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

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  2,438 ratings  ·  374 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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Patrick

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
David
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
Molokov
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
Martine
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
Stacey
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
Jaylia3
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.

Book...more
Tina
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
Drew
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
Patty
The Song Of The Quarkbeast
By
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
Sarah
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
...more
Thomas
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
Lynn

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:)
Liz
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.
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.
Natacha
un très bon deuxième tome, dans la lignée du premier. J'ai beaucoup aimé retrouvé Jennifer et ses compagnons loufoques :)

ma chronique : http://unseeliesdiary.wordpress.com/2...
Tricia
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
Skip
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
Meave
Again, not bad, still charmingly ironical and wry, but I am tired of Fforde's refusal/inability to wrap up a story in one volume. Not everything deserves a sequel, or two, or SIX.
Celia Goodell
This continues the story of Jenny Strange a foundling during a time of troubled magic. The ruler tries to have his hand in everything, the Awesome Blix tries to run everything and Jennifer is trying to just hold it together as she looks for Zambini. She manages Kazam Mystical Arts Management and tries to find work for the underemployed magicians. A rigged contest to prove who is better, IMagic or Kazam is scheduled but there are still so many small mysteries that keep popping up that could help...more
Ana
I love the wizarding world that Fforde created but I continue to lament the attempt to make this a juvenile series. There's politics, buerocracy and classic Fforde-ian weirdness. All sorts of things to recommend this series.

That said, there really isn't anything in the books that would not appeal to both adults and children except Jennifer constantly being described as "young". Casting a "young" character as your protagonist does not make a book YA/juvenile. It just annoys me. Jennifer is very m...more
Arminzerella
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ellen
A great sequel to The Last Dragsonslayer and an addictive read. I highly recommend this book.
Nancy
This is a fun read. As with The Last Dragonslayer, the main character is Jennifer Strange, a 16-year-old foundling who is an indentured servant and is the acting manager Kazam Mystical Arts Management. The problem this time has to do with a "winner-take-all" bridge-rebuidling competition against their rival iMagic. There is also a subplot about the rumored appearance of a new quarkbeast, which could have a big impact on the area. This book is a hoot (with a great allusion to Star Wars near the e...more
Paul
Not as good as the previous book, but made me smile nonetheless.
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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.” 4 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?” 4 likes
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