From Publisher’s Weekly:
Harry Potter discovers Narnia is real in this derivative fantasy thriller from Time book critic Grossman (Codex). Quentin Coldwater, a Brooklyn high school student devoted to a children’s series set in the Narnia-like world of Fillory, is leading an aimless existence until he’s tapped to enter a mysterious portal that leads to Brakebills College, an exclusive academy where he’s taught magic. Coldwater, whose special gifts enable him to skip grades, finds his family’s world mundane and domestic when he returns home for vacation. He loses his innocence after a prank unintentionally allows a powerful evil force known only as the Beast to enter the college and wreak havoc. Eventually, Coldwater’s powers are put to the test when he learns that Fillory is a real place and how he can journey there. Genre fans will easily pick up the many nods to J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien in the climactic battle between the bad guy and a magician.
I loved this book. This is the Harry Potter I have been waiting for. It is not quite so quaint and wholesome, there’s sex and drugs involved and the characters seem much more multi-layered to me and more convincing. I will admit that the last third of the book went a little too much into the fantastical for my taste, but the realness of the characters and their conflicts helped to keep the story grounded. I don’t want to give away too much of the plot, so I am just going to advise you all to READ THIS BOOK!!