Review: The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud

Posted 9 May, 2011 by Amanda / 0 Comments

The Golem’s Eye by Jonathan Stroud (Bartemaeus, #2)
Genre: YA
Borrowed from the Boyfriend
Finished Reading: 5/8/2011
In six words: Trudged through the first 100 pages.

Jonathan Stroud — website | Twitter | Facebook page
Bartimaeus website
Amazon:  hardback | paperback
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Book Order

1) The Amulet of Samarkand
2) The Golem’s Eye
3) Ptolemy’s Gate
4) The Ring of Solomon


At only fourteen, Nathaniel is a rising star: a young magician who is quickly climbing the ranks of the government.  There is seemingly nothing he cannot handle, until he is asked to deal with the growing Resistance movement, which is disrupting London life with its thefts and raids.  It’s no easy task: the ringleader Kitty and her friends remain elusive, and Nathaniel’s job–and perhaps his life–are soon at risk.  As the pressure mounts, he is distracted by a new series of terrifying attacks in the capital.  But is it the Resistance again, or something more dangerous still?  To uncover the perpetrators,  Nathaniel must take desperate measures: a journey to the enemy city of Prague and–worse–summoning once again the troublesome, enigmatic, and quick-witted djinni Bartimaeus.

Why I Read This Book and General Thoughts

This is the second book in the Bartimaeus series.  The first 100 pages were difficult to get through, and if I hadn’t been trying to get through the book so that I can return it to my boyfriend (he hasn’t finished reading it yet), I probably would have given up.  But, it was a good thing that I didn’t, because the story turned out to be far more interesting than the first 100 pages promised.  And to be honest, though this isn’t really a genre I gravitate toward, this series is beginning to grow on me.

A More In-Depth Look

What is a little disappointing in this book is that we don’t get to see as much from Bartimaeus as we did in the first book.  Nathaniel wasn’t that likable of a character to begin with, and if anything, he’s gotten worse.  This is perhaps why the beginning of the book wasn’t quite as enjoyable.  This book also introduces us to Kitty, a member of the Resistance.  While clearly not quite as fun as Bartimaeus as a narrator, Kitty’s story adds depth and interest that helped to redeem my initial indifference.

I really liked the ending to this book and how everything was wrapped up, and how certain things were still left open.  It made me want to continue on and read the next book in ways that the first book did not.

Favorite Quotations

The boy tutted.  “Let me give you a friendly tip,” he said.  “now, you wouldn’t want to be called ‘female mudspawn,’ would you?  Well, in a similar way, when addressing a spirit such as me, the word demon is in all honesty a little demeaning to us both.  The correct term is djinni, though you may add adjectives such as noble and resplendent if you choose.  Just a question of manners.  It keeps things friendly between us.”

I grinned cheerily.  “But that agreement is null and void.  You broke it yourself, not two minutes ago–in a particularly noxious manner, if I may say so.  So she can hardly be breaking it herself, can she?  Listen, if you put that Staff down, you can tear your hair out more easily.”

You Might Enjoy This Book If…

Like I said in my review of the first book, I pulled this series off a website that had a “books to read after Harry Potter” list.  It is in no way comparable to HP, other than a few base elements: YA, fantasy, magic.  Stroud offers a unique perspective on magic and magicians, and the real star of this book (and series) is not the magician, but the djinni.  In some ways, this series is a commentary on certain aspects of the human existence (slavery, greed, the lust for power, for example).


Filed under: ESR: 6, Review: Amanda, YA, ,

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