TITLE: The Magician's Nephew
AUTHOR: C.S. Lewis
SERIES: Chronicles Of Narnia (#1)
GENRE: Children's Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Classic
RATING: 2.5/5 Stars
Where the woods are thick and cold, where Talking Beasts are called to life...
A new world where the adventure begins.
Digory and Polly meet and become friends one cold, wet summer in London. Their lives burst into adventure when Digory's Uncle Andrew, who thinks he is a magician, sends them hurtling to...somewhere else. They find their way to Narnia, newborn from the Lion's song, and encounter the evil sorceress Jadis before they finally return home.
What I Liked:
- The thing I liked most about this book was actually what I'd hoped to get out of it - answers to some of the questions about Narnia. How was it formed? Who is the White Witch? And of course, some backstory on the mysterious professor Digory and his magical wardrobe. I was thankful that C.S. Lewis did answer those questions for me, and the story included a few symbolic additions which was nice.
What I Disliked:
- There was really no depth to this story, and that isn't just because it's aimed at children. The plot was pretty random, very short, and served only to expand upon the world we know and love rather than create it's own. There were so many missed opportunities for this prequel. Yes, it answered questions but it also created many more.
- I did not connect with these characters, and found them pretty one-dimensional. The two main characters, Digory and Polly were precocious children which made it almost impossible to care about them in any way. Especially Digory. Uncle Andrew had absolutely no backstory behind his disagreeable nature either. My biggest disappointment came from Jadis, later to become the White Witch. I wanted her to be so much more than the solely evil for absolutely no reason villain that she ended up being. Aslan had a just as disappointing God-like purity and I found it such a shame.
This book was a bit of a dud for me. It was nice to have a story hinting the origins of Narnia, both creation and Royal family alike (though I really found it a bit random too). I'd have liked more detail, plot development and character creation involved. Some of the character decisions were questionable too and though I liked the theological symbolism, it was all a bit too obvious for me. I haven't given up on this series though, and I'd at least like to read 'The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe' before completely making up my mind. Especially as these books are so short and considered children's classics!