This was our selected family audiobook after we DNF'd The Fifth Wave. I will have quite a lot to say at some point. Right now, though, suffice it to say that the hubs is much happier with this one. No languishing in the head of a sixteen year old girl.
A few brief words about the book so far. It is definitely derivative of Tolkien's work, in particular The Hobbit. There is an encounter with a troll, and a "white tower" that contains an oracle (which is the point I am at now) that is strongly reminiscent of Isengard (although this oracle seems to be good, not evil). There are also echoes of Harry Potter - Alex, the 15 year old protagonist, is an untrained wizard by birth.
There is a fair amount of info dumping at the beginning of the book, and a sequence that is pretty similar to the Diagon Alley sequence in Sorceror's Stone, where Alex buys his magic adventurer's bag and receives his Adventurer's Handbook. We are also listening to the audiobook, and I am definitely not loving the narrator.
So, if it were just me that were reading it, I'm not sure that I would be particularly impressed at this point. But, it's not just me, it's also my son, nicknamed by all an sundry Guitar Snake, and he is really enjoying it, and has quickly gotten very invested in the world-building and in the male main character. Also, I do think that it is a bit unfair to judge a fantasy series on the first 25% of the first book, since the world-building will necessarily bog things down a bit.