Kereesa's Reviews > The Golem's Eye

The Golem's Eye by Jonathan Stroud
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's review
Sep 30, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites, young-adult, unnoticed-but-amazing, own, demons-magic, friendship, grrl-power, 2011, urban-fantasy, alternate-history, cuddle-plus, fangirling, own-hardcovers
Read from July 28 to August 02, 2011 — I own a copy

It's been 2 years since the events and conspiracy surrounding London's top magicians seen in the first Bartimaeus novel: The Amulet of Samarkand. Nathaniel, or otherwise known as John Mandrake, is now a junior minister in the Department of Internal Affairs, and is personally handling the Resistance (a group of commoners who seem intent on attacking and stealing from the ruling magicians) problem, and is in some dire need of help when he begins to get blamed for the havoc the group is creating, as well as the appearance of an entirely new suspect/creature destroying large numbers of London's main consumer and tourist shops and buildings. Nathaniel needs help from the one djinn he cannot trust, but must: Our old buddy Bartimaeus. Meanwhile, us readers get a little closer look at the Resistance itself, when a new character pops in and takes part of the narrative over. Kitty Jones is fierce and part of a rebellion group of commoners who've been given a specific job that might have more to it than it seems.

The Golem's Eye is a definite improvement from the first Bartimaeus novel. The action, the plot, the lovely twisty turny conspiracy, everything is just better, funner, and all around awesomer than Amulet. Part of that is mostly likely a result of Kitty becoming a full fledged character in this novel, but a lot of it I think is just the fact that this is the middle novel (and thus doesn't require all that introduction stuff), and Stroud is plunging us deeper into the conspiracy he's been building.

I've already covered my thoughts on the world, writing, and just mostly everything that doesn't really change in this series in my review for the first novel. So mostly what I'm going to be talking about in this review is the characters, and plot.

So Golem features, as I've said previously, three characters instead of Amulet's dynamic duo. On one hand we have Nathaniel, who's much more the snarky, cruel magician than he was two years ago, but on the other side we get Kitty who's smart, interesting, and well everything that Nathaniel's not at this point in the story. i.e. Likable. Between them is...well my love Bartimaeus, who really is the best character out of the three.

I felt that putting in Kitty as one of the main characters was definitely an excellent choice not only for this novel in particular, but for the rest of the series in general as well. Plotwise, Kitty provides us with information about the Resistance, and an insider's look at what's happening at the commoners end while N&B are off doing their thing. I really liked how Stroud weaved their two different plots together, while still retaining their individual purposes, and keeping them part of the greater conspiracy plot. Character-wise, Kitty is interesting to read about because she's a commoner, and therefore thinks differently than Barty or Nat as well as acts differently than them. Honestly, her and Barty's action scenes are my favorites, because Kitty kicks butt peeps. Serious butt. Kitty also does something important in that she provides a good balance to snarky unlikable Nathaniel. She's new, she's hopeful, and she's a good person. Three things you definitely can't say about Natty boy. She makes the book better and more engaging so that you're not dreading the chapters written in Nathaniel's POV, and dying to find out what's happening with funfunfun Bartimaeus like Amulet. (Sometimes) Also she brings hope where Nathaniel doesn't.

Nathaniel, as mentioned previously, is an absolute douche in this novel. He's become corrupted, vain, and just all-around selfish, and really? no one likes him. That flicker of hope from the first novel is definitely waning, and you can see how rotten he's become in the two years we don't get to see. Barty is very much our favorite djinn, but he's a little more serious in this novel than Amulet. He's still his usual sarcastic self, but there's a more serious contemplative manner to him than before. It's interesting not only because we get to see a more complex side to Bartimaeus, but because it goes very well with the overall theme Stroud is building, and will complete in the last volume of this series.

All in all, this is definitely one of the better novels of the Bartimaeus trilogy. It's fun, action-packed, with a plot to keep your heart racing, characters to make you swoon (or at least me for Kitty and Barty), and a conspiracy to keep you guessing. 5/5

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Quotes Kereesa Liked

Jonathan Stroud
“Hey, we've all got problems, chum. I'm overly talkative. You look like a field of buttercups in a suit.”
Jonathan Stroud, The Golem's Eye

Reading Progress

07/29/2011 page 101
18.0% ":) but where's my Barty!?"
08/01/2011 page 412
72.0% "rah, rah Bartimaeus !"

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