Overall, this was an enjoyable book. It borrows heavily from many different fantasy motifs while still remaining original. In a sense you could say it's one part Harry Potter, one part Narnia, a splash of Peter Pan, with a sprinkling of The Wizard of Oz, and it's all of these yet none of them at once. Instead of being a blatant ripoff, The Magicians is more of a tribute to these famous stories while also being a bittersweet coming-of-age tale as well. This isn't a story for children though; it's full of sex, alcohol, drugs, violence and horror, so it's decidedly more adult.
Quentin was a hard character to like. I was constantly reminded of the phrase; "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence." This is Quentin's main problem. He's never happy and you can't imagine him ever being so. He's practically handed everything he desires and he still wants something more. It's depressing to say the least. He's a good anti-hero though, it's hard not to want to find out what is going to happen to him and his friends.
There were some parts of this book that I struggled through. A lot of the scenes at the school were slow to the point of being boring and seemingly drawn out for no reason. Then something fantastical would happen and you'd get pulled into the story again.