DO NOT JUDGE A BOOK BASED ON ITS REVIEWS!!!! 3 1/2 stars out of 5.
I had to start off by saying that because with every book prior to starting or even shelving, I like to read its reviews to know what I am getting myself into. Had I not had a coworker practically throwing this book in my face, I never would have read this book.
Yes, like most of the reviews pointed out, the book has many slow spots. It feels as if the book is dragging on and with it having 402 pages, there were times I felt as if it would never end. The book is definitely a more mature version of Harry Potter. Think Harry Potter has gone to a magical college to learn magic for the first time and use magic based on science input. However college lasts only 5 years. And the first half of the book completes college so the next 1/4 of it is them screwing their lives away being complete losers (worst part of the book) and then the last 1/4 is great action followed by an angering end (I will try not to give spoilers). There really isn’t a part to ‘skim’ in the book though without missing vital information that reappears later on (thanks Grossman).
Grossman had written many sections of the book in a confusing manner, but at the same time it was as realistic as can be to fully immerse the reader in the world and think like Quentin, whom the book is basically told from his POV.
Character development was average. Example: a guy named Richard is introduced near an important chain of events within the book, but suddenly Grossman drops off the character with no reason. The character is simply omitted from further writing until the end of large event (sorry for being completely vague. I am trying to avoid spoilers) and he is reintroduced as if nothing has happened. It is as if Grossman wrote too many characters in the story and became overwhelmed with the amount, however he did not want to go back and remove them from the story so he just casually removed them and re-added them as if no time or large events had occurred.