It's been years since The Amulet of Samarkand was published, years since I found it in my Scholastic event inside the library at my Middle School. At...moreIt's been years since The Amulet of Samarkand was published, years since I found it in my Scholastic event inside the library at my Middle School. At the time, I had bought the book because the author's name was spelled the same way as my current crush. I thought to myself, "Hey, good conversation piece for next time I run into him!" While the book didn't bring us any close (and trust me, it was for the better) when I finally got around to reading it, I was hooked!
The first book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy follows a young, naive, semi-traumatized little boy named Nathaniel. Prior to reading this book, I've never actually read anything with a male POV outside of Harry Potter. Nathaniel is nothing like Harry- he's headstrong straight out of the gate, sticks his foot in his mouth so many times you begin to feel bad for him, and any chance of being a well-rounded boy is cut short by his brooding master, Arthur. The book brings you to speed on Nathaniel's crummy life within the first few chapters, half bouncing between present and past to paint the full picture.
The second, and more main character than Nathaniel, is Bartimaeus. First, let me say that Bartimaeus, in my opinion, is far hotter than any vampire/ghos/werewolf guy on the reading market right now. He's rude, bitter, snarky, witty, can change into any shape or form, and even though he doesn't like most of the things he is told to do, he finishes them with zest and without having to be naked or missing a shirt the whole time like all these other honchos do. Bartimaeus is a djinn, or a genie of sorts, and slightly more powerful than your average one, but nothing spectacular. Summoned by Nathaniel, he is first only told to hide a valuable Nathaniel stole to ruffle the feathers of another magician who upset him. But soon Bartimaeus and Nathaniel are both swept into uncovering a huge mystery that could end up killing all of the magicians in London, if not more, if they don't stop it!
This books is currently the only book I know that jumps between 3rd POV Past and 1st POV Past, each one dedicated to a character. When I first noticed it, I thought it might deter from the book, but once again it goes to show that if the story is good and draws you in you hardly notice the POVs in the book. The author's writing style is elegant in a way, using larger words and adding detail into places most books skip nowadays. As an author myself, I'm so impressed with Stroud's writing that I aspire to write at least one work like his someday.
If you're still on the fence with this book, don't be. Pick it up, gobble it down, and move onto the next two with speed. This is one series I'm sure you'll want to read again and again.(less)
Vampire politics, vampire politics, and oh yeah, there's a huge part of vampire politics in this. Add in tons of unneeded sex and raunchiness that spa...moreVampire politics, vampire politics, and oh yeah, there's a huge part of vampire politics in this. Add in tons of unneeded sex and raunchiness that spans across eons, and you have this book. Nothing again Hamilton, because heaven knows I love her first books and hold her gun-slinging Edward in a special place in my heart, but I'm tired of all the vampire threesomes 'required' to please everyone, tired of Anita being mind-screwed by one vampire or the next. What exactly is Anita these days, anyway? Were-Queen-Panther-Leoppard-Rat and part vampire? Waaaaaaay too confusing. (less)