Suddenly there is a sharp line in the sand, dividing your life into two phases: Before Magic and After Magic.
The Magicians analyzes this concept with the very deepest, darkest pits of human sin in mind. It is an exploration of realistic responses to unrealistic circumstances.
"I got my heart's desire...and there my troubles began."
This is not a book for people who prefer their heroes be unambiguously "good". This is not a book you read to your children in hopes that they will derive some higher meaning about morality and friendship.
It will devour all of the things you relish in stories like Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. It will intentionally draw your attention toward your expectations only to shatter them into pieces.
For those of you who have seen Cabin in the Woods, this book falls into the same category with that film. This is not a feel good version of "Adult Harry Potter."
The magic in this story is not pretty or flamboyant. It is tedious, difficult to grasp. Part of the mastery of this book is how Grossman paralleled his writing style to match that of the magic style.
The pace here is slowwwwwwwww, but it's a necessary slowness. The language used has a very cynical quality and I could even see where it may come off as offensive.
However, I think it's important to distinguish that the language here is used as a mechanism for characterization and setting a tone, not to reflect the approval of said language by the author.
I had a really great time reading this, and I'm excited to keep exploring this idea in last two installments. That being said, this isn't a story that everyone will be able to appreciate. I think that's apparent by just how mixed the reviews are.
If you like your humor & your characters made up of morally black and grey fiber, this isn't one to miss out on.