The Magicians – Lev Grossman

Title: The Magicians516f8erf1ul-_sx324_bo1204203200_
Author: Lev Grossman
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 402
Category: 9. Read a book in the fantasy genre
Format: Paper

Date Started: September 16th 2017
Date Finished: September 18th 2017

This is yet another first book in a trilogy, but in this case I really don’t see myself picking up the rest of the books. It was okay but I don’t think it was really anything special. Despite that, it has been made into a tv series apparently.

I was never a huge fan of fantasy growing up. With the exception of Harry Potter I never found a fantasy series I liked. As an adult I’ve been a little more adventurous. But in the case of this book I’s really one I could’ve missed. Which isn’t to say that it didn’t have great message  because it does. In fact in some ways it’s a much more realistic experience of magic in that it really is hard work.

Quentin is on the verge of adulthood, one of the smartest kids in the smartest classes at school. He’s selected to take a test for the most prestigious magic college in America. Brakebills. He gets accepted and thus begins his schooling experience. All of which is contained in this single book as well as his post schooling life. Honestly this is part of my problem with the book, it just feels rushed.

In addition to feeling rushed it feels like Quentin’s personality changes halfway through the book. This is one of the smartest kids in highschool only to start at Brakebills and forget everything he had learned in school and to suddenly seem like he was incredibly average.

I found it kind of hard to connect with the characters to be honest and that’s a real pity because characters are really what makes a great book for me .

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

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The Unexpected Guest – Agatha Christie

Title: The Unexpected Guestthe-unexpected-guest
Author: Agatha Christie
Genre: Murder Mystery/Play
Pages: 114
Category: 44. Read a book where a stranger comes to town
Format: Paper

Date Started: June 20th 2017
Date Finished: June 24th 2017

Okay, so this is a play not a novel as such but… It’s well worth a read. This is the first of 3 Agatha Christie works to make it onto my list this year. So I’ll address the obvious criticisms of Agatha Christie now. She has been criticised for having poor character development and while I agree that if Agatha Christie were writing now she probably wouldn’t get published for that reason it’s also important to remember that she is not writing now. Her books were written half a century ago when much character development was of a similar level. So yes the characters are incredibly superficial but it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of any of the books I read of hers. In part perhaps because these books are incredibly short, but also because they have such great reveals that I wasn’t expecting.

In fact, that was my favourite thing about this play. Just as I was thinking it was a little bit boring and that it wasn’t worth my time, it turns out boom. Actually here’s this thing I just wasn’t expecting. Boom here’s another one.

This play is set entirely in a single room, with an unexpected guest coming across a house where a woman is standing over a dead man. A very clearly murdered man. And thus begins the murder mystery.

Rating: 3.5/5 stars