Reviews for Amulet of Samarkand : Library Edition


AudioFile Reviews 2004 April/May
Bartimaeus, a five-thousand-year-old djinni, possesses abilities far beyond those of an extraordinarily talented magician. Simon Jones excels at projecting the personality characteristics of someone who has seen and done it all: sarcasm, facetiousness, and dry wit. Jones's narration easily balances this cynicism against his portrayal of Nathaniel, an 11-year-old apprentice magician who has called up Bartimaeus to avenge himself against a brutal magician, Simon Lovelace. Nathaniel can summon Bartimaeus, but can he control him? The story is the told from a fresh viewpoint that will attract any listener with a yen for intelligent and humorous fantasy. E.J.F. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award, 2004 YALSA Selection (c) AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine

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Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2004 #2
Jackson begins fifteen-year-old America's story, told through a series of meetings with his therapist at Ridgeway Hospital, in the flat, almost lifeless tones of a child who has been thrown away and knows it. Gradually, America's voice takes on emotion: first anger and contempt, followed by exasperation and then by the smallest flickers of excitement, hope, and determination. It is no easy job to make sense of an interior monologue that shifts from past to present, from here to there, from memory to dream, but Jackson manages to shape this story into a coherent whole and to invest America's minute steps forward with a sense of desperate authenticity. Copyright 2004 Horn Book Magazine Reviews

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Library Journal Express Reviews
Often described as the anti-Harry Potter, The Amulet of Samarkand also stars a boy wizard in a magical modern-day London. Nathaniel is a snot-nosed apprentice seeking revenge on the magician who humiliated him. To that end, he summons a 5000-year-old djinni, Bartimaeus, and forces him to steal a powerful amulet. Listen Up: Jones is a past winner of Audiofile magazine's Golden Voice Award and played Bridey in the famed PBS miniseries Brideshead Revisited. The story alternates between third- and first-person narration, with delightful asides from the not-so-easily-controlled Bartimaeus. In the text, these asides take the form of footnotes, which can interrupt the flow on the page. Jones's skillful reading smoothes out the bumps and makes this first book in a complex trilogy even more fun to listen to than it is to read.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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