The Magician's Land by Lev Grossman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The thing about this trilogy is that it starts out with a decidedly dim view of its many worlds, and gets even darker from there. Finally, in the end, there's a glimmer of hope, but that end comes after a long, difficult, and often repetitive read. Grossman's books may be inspired by modern fantasy, but he goes so hard for genre deconstruction that it becomes a grimdark, gritty slog - something that, I think, the Syfy series is doing a good job of correcting in its much more magical adaptation. That being said, though, the book does remain strangely compelling, and there's been considerable character development - particularly for Quentin, that oh-so-relatable disaffected, depressed, bookish, lonesome, awkward millennial in need of a purpose in life. (I swear to Ember and Umber I wasn't just describing myself, no sir!)
I hope that, in future seasons, Syfy continues to stick to that primary theme for the series - but that they otherwise feel free to diverge from the source material, because their more lighthearted, geek-humorous approach is such an improvement.
View all my reviews