The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

No rating. DNF at page 50 – started skimming at page 21.

This was not the book for me. My recent reads have been soothing – nearly sedate. This book felt very young and very direct. It was like listening to VIvaldi and someone suddenly turning on Vanilla Ice. I like Ice Ice Baby as much as the next 80s kid – but the juxtaposition was dreadful. Nails on chalkboard dreadful.

Nathaniel is a boy wizard-person. Bartimaeus is a bad guy who may really be a good guy. Together they engage in magical hijinks. The book is written in first person POV, and i dislike that. I understand that it’s a preferred POV, but i can’t shake the feeling that i’m being lectured or spoken down to. It creates a closeness with the narrator that i resent as forced or unnatural. An author has to create some really charming characters for me to want to get to know them that well.

However i can see this being an awesome story to read along with or out loud to your kid. It was fast moving and high-action. The writing was simple and open. The characters seemed just right for an adventure loving child. Unfortunately it seems i’m currently a little more Vivaldi than Vanilla Ice.

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