Before I read this book I heard it described as Harry Potter for adults. In a superficial way, this is true. Quentin does not know he is a wizard until he is applying for colleges and is offered a place at Brakebills, a magic school sort of in up-state New York. Quentin practices magic, makes friends, drinks a lot, has some sex, travels to a magical world....oh, not exactly like Harry Potter right??? The book also did not have the cozy Harry Potter feeling. Maybe some of you will disagree, but despite the death and horrors of Harry's life, I never had a feeling of impending doom, subconsciously I guess I felt books sold in the children's section would have to turn out alright. In The Magicians I felt an aura of bad-ness. I just knew it was not going to be ok. In a way, I was correct, in others I was not. (I am trying not to give anything away.)
Just as there are overtones of Potter here, there is also a big smattering of Narnia, a splash of Middle Earth, and maybe even a bit of Alice in Wonderland. I liked it, but I am going to digest for a bit longer before I delve into the sequel...it may go on my "Summer Reading" shelf.