The Song of the Quarkbeast
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The Song of the Quarkbeast (The Last Dragonslayer #2)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,893 ratings  ·  436 reviews
As the background Wizidrical Power slowly builds after the Big Magic, King Snodd IV of Hereford realises the man who controls Magic controls almost anything.

But one person stands between him and his plans for power and riches: Jennifer Strange, sixteen-year-old acting manager of Kazam.

It may involve a trip on a magic carpet at the speed of sound to the Troll Wall, it may i...more
Paperback, 290 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. (first published November 1st 2011)
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Liked this one as much as the first.

While not as mythically rich as YA books by some of my other favorite authors, (Tiffany Aching books from Pratchett, Coraline and Graveyard book by Gaiman.) this book has a playfulness that those books don't.

There's some genuine silliness here, and I can appreciate that.

Simply said, I would be happy to read this to my little boy. And I would be happy to see him reading it himself when he gets old enough for that.

I'll probably wait until he's six or seven th...more
Melissa Proffitt
This follow-up to The Last Dragonslayer has all the charm and randomness of its predecessor. Jasper Fforde seems to have made a career out of...well, interesting prose and clever ideas, but I was thinking more along the lines of "completely random throwaway items you can't believe are part of the story." It mixes up what would otherwise be an interesting but not mind-blowingly original story.

I still say Jennifer Strange doesn't sound or act like a teenager, though Fforde makes an effort (okay, n...more
Fforde's books are always very readable, and enjoyable, but when you've seen an author's best work, you want the next book to improve one what's come before. This is the second 'Last Dragonslayer' book, Fforde's series aimed at kids/teens, following the further adventures of Jennifer Strange. However, she's no longer the Last Dragonslayer (and dragons don't feature at all), so perhaps naming the series after the first book in it was a bad move.

All of Fforde's books so far - the Thursday Next set...more
What did I think? I think it grossly unfair that the Hodder territories have had this book for some time, whilst the colonies have been and are yet deprived until September, 2013 of this second installment of The Chronicles of Kazam. Having obtained an ARC through the good graces of my daughter making pilgrimage to BEA, I did not waste a moment in devouring every page like a Quarkbeast ravening the nearest galvanized container.

I refuse to share any part of this book, not from any sense of greedi...more
Really, really fantabulous book that contained everything I expect a Fforde book to have. A lovely, quirky world, a special sense of humor (which might not be everyone's taste, I admit that) and social commentary.
It may have one flaw but I rated five stars anyway because I enjoyed every single word. That one flaw is that it's quite similar to the Thursday Next series and so, the construction of the plot is somewhat predictable. Fforde adds all these details little details that become very import...more
Fun. The first book was also fun, but the story was a little bit disjointed. This one had better pacing and hung together a little bit better. Not enough Quarkbeast and no dragons though.
Terry Woodson
In this novel, sequel to "The Last Dragonslayer", magic is starting to finally come back into the world much stronger than it previously had been. Now that the last Dragon has become 2 Dragons, magic is on the rise. Jennifer Strange, the sixteen year old foundling who is acting manager of the Wizards of Kazam Mystical Arts Management, is having no trouble finding jobs for her Wizards to do - everything from finding lost objects (that don't want to be found) to participating in the rebuilding of...more
There’s witty world building, deadpan absurdities, and physics-based/paradox-laced humor galore in Jasper Fforde’s The Song of the Quarkbeast, his second YA novel in The Last Dragon Slayer series, but surprisingly all that funny stuff doesn’t get in the way of its heart pounding suspense--I read the last chapters of the book at a gallop--and it didn’t prevent me from deeply caring about what happened to Jennifer Strange, all her quirky cohorts, and the state of magic in the Ununited Kingdom.

Original post at One More Page

The Last Dragonslayer was one of my favorite reads in 2011, and I'm not just saying that because Jasper Fforde is my favorite author. I absolutely loved Jasper Fforde's YA debut, and I thought it was a hilarious and smart read. Silly me, though, that I didn't know there was going to be a sequel to this. It totally took me by surprise, but I'm not complaining. A new Jasper Fforde? Of course I want that!

Jennifer Strange, the last dragonslayer in the Ununited Kingdom,...more
Definitely an improvement from the already quite satisfactory first book in the series. There are a lot of dominoes set up for the third and final book, due out this fall in the UK and (presumably) next fall in the US - as, I realize, this book isn't due out in the states til September. I'm excited to see where they fall and what happens in this quirky land where magic is the unit of energy, marzipan an addictive drug, and certain other things (which I'll leave to you to discover - more fun that...more
The Song Of The Quarkbeast
Jasper Fforde

My " in a nutshell" summary...

