Thursday, March 08, 2007

Book Two

Stroud, Jonathan. 2004. The Bartimaeus Trilogy Book Two: The Golem's Eye.

I thought I would share a few more tips on what NOT to do so that you may avoid a stressful reading environment. There is only one rule really...never have SIXTY-ONE books checked out on your library card at any one time. The reason? Not only is it impractical to try to read that many books at once...and not only does it make the choosing process more becomes pure chaos and frustration when it comes time to renew. My local library has the "all or nothing" philosophy of book renewal. You call into their automated system and there is only one renew all sixty-one books and have their bar codes read digit by digit back to you in the ever-so-charming computer-generated voice. And when you've got sixty-one books you can forget about trying to hold all the receipts in your hand and matching the bar codes being read to you with finding that bar code on the piece of paper. It's impossible. Which leaves you with the option of sitting there for what seems like definitely dampens your mood and makes you resolve TO NEVER LET THIS HAPPEN TO YOU AGAIN. It's a situation that could be avoided altogether if they would only allow YOU the option of entering in the barcodes of the books you want renewed. In my case, I needed to renew THREE books. I didn't need all sixty renewed. Just three. It should have been simple. But, of course, it wasn't. But now I have sixty books all due March you better wish me luck!!!

Now that I've aired my frustration, let's get down to reviewing THE GOLEM'S EYE. If you've been following my blogs this past week, you've noticed that I'm on a fantasy kick. I've been devouring one book after another and for the most part loving every minute of it. I absolutely loved THE AMULET and couldn't wait to begin GOLEM'S EYE. In the second installment, Nathaniel (aka John Mandrake) is two years older. And it's debatable if he is in fact two years wiser. Working for the government demands a certain allegiance that some feel takes away part of your goodness, your soul if you will. Governments almost always have corruptive agents at work. And London is no different. In THE AMULET, the reader met Nathaniel and Bartimaeus. We briefly met Kitty and her friends Fred and Stanley as they formed part of the Resistance. But in the second book, Kitty becomes a narrator. Finally the reader gets a rounder, fuller portrait of London life. We see behind the Resistance. We see the corruption of the evil magicians through a very sympathetic voice. So this book is told through three voices: Nathaniel, Bartimaeus, and Kitty. As their stories unfold, we learn that their lives are destined to cross for better or worse.

John Mandrake's job is to discover (and destroy) the Resistance. Bartimaeus's "job" is to protect his 'master' and do his bidding. (Although Nathaniel solemnly vowed to only bind him for six weeks...there's always a risk that his master will never free him.) And Kitty's job? Her job is to undermine and sabotage the corrupt magicians. She wasn't always full of hate and anger. But when her 'happy' childhood is destroyed by the maliciousness of a lying, truly-horrifyingly corrupt and sleazy magician, Kitty has two choices: to allow injustice and pretend that she has no right to protest the powers that be...or to stand up for herself and be part of their downfall. Revenge is her only option. Well, it's the only option she sees available to her. But it's possible...more than possible...that Kitty is being used and manipulated.

Full of lies, surprises, and unknown dangers, THE GOLEM'S EYE is a wonderful read!

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