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Ptolemy's Gate: A Bartimaeus Novel, Book 3 Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Not to digress but overall, while I liked the Golem's Eye, overall it felt depressing. I mean that as more of a setting, and the current state of the nation. In Ptolemy's Gate our main characters really shine and the build-up from the last two books (ok mostly just #2 for Kitty) really ,in my opinion, rewards the readers.
I've read a lot of children's fantasy in my time, and I've noticed some common patterns. Generally the first book of a such a series is the best; the reader is introduced to the fantasy world, and the writer takes his time describing its details and setting the primary conflict in motion. The second and third books often cave under the weight of carrying the plot forward and tying up all the loose threads pulled in the first book.
The author falls prey to this a bit in 'The Golem's Eye', but his swash-buckling finale 'Ptolemy's Gate' brings everything to a highly satisfying close. Stroud introduces lots of exciting new concepts into his magical world while maintaining consistency in his characters and the demonic rules of engagement. I'd guess that he planned this series out carefully even though there's been an appreciable lag between each book's release. Lingering questions from 'The Amulet of Sarakand' are answered in here in an intuitive, well-paced way. Mysteries are built into the story carefully enough to keep you guessing, and yet manage to seem inevitable once they are unveiled. And there's always been a lot a great humor - I'm a little embarrassed at how many times I laughed out loud while reading this last one.
So I must now sadly bid farewell to Bartimaeus's London, and begin to look forward to Stroud's next offering. I humbly offer a few suggestions:
(1) As much magic as possible. These books' strongest sections are invariably Bartimaeus doing battle with stronger demons, using his wits and strong sense of self-preservation to save his scaly skin.
(2) A flawed, complex female lead. Stroud does a good job with his female characters, but he does occasionally lean on stereotypes. I noticed in particular that his young, female characters are all attractive objects of desire, and his young male characters do all of the desiring. I'd love to see a female Bartimaeus- or Mandrake-type character the next time around.
Beyond that, all I can do is wait, and envy those who haven't yet discovered this wonderful series. One caveat for younger readers: Stroud isn't afraid to sacrifice his characters, so make sure your kidlet is prepared for that.
In this novel, one human being in human history, Ptolemy, has made a difference in the life of a 5,000-year-old demon, Bartimaeus, humanizing him by his very interest in him as a being and by an intense desire to expand his knowledge of Bartimaeus' "other world" where it is said that humans cannot enter without being destroyed. The apocalyptic ending completes the developing characters' makeup in what amounts to an evitable but satisfying surprise. The idea of a demon being more of a father figure to this fledgling genius than any human counterpart completes one of the book's many ironies.
The book can be read on many levels as its plot twists sufficiently for any adventure lover, but its send-up of many modern institutions stings and suggests needed change obliquely enough as not to be didactic, and characters develop at their own pace, frustrating as that is in one particular case. Adults or smart kids of any age should find something to enjoy in this somewhat sarcastic but highly creative fantasy.
I found myself piecing together clues placed and hidden among the plot, so I could form my own hypothesis about where the story was going.
It was nice to feel a part of the ride and not just along for it.
There was a lot of emotions throughout the book. And the ending was bittersweet, but couldn't have been done better. It left you wanting more; wishing it was different, but later realizing it was executed perfectly.
It was timeless, and the characters can go on in your own mind to do whatever you need and want.
Most recent customer reviews
Author: Jonathan Stroud
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Series: The Bartimaeus Sequence, book three
Star Rating: 5 out of...Read more
Ptolemy’s Gate picks up things three years after the events of The Golem’s Eye.Read more
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