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The Song of the Quarkbeast (Chronicles of Kazam #2)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  4,504 ratings  ·  615 reviews
Jennifer Strange 16 narrates managing wizards for absent Great Zambini of Kazam against Blix in contest to repair old bridge. Once Powerful Boo did no more magic after being kidnapped. Helped by magic carpet, mating Quarkbeasts, Transient Moose, apprentice Tiger Prawns, can Kazam win? Blix and royal advisor Tenbury conspire, cheat, jail mages after others turn to stone.
Paperback, 290 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Hodder and Stoughton Ltd. (first published 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
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
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
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
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
Book Concierge
Audiobook performed Elizabeth Jasicki

From the dust jacket - Long ago, magic began to fade, and the underemployed magicians of Kazam Mystical Arts management have been forced to take any work their sixteen-year-old acting manager, Jennifer Strange, can scare up. But things are about to change. Magical power is finally on the rise, and King Snodd IV of the Ununited Kingdoms knows that he who controls magic controls everything. Only one person stands between Snodd and his plans for a magic grab – a
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.
An Odd1
"All in all it had been quite a morning" p 43.
Jennifer Strange 16 narrates many narrow escapes managing house of magicians for absent Great Zambini, with Kazam trainee, fellow foundling Tiger Prawns "tall for twelve" p 4 . She likes "good looking" Youthful Perkins 18 - or is he suggesting? He keeps asking for a date.

Quarkbeast mating song precedes a uniting of opposite quarkbeasts -- and mass explosion. Just what a Master Villain plans. Blix is bad from the start. The roundabout story of how he
Jennifer Strange, non-magical manager of Kazam Mystical Arts, accepts a high-paying job for the firm to retrieve a ring that does not want to be found. They manage to pry it out from among the stones and spells at the bottom of a well, but Jennifer suspects their client is up to no good and refuses to hand it over.

Meanwhile, King Snodd and his new Court Mystician, the All Powerful Blix, are plotting to end the helpful ways of Kazam and turn Blix's magical firm, iMagic, into a highly profitable
This was wonderful!

Excellent narration again!

It was not as great as the first as a result of the energy being different, the plot being less dramatic and because there was quite a bit of explanation of that which had transpired in the first book -- I assume for those new to the series -- which slowed it down somewhat, but still a great and fun story!

Funny, intelligent, and lots of undidactic social commentary. The trolls alone made this worth the Audible credit :-)

I loved...and am firmly a Jas
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
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
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
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
I don’t know if this is the last Jennifer Strange novel, but if it is, it’s a good ending. If it’s not, it still works.
Strange finds herself caught up in a mystery dealing with a ring, her boss, and building a bridge.
And she has to decide whether or not to go on a date.
This installment is still funny, and still pokes fun at the Royals. There is also a nod to end of the story reveals that had me choking on my laughter.
I love the resolution and the use of Boo.
We are following the magical tale of Jennifer Strange. Miss Strange is an orphan and where she lives orphans are like servants until their time is paid out at 18, so she manages Kazam, an employment agency for magicians, which is kind of hard because magic is drying up. This book deals primarily with trying to keep Kazam up and running and also dealing with the local powers that be, who are trying to overthrow her little kingdom.

This was a lovely little novel. The first think that I have to sa
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
Jennifer Garlen
This series is a great addition to the Fforde canon. While written as YA fantasy (and therefore appropriate for a younger audience) the Kazam books still have all of the quirky charm that Fforde's readers enjoy. There's plenty of political scheming and sly social commentary to go along with the magic and adventure, and Fforde's sense of humor is as delightful as ever.
Eh. It was fine, but so weightless I started forgetting everything about it just after putting it down. The plot was out of a Saturday-morning cartoon, the characters are not given enough time to properly develop, and the conflict is resolved SO easily that there's almost no tension. It's likable enough, but has nothing to recommend it. Jennifer, in particular, is a pretty boring character...she had some interesting character development that was completely ignored in this book for no apparent r ...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
Another fun read from JF, in fact I think I enjoyed this one a bit more than the first in the series. Don't let it being labeled as young adult keep you from checking it out if you are an adult adult. ;)
Double Death with Added Death Penalty
Ea Solinas
Not long ago, Jennifer Strange brought magic back to the world... which apparently doesn't earn you a break from your job.

And after the bittersweet note of "The Last Dragonslayer," Jasper Fforde's second Chronicles of Kazam novel is a bit lighter on its feet. "The Song of the Quarkbeast" still has some darker edges, but it's a nimbler, slightly more frenetic fantasy story -- and the multiple subplots show Fforde off in an entertaining manner. It also makes you quite happy that there is no magic
Although the Big Magic two months ago more or less went well, magic is still slow at making a comeback. That doesn't mean others haven't noticed, though. King Snodd has figured out magic could make quite a bit of money, if appropriately capitalized. Jennifer Strange (acting manager of Kazam, one of the only two houses of magic) hasn't been on his good side since the little incident with the dragon, nor does she agree with his motives. But it's going to be hard to stop the king when he's found ot ...more

Jennifer Strange is a foundling who is running Kazam Mystical Arts Management, one of two groups who manage the magic in the Ununited Kingdom. The Great Zambini, the mage in charge, has gone missing and will only pop back for a few minutes at a time, though never in the same place. The competing magic company is led by one of the most dangerous mages of all time. A bridge needs extreme repairs, which requires more mages than Kazam currently has. And the ki
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
Edoardo Albert
What is the song of an imaginary creature? Admittedly, the creature in question is a (metaphorical) mixture of velociraptor, knife block (with the knives all sticking blade up) and labrador, so not the most obvious candidate for song, but the question stands. Well, it turns out, rather than the sparking clash of metal, or the grind of tooth on bone, the song of the Quarkbeast is enchanting: yearning, lonely, and ever reaching towards a barely glimpsed and often receding, yet certainly there, con ...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 to 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 Entrapment.

More about Jasper Fforde...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of Kazam (4 books)
  • The Last Dragonslayer (The Chronicles of Kazam, #1)
  • The Eye of Zoltar (The Chronicles of Kazam, #3)
  • Strange and the Wizard (The Chronicles of Kazam, #4)
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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“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?” 6 likes
“Pretty?' I said, swivelling in the driver's seat to face him, 'you want to ask me out because I'm pretty?' 'Is there a problem with asking you out because you're pretty?' 'I think you blew it,' said Tiger with a grin. 'You should be asking her out because she's smart, witty, mature beyond her years and every moment in her company makes you want to be a better person - pretty of face should be at the bottom of the list.' 'Oh, blast,' said Perkins despondently. 'It should, shouldn't it?” 6 likes
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