Life’s Too Short to Not Read What You Want

I gave up on a book last night. I really thought I was going to like it…and then I didn’t. I almost felt guilty for putting it down. Like I should stick it out in case it got better. But I’ve learned from other books that they rarely do get better.

For the last few years, “people” have been talking about how great The Magicians is. It’s even has it’s own TV show now. It’s supposedly “Harry Potter for adults” and features a secret school where students learn to use magic while also getting in the typical social situations late-teens get themselves tangled into.

That was the claim anyway.

First off, I didn’t especially care for Quentin Coldwater. Judging from the Goodreads reviews I read, that was the general consensus. But I thought I could find interest in the other aspects of the book…if anything had actually happened.

After over 100 pages, not much had changed. The basic premise was laid out, but there was nothing pushing me to the next page, the next scene, the next chapter. The author gave me no reason to care about the story. (And if I read one more time “One day, this and this happened…” I swear.)

The events of the book were just sort of pushed along. Over the course of the first 100 pages, Quentin discovers the school, abandons his friends and family, and starts classes.

Okay, fine.

But then nothing happens. Suddenly, he’s in his second year. Then he’s in his third year. Oh, and then a mysterious attack happens…and the next page he’s in his fourth year.

WHAT!?

Why didn’t the story just start with Quentin in his fourth year and give the backstory as the story unfolds to fill the lulls between ACTION?

I stopped the book because there wasn’t any action in it. There were a few scenes, but mostly the author was explaining what happened and not actually allowing me as a reader to get lost in that world.

I noticed the importance of telling a good story when I picked up my next book: a book I had been dying to read for some time now…Red Rising. From the first chapter, I was hooked. And judging from the cult following and Goodreads reviews, most people like it (so I will too, right?). That wasn’t the case with The Magicians

If all else fails, I have the rest of The Maze Runner series that I can read.

2 thoughts on “Life’s Too Short to Not Read What You Want”

  1. Quentin doesn’t get any better in the 2nd book either, so you’ve saved yourself some time! This book was a lot more literary than I was expecting too, sometimes it was just in Quentin’s head too much. I definitely understand how you feel. I wonder if the TV show is any better since they combined the first and second book in terms of POV. Based on the books so far, I’m not encouraged to watch it. Red Rising is so awesome though!

    1. That’s good that I stopped when I did, then. I wasn’t expecting it to be so literary either. I’m curious to watch the show to see if it sparks a new interest to read the books, but I doubt it.

      And with Red Rising, I’m glad that all three books are out now so I can just whiz through them all!

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