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. Pro...moreIt'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.(less)
If I had read this as a thirteen year old I still wouldn't have...more**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".
Very-fast paced book that constantly reminded me of other movies/books/video games but an engaging read nevertheless. I will say I had a hard time con...moreVery-fast paced book that constantly reminded me of other movies/books/video games but an engaging read nevertheless. I will say I had a hard time connecting to the ever ruthless and pragmatic narrator Katniss, who diverts the focus and runs rather than internalize. Then again I guess this is a book on the game of survival. (less)
I liked this much better than the first one. The first book, for me, came across as borderline pretentious and preachy, leaving me wary and undecided...moreI liked this much better than the first one. The first book, for me, came across as borderline pretentious and preachy, leaving me wary and undecided whether I actually liked it at all once I came to the last page.
Not so with this book. Maybe my enjoyment had to do with the subject matter being poised on the promise of tragedy or perhaps instead the introduction of two new perspectives (Isabel, whom I adore and a new character Cole who steadily grew on me as the story progressed) helped me when Sam and Grace started echoing a certain Bella and Edward too much.
This may be a little thing but it does bother me that Grace can wax poetic on life and her surroundings in prose but continuously claims she's a boring, uncreative person. How can she be when she sees her life as she does? Or again, does this harken back to the idea of wolves communicating in imagery? Ho hum.
Edit: I must add that this book series is basically and entirely character development rather than a plot that strides decisively from point a to b to c. It sort of... gets there via the scenic route to a very obvious conclusion. This bothered me in the first book but not so much in the second (I don't know if this means I've gotten used to the writer's lyrical style or if I'm merely growing more tolerant? Ha.) I think if Isabel and Cole hadn't been a part of this book, I would've given it a 2 or 3 star rating. I think anything else I could say about the plot would be a spoiler though I will say there were some aspects I found... petty.(less)
As this is a Young Adult novel I ought to have expected this to feature younger girls yet it still came as a surprise that the littlest sister was not...moreAs this is a Young Adult novel I ought to have expected this to feature younger girls yet it still came as a surprise that the littlest sister was nothing more than a baby. I think I prefer the traditional version of the story with grown, marriageable princess daughters, scornful to the last as they strive to keep the secret of their dancing to themselves. While I guess the Keeper is a rather convenient way of explaining why the "enchantment" (which often makes me think of Fairy Circles) is there in the first place I found it all very one-sided, very black and white with no room for grey or character development. The characters never seemed to develop past their descriptions. I sort of felt as though I were reading card-board cut-outs. I knew how the characters would progress within the story and there were no surprises, no particular depth of feeling or personality for that matter. Their "grand show" of caring for their father at the end of the story, was (for me anyway) too little, too late. I was already far too appalled by their behavior and lack of sympathy. He lost his wife, for goodness sakes and if he had twelve of you, one can arguably imagine he liked her quite a bit (or was trying for a son, not that that seems an issue in terms of the rules of succession in this story).