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David’s review of The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)
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Aug 03, 2012 11:31PM
Like the review, liked the book, agree with much of your criticisms of the plot and certainly the ending. If it is a middle book (ie: 2 of 3) then I can accept some of how this book seems to fall short as a potential setup for book 3. BUT, I think you are reading too much into the "product placement". Using an actual brand makes it seem more real, no one who drinks soda drinks "cola" people are either Coke people or Pepsi people, Coke (since you mention zeitgeist) is sort of a piece of "Americana", and lastly Grossman is presumably expecting this book to be published internationally and Coke is widely recognized and much more easily translated (or not translated) than explaining cola in a different language. It is an instantly recognized product, and I think that's probably enough reason to use it.
Aug 06, 2012 06:54AM
I agree with you about the awkwardness of the style.. at times it felt like it worked - in particular near the third act - but at times it was just jarring. Mostly it jarred me when they were on the Muntjac. I liked the idea of the ending, though I feel that it could have been written a bit better. I liked the final portion of Julia's story as well (wow, Reynard, wow) but the earlier bits were a bit awkward for me. I think that Julia lacked the strong voice that Grossman developed for Quentin and Eliot. He seems to have a bit more trouble with female characters in general. I liked Julia a bit better when we just saw how psychotic being denied Brakebills made her, but oh well.
Aug 06, 2012 07:38AM
Fox - i agree with your comments! The only thing you forgot is to like my review. LOL!
Jordan - for some reason, I never got an email alert that you commented on my review. Thanks for commenting. I'm just going to have to disagree with you. If he was planning on translation - anything can be translated properly to suit a regional culture. That's the job of the translator. Your comment would imply that if an author does write "soda" somehow that will be difficult to translate. When you create a character, every single choice they make somehow represents something about them. But there was absolutely no reason to associate Coke with Quentin. This choice was absolutely disposable. He could have also said "a beer" and that would've been equally valid. As I recall, it was the only brand mentioned in the entire book, which makes it stick out like a sore thumb. So if there is nothing meaningful represented about Quentin by having him desire a Coke, then there was nothing gained by choosing it except either Grossman is oblivious to product placement or he got paid for it. I don't like either option.
Aug 06, 2012 07:41AM
I found an odd typo in my copy... not the "canot" that you found, but there was one sentence near the last third of the book that lacked a space. It was an odd sort of typo, but oh well.
I've a feeling that Alice might make a reappearance in the next book, what about you?
Aug 06, 2012 07:55AM
An interesting guess. You might be right.
Aug 06, 2012 08:05AM
I'm guessing it because of how often she was mentioned in this book, as well as their brief trip to the Underworld. The emphasis placed on where the powers of magic come from, and how it can manifest.. i.e. what happened to Julia in the end... it leads me to think that we may learn a lot more about the
I also still wonder where the fountain in Brakebills leads.
(last edited Nov 14, 2013 06:48AM)
Nov 14, 2013 06:47AM
You're right about the Coke thing! I wasn't paying close enough attention, but yeah, it should have been "cola" or "soda." I rated this book more highly, but I completely understand your criticisms; it is very different from the first book in so many ways, and the voyage makes for a wandering plot line in general. It has the same weirdness (at times) as the first book does, though, and I loved that. Let's hope the third book wraps up the trilogy in a satisfying way!
ETA: I swear I see AT LEAST one typo per book I read these days. It's discouraging.
Nov 14, 2013 07:02AM
Hah! It was difficult to live up to the first book. I agree with you that there is a lot to appreciate in the weirdness. I'm kind of amazed by what you said in the other thread that this one got higher ratings.
(last edited Nov 14, 2013 07:13AM)
Nov 14, 2013 07:13AM
David wrote: "I'm kind of amazed by what you said in the other thread that this one got higher ratings."
I thought about it for a while, and I think it may be because the people reading the second book are the ones who liked the first enough to read the second. Ratings for the first book are skewed by people who read it thinking it's going to be this feel-good-give-me-warm-fuzzies Harry Potter clone, and then get pissed that it isn't. I feel pretty strongly that the marketing that called
"Harry Potter for adults" hurt the book more than helped it.
Nov 14, 2013 07:15AM
Ah, that makes sense. Good deduction. So the haters of the first book dropped off before reading the second.
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