As with the first, this book was hard to pin down. The story is great and subversive and fluid and plays with tropes of the fantasy genre tweaking them in interesting and different ways.
The writing is still filled with great imagery and plenty of vivid and apt metaphors and similes to help the reader really feel and see the world that the characters are inhabiting. Grossman did seem to use more clichés in his descriptions in this book than he did in the last, but the story and the implementation of an actual plot in this book far made up for it.
As with the first book I found myself thinking the characters were inconsistent in their motivations and their actions. At some points the plot seemed to be forced and I'd be frustrated thinking "why aren't they just doing 'this' instead?" Not because it's what I wanted, but because I felt that's what their character's personalities should have lead them to do.
The magic is once again under utilized and hyper convenient when it needs to be. For being such amazing magicians, none of the characters really use magic all that much.
At times it seemed like Grossman forgot about some characters and I'm never really impressed with his dialogue, but really these are all minor complaints. The story this time around is just so good and I was genuinely surprised with some of the twists within the adventure.
I enjoyed Mark Bramhall's performance much more this time around. I think it's more of a case where I'm just getting used to him rather than I'm learning to be impressed with his talent. Still, he has a good voice and their is nothing annoying about his performance. I'm just not blown away. I did give him four stars this time...
Excited for the third book!
does it have hints of the chronicled of narnia? yes, but in a parody way. it's chronicled of narnia for the cynical adult and it's wonderful. the main characters determination despite his constant poor luck is oddly relatable for us average humans trying to make it day by day
This is a thoroughly disenchanting tale. An anti magic magical quest that draws on the absurdist English humor of a Terry Pratchet or Douglas Adams but with the added sharpness of an all American earnestness. The humor isn't the darkness so much as the few bright spots of happy giggle inducing sweet passages with bunny pegasi and children who are climbing trees trying to get into Fillory just make the dark humor into painful shrapnel that make you wish you were reading a different book. But it makes the book feel real. Overwhelmingly sad but real.
The narrator for this audio book was phenomenal. The best I've ever heard. The book itself was entertaining, but I will probably not read/listen to it again. It met my expectations for the series but did not impress.
It worked well as an audiobook because it didn't matter if I lost the plot from time to time. The narrative was engaging enough from moment to moment for that to be worthwhile in and of itself. Interesting speculation about metaphysics and magic.