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The Golem's Eye (The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Book 2) Hardcover – August 23, 2004
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Due to the success of his first campaign involving the Amulet of Samarkand, Nathaniel, now fourteen, has been appointed the youngest representative ever to the Office of Internal Affairs, and has been devising traps to capture members of the Resistance--a secretive group of commoners who are determined to undermine the ruling class of magicians. When a magic-sapping Golems surprise first attack is labeled an act of Resistance terrorism, Nathaniel reluctantly summons Bartimaeus for help. Meanwhile, a zealous young member of the Resistance, Kitty Jones, is planning to rob the sacred tomb of the great magician Gladstone, and turn the power of his buried magical instruments against the spell makers. The towering clay Golem and its shadowy master unites the destinies of Nathaniel, Bartimaeus, and Kitty together in one fateful night--unfortunately, that night is much too slow in coming. Strouds second book is far too long and gloomy, focusing more on the priggish Nathaniel and wronged Kitty than the dijinni readers have come to adore. Fans of Jonathan Strouds breakout hit, The Amulet of Samarkand, may be a little disappointed to discover that Bartimaeus features so little his second book. While Stroud cleverly uses the class war between the ruling magicians and the disgruntled commoners as a metaphor for current political and social clashes, the text suffers overall from a lack of the dijinnis famous facetious footnotes. Avid fans are left skimming the slow parts and hoping that when Bartimaeus escapes his servile bonds he will be given more space to make them laugh. --Jennifer Hubert
From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 6 Up–This sequel to The Amulet of Samarkand(Hyperion, 2003) takes place two years later. Now 14, Nathaniel works in the Department of Internal Affairs trying to stop a group of commoners who are responsible for small rebellions against the magician-run government. As he pursues the elusive Resistance, he discovers that an unknown individual is using ancient magic to control a golem and wreak havoc on the city of London. Meanwhile, readers get a look into the heart of the Resistance through the eyes of Kitty, a resourceful young commoner. She was born with a "resilience" to magic, an ability that drew her to the attention of the rebels, and her motivations for joining them are clearly presented. As events unfold, Nathaniel and Kitty are faced with choices that will test their courage and honor. The third-person narrative switches focus between the two characters. As in the first book, occasional chapters narrated by the demon Bartimaeus add sarcasm and irreverent humor to the text and offer a break from the ever-growing tension. The story, which stands alone nicely, retains all of the strengths of Stroud's first installment and adds many more details to his already vivid fantasy world. The characters are well developed and the action never lets up. A must-purchase for all fantasy collections.–Tasha Saecker, Caestecker Public Library, Green Lake, WI
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Still, if you ignore his age, and just pretend that he is say, 24 instead of 14, the story works.
I guess if you are a young teenager yourself, you might enjoy a story about a 14 year old who is somehow able to handle himself in a world of ruthless cuthroat ambition, where magicians stab eachother in the back at the drop of a hat.
That said, the story itself is pretty good, though theres very few surprises along the way.
The main selling points for this book, and any other in the series, is that we get to see the perspective of the djinn Bartimaeus, the unwilling servant of John Mandrake, and also the entire magic system, that is fresh and somewhat consistent.
I do say somewhat, because it is stated that all the magic power comes from the demons the magicians control, and yet some magicians seem able to perform magic attacks even without demons.
I could imagine several explanations for this, but the book offers none.
Read this book mostly for the snide remarks of Bartimaeus.
His job is to hunt down a pack of rebellious commoners known as the Resistance, who have been causing a series of disturbances in London, aiming to destabilize the rule of the magicians. He suspects the involvement of a girl named Kitty and her friends whom we met in his previous adventure, and although correct in this assumption, it soon becomes obvious that there is deeper evil afoot, as a destructive force hidden in a black cloud begins attacking the city, destroying buildings and magical artifacts as it goes.
When things start spiraling out of control, he is forced to call upon Bartimaeus again for help, and the adventure spirals into a saga of grave robbery, political maneuvers, foreign travel and ancient magic.
Though certainly not as good as the first, and a little too long, The Golem’s Eye makes for good reading, but is sadly lacking the sarcastic witticisms of everyone’s favorite djinn that were the high point of book one.
Amanda Richards, May 20, 2006
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Author: Jonathan Stroud
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Bartimaeus Sequence, book two
Star Rating: 4 out of...Read more