I loved this book
, and for some reason, now want to write fanfiction. I especially liked the 'unlikable' main character. After this sentence, there are spoilers. I don't think the plot would have worked without our Quentin. If he hadn't messed up royally, if he hadn't had that ennui and emptiness, they would have not gone to Fillory at all. It's mentioned several times- that Quentin needs this. [and so does Eliot and Penny]. They really need Fillory. That's why they push through, with the delusion that it's like a story, even though it becomes more and more evident that this isn't a story. That it is dangerous. Notice that Richard stays back. He doesn't need this quest, so he is able to think rationally about the consequences. If they had been 'likeable', the whole group that is, heroic and kind and everything else that most people are only minutely, they probably would have given the buttons to the authorities, and they would have not been wandering aimlessly in Manhattan. No, they would be undercover humanitarians using magic to heal suffering, or scientists exploring the nature of magic. I get the feeling that it's a common fantasy novel conceit that people who have something missing in their real lives go to fantasy worlds. Grossman loves his fantasy so much he isn't going to leave that part out.
I think at the end, they haven't learned their lesson at all. Going back would be a mistake. Then again, staying on earth would be a mistake too. I hear there will be a sequel. I'm suspicious of that Watcherwoman. Yes, a great evil was vanquished, but will the results be that good?