Magic is a mess in the Ununited Kingdom and it is up to Jennifer Strange to deal with it!

My thoughts after reading this book...

This opening paragraph said by Jennifer herself pretty much sums up this book...

I work in the magic industry. I think you'll agree it's pretty glamorous: a life of spells, potions, and whispered enchantments; of levitation, vanishing, and alchemy. Of titanic fights to the death with the powers of dar...more
Sean the Bookonaut
I was looking forward to this book. In general I find reading young adult novels to be a breath of fresh air and I was hoping that The Song of the Quarkbeast would live up to its press as a magical adventure with a bit of nerdy wordplay.

The Story

Young Jennifer Strange, a foundling, is left in charge of Kazam, the more ethical of the two companies that perform magic.

Their newly renamed competitor iMagic is up to no good, manipulating King Snodd into ordering a contest between the wizards of both...more
Connie Grudzinski
I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I read very few books in one day, this was one of them. Very few books have the ability to change my way of thinking or jump out of my comfort zone of reading material, this was one of them.

Because I won this copy, I was driven to first read the predecessor of this story, The Last Dragonslayer. While I enjoy some dragon stories and a few Arthurian novels, I rarely venture outside of the genre of Westerns or horse stories, I have been depraved. I quickly f...more
I just love a good Jasper Fforde book. He has a very distinct style and he uses similar plots and characters in many of his books, but I love them and think they're just the kookieness I need to read right now. Fun YA book. My favorite part of the book was the following:
"I liked [Perkins], but since his particular field of interest was Remote Suggestion - the skill of projecting thoughts into people's heads from a distance - I didn't know whether I actually liked him or he was suggesting I like
Double Death with Added Death Penalty
Klaudia Janek
Jennifer Strange is back in this second adventure in the mystical world of Kazam, the biggest House of Enchantment in the Ununited Kingdom. Jennifer is in charge of managing the Kazam sorcerers for hire to conduct practical magic, like plumbing, rewiring and other construction jobs. King Snodd appoints the All Powerful Conrad Blix, president of iMagic to be in charge of all the magic in the Kingdom. He is out to make money, while the Kazam gang feels that it should be used for good and for a nom...more
What does one expect from a Jasper Fforde novel? For me, it's witty dialogue, clever wordplay, and a well-plotted adventure that keeps you engrossed in the action. The Song of the Quarkbeast certainly fits the criteria.

Thursday Next Jennifer Strange is back, still in control of her powerful wizards through Kazam. Sure, they're still doing things like fixing plumbing, or moving trees around huge estates, but with magic having been democratized and bureaucratized, there's not a whole lot of fantas...more

Today’s post is on The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde. It is the second in his The Chronicles of Kazam. It is 289 pages long and it is published by Harcourt. The cover is a corner of an alley with a quarkbeast hiding behind a trash can. The intended reader is someone who has the first novel and loves stories told in new ways. There is no language, no sex, and no violence; just a great story for all. The story is told from the first person point of view from Jennifer the main character....more
Joshua Gross
While I liked this book and the last one, they can get a bit tiresome after awhile because sometimes he just seems to be babbling. I also thought the ending went on way too long. But I liked this book better than the last one, but I think I gave the last one four stars. I'll have to go back and change that. Anyway, I like Jennifer and I think her job is interesting, and I especially the wizards at Zambini Towers and the Transient Moose is my favorite:)
The story: Jennifer Strange is back, although minus the Quarkbeast. The Great Zambini is still missing, too. In fact, it's just about all Jennifer can to do to get all the licensed wizards at Kazam Mystical Arts Management ready for the big bridge re-build job tomorrow--little does she know the kingly powers-that-be are ready to swoop down and make a power grab to control all the magic in the UnUnited Kingdoms. How can a mere girl stand in the way?

June Cleaver’s ratings: Language PG; Nudity G; S...more
Literary Princess
Great, great, great book. I liked The Last Dragonslayer a smidge better, but that's just because I liked the dragon story better than the quarkbeast story. That's the really great thing about this series - each book (so far, at least) is absolutely complete in itself.

Really, that's all I have to say. If you don't already know all about and love, love Jasper Fforde, you're missing out. He never produces a dud.
Ruthie Jones
Jasper Fforde's books are just so much fun. Five stars all around because I'm so entertained by his wittiness and silliness.

