When I try to think about how I would like to describe this book, the first word that pops into my mind is "cute". I feel like the author had a very iWhen I try to think about how I would like to describe this book, the first word that pops into my mind is "cute". I feel like the author had a very intriguing premise and her take on magic in the early years of the French Revolution and I wish she had taken more time to go deeper. It could be that this is aimed at children and I was hoping for something with the finesse of a historical/fantasy aimed for an older audience... As I was reading this I felt that the potential was there but that she somehow missed going that extra step to make it truly engaging and in-depth. ...more
It's always a pleasure to return to the world of Bartimaeus. I'd meant to draw this out and savor it those intentions quickly went out the window. ProIt's always a pleasure to return to the world of Bartimaeus. I'd meant to draw this out and savor it those intentions quickly went out the window. Promises to myself that I would read until the next chapter quickly dissolved, "oh, okay, until the next then" and so on until I'd come to it's conclusion. The four times I put it down, it was with a firm (perhaps wavering) resolve to savor it, not due to any boredom or loss of attention on my part. Ultimately it's a quick read, easy and a delight to get through.
While I prefer Nathaniel from the previous trilogy to Asmira (yes, even though he's a brat for most of the books) perhaps that is due to the fact that I just can't quite fully like the women of these stories. That being said, I did come to like her faster than it took for me to like Kitty (perhaps due to the fact that Asmira only had one book to work in while Kitty had two to caper through) but we did have to work through Asmira's fanaticism a bit. Still this was a fun little romp and as always, always a pleasure to see Bartimaeus's irreverence and antics and resourceful tricks. I only wish there were more....more
While I enjoyed the series as a whole, I found the ending slightly anti-climatic. Perhaps I was expecting a real clash for the inevitable battle sceneWhile I enjoyed the series as a whole, I found the ending slightly anti-climatic. Perhaps I was expecting a real clash for the inevitable battle scenes at the end but found them a little underwhelming. Then again, battles are usually better viewed than written about and perhaps it was not the author's intended focus as they were so abbreviated. I did enjoy the history of the world Sean Russell created, the storytellers and myriad mythos. ...more
**spoiler alert** Surprising how much I found myself enjoying this book as I neared the end when it had such a rocky start (for me at least) as I wasn**spoiler alert** Surprising how much I found myself enjoying this book as I neared the end when it had such a rocky start (for me at least) as I wasn't able to connect or even like any of the characters. If I'm to be perfectly honest, I think it was the presence of the Unmer that really snagged me (though I have to say that they make a lot of weirdly pointless weapons/knick-knacks--the contrariness of cats, that's the Unmer for you). They lured me in with the little Unmer girl in the beginning and then left me adrift until the end when the fallen Unmer were re-introduced into the story again.
I keep trying to think of ways to describe this book and I can't come up with anything satisfying. Post-apocalyptic (sort of as the Unmer were the lords of the age before this one)? Space ships (albeit it at a distance)? Bizarre conversations about parallel universes and paradoxes and the like from something like a mafia-boss-physicist-anitque-collector equivalent? An ex-soldier father on his quest to get his daughter back (perhaps not due so much to sentiment but instead more due to the principal of the thing? At least I didn't sense too much sentiment on his part unless buying them frilly dresses is supposed to indicate a wealth of caring and other fuzzy emotions)? A teenage girl with powers she doesn't quite understand (these days I guess that's not too surprising...)? Um, dragons addicted to... brine? Shark people, which is not to say they are mer-people but with shark bottoms but instead that they are shark skinned and horrible things happen to them when they are dragged out of the brine-water?
I'll happily pick up the next book if it'll reveal more about the Brutalist and prince of the Unmer. I think Ianthe may even be growing on me (at last), now that she bared her teeth in the last few chapters. I also still can't get over just how grim and unappetizing the brine concept is. I also hope to see if the concept of the Drowned are delved into more in the next book. Guess I'll just have to wait until 2013 or whenever book two is slated to come out....more
What?! We end on a cliff-hanger, with everything up in the air?
This is definitely a slow-starting book despite the jarring opening scene... it took meWhat?! We end on a cliff-hanger, with everything up in the air?
This is definitely a slow-starting book despite the jarring opening scene... it took me 300 meandering pages to finally get to the point I knew it must reach, the joining of the two main story segments. After that, smooth sailing (and yes, there is much about boats and water in this story). While I can see the echo of some other fantasy authors in this work, I quite like it as a whole, the joining of the past history (revenge vendetta really) bleeding into the present social unrest. It hops back and forth between multiple character perspectives which has, as always, its benefits and drawbacks (particularly if the segments dwell on characters one doesn't care for). ...more
If I had read this as a thirteen year old I still wouldn't have**spoiler alert** What did I just read?
Why did my curiosity override my common sense?
If I had read this as a thirteen year old I still wouldn't have found the plot acceptable. Not only did most of the Elena parts leave me with Dumbo's refrain "you can fly, you can fly, YOU CAN FLY~~" trilling through my head I'm just left wondering... why? I don't even understand why this series took the direction it took. As I've said before, Dark Reunion was pretty bizarre but at age thirteen I was able to (somewhat) suspend my disbelief.
Not so now.
It's like LJ Smith read some manga/watched some anime (and possibly j-horror), reread her books and thought, "hmm, I'd like to see Elena and the gang face off with some psuedo-anime villains." Not even the good kind though. It's like she took the potential weirdness-capacity that anime villains tend to boast and then just left it at that: face value without any depth or rounding character. Petty, pathetic, trite and underdeveloped. The plot was all over the place, completely flailing and flopping about like some sort of schizophrenic rainbow-wing loving... I don't even know what. Words fail me in the face of just how awful this book was.
Stefan is absolutely self-righteously prissy, hypersensitive and boring (well, I always thought he was, even when I read the original 4 books back when I was thirteen) but I was surprised by how boring Elena has become now that she's some weird angel-human-carebear-thing---speaking of, how can she truly be classified as human when she keeps delving into the weird angelic-tropes? Elena, you may think you're Sailor Moon, but you're not. You're really not. Damon was also sadly disappointing... I don't really understand Smith's need for redemption of everyone and everything. It's not necessary and it just makes me thinking of Dorothy and friends skipping along singing "follow the yellow brick road".