kills a professor and frightens a class. Here I thought the story was really going to get started but then we don't hear anything about this person again until the very end and even that is rather brief. Quentin goes about his schooling over the next 5 years. Yes you read that correctly, this one book covers 5 years of schooling up past graduation. I was kind of shocked that so much would have been crammed into this instead of capitalizing on multiple years of school like in the Harry Potter books.
The lack of follow through with what could have been a pretty decent plot aside I did enjoy this book. Reviews for this book are very mixed and it seems like people either loved or hated this book. I liked it and felt kind of middle of the road but it was slightly better than just ok. With that in mind I will round up from 3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars. There are two other books and a second season coming so I will continue on with both.