Even with all the silliness, Fforde does interject some seriousness in all his books that I've read so far (the Thursday Next series and now the Last Dragonslayer series).

In The Song of the Quarkbeast, there are those ever-popular concepts of betrayal and loyalty, good versus evil, friendship, and responsibility.

Jennifer Strange is a likeable character, wise beyond her ten...more
Melissa Reitano
This was just as fun and silly as the first book. Lots of ridiculous twists that you should have seen coming in hindsight. Things come together in ways that might seem like the author was stretching to make the story work in other books come across as quirky and fun in this book. The end of Blix and the return of the Quarkbeast just happily work out because of magic which is inexplicable and therefore allows anything to happen. I must have somehow missed that the series takes place in current ti...more
Ms. Library
So good. Fforde was meant to write YA. I love his snarkiness about current politics. This feels like a modern successor to Patricia Wrede's Dealing with Dragons, and I just really wish that the next installment was out in the US already.
Magic is on the rise again in the Ununited Kingdom, which is causing no end of trouble for sixteen-year-old foundling Jennifer Strange, acting manager of the Kazam Magic Company. She is maneuvered into a contest against their only business competitor to rebuild a tumbled-down medieval bridge. Her opponents will stop at nothing to throw the contest and it takes all of Jennifer’s considerable wits to outsmart them. There are some dark elements in the background such as the use of foundlings for ch...more
un très bon deuxième tome, dans la lignée du premier. J'ai beaucoup aimé retrouvé Jennifer et ses compagnons loufoques :)

ma chronique :
Sixteen-year-old Jennifer Strange continues to do her best to manage Kazam, a loose alliance of magicians who have been relegated to doing any kind of work they can since there is so little magic in the world. As King Snodd IV makes a bid for world domination and tries to control all the magic, Jennifer must look for help in every possible corner. The book is filled with humor, odd magicians, and more than a dollop of betrayal. Fans of the first book will enjoy this one just as much. In fact, I...more
Jennifer Strange is very mature for an almost 16 year old. I'm kinda thinking that her age is the reason this book is listed as a YA book. I don't see it as being any more YA than any of his other titles.

I love the magic of Jasper Fforde's stories, and this was no exception. It sets up quite well to bring in the next title "Return of Shandar", who seemed like a really great guy in the first book, but about halfway thru the second, I began to doubt that. Quite fun, considering he hasn't actually...more
Karin Walters
I enjoyed the first book of this series, but I was unfamiliar with the characters. By the second book, they've grown on me. It's possible that 5 stars was a little generous, but since I've been in a slump with books I enjoy lately, this was a welcome change.

It's the same wacky dystopia and you find yourself...enjoying it? Making light of treating orphans like slaves? Check. The king has established a dictatorship...but you know, it's not all hopeless. Interesting because on paper, these should b...more
3.5 stars. Zany is the word that comes to mind for the Chronicles of Kazam. In this second book, House of Kazam manager Jennifer Strange is still struggling with her wizidrical employees. In the opening scene, she is asked to retrieve a gold ring (for a large sum of money), at the bottom of an enchanted well, and a trainee barely escapes at the well collapses. Then, she is challenged by their main competitor Industrial Magic (now iMagic) to a bridge building contest, with the losers to become pa...more
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Jasper Fforde is a novelist living in Wales. He is the son of John Standish Fforde, the 24th Chief Cashier for the Bank of England, whose signature used to appear on sterling banknotes, and is cousin of Desmond Fforde, married with the author Katie Fforde. His early career was spent as a focus puller in the film industry, where he worked on a number of films including Quills, GoldenEye, and Entrap...more
More about Jasper Fforde...
The Eyre Affair (Thursday Next #1) Lost in a Good Book (Thursday Next, #2) The Well of Lost Plots (Thursday Next #3) Something Rotten (Thursday Next, #4) The Big Over Easy (Nursery Crime, #1)

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“I liked him, but since his particular field of interest was Remote Suggestion--the skill of projecting thoughts into people's heads from a distance--I didn't know whether I actually liked him or he was just suggesting I like him, which was both creepy and unethical. In fact, the whole Remote Suggestion or "seeding" idea had been banned once it was discovered to be the key ingredient in promoting talent less boy bands, which had until then been something of a mystery.” 5 likes
“All the great unanswered questions of the world will be answered. Who are we? What are we here for? Where will we end up? And most important of all: Can mankind actually get any stupider?” 4 likes
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