Ptolemy’s Gate, by Jonathan Stroud

Eep! Oh, hey again, Bartimaeus, back so soon? I suppose that’s what happens when your story is so good…

Soooooo in this book, we’ve popped forward in time a bit again. Nathaniel is as insufferable as ever, Bartimaeus is sick of suffering him, and Kitty is a burgeoning magician. Wait, what? Yeah.

Story-wise… hold on, I’m going to have to look this up. Doo doo doo. Oh. Right. Okay, so there’s a war on in America, and Nathaniel is the new minister in charge of making up stuff that gets people to sign on to fight in the war. That’s a fun job. But of course, people aren’t happy and there’s civil unrest and whatnot. Also, more non-magic types are discovering a resistance to magic that lets them escape demons unharmed or see them even while they’re disguised. Not terribly useful for the magicians. Also, Nathaniel is alerted to the suspicious actions of some lower-level government types and goes to investigate. This last bit is the important one, but I quite enjoyed seeing how it all played out so I won’t say any more.

Now, if I had been reading this book in print, I have to say I might have given up on it. Most of it is wonderful and up to par with the rest of the series, for sure. But somewhere in the last third of the book, Stroud goes off on what seemed, listening to it, to be a long and tedious tangent about the “Other Place” where demons spend their time when not being enslaved. I was interested to know what it was like, sure, but after just a few sentences of description, I was like, okay, I get it, let’s move on? Please? There’s also a lot of metaphor and meaning imbued into this Other Place, and I would have at least put the book down and walked away after a few pages of that.

But luckily, I was listening to it at work, which meant I could just ignore the book for a bit and focus on the other tedium around me. πŸ™‚ Then, when the action kicked back in, I was ready to go! Of course, when the end happened, I may have become a bit less productive… I won’t say it’s an especially good ending, but it was very satisfying. Unlike a few other series I could name…

Recommendation: This series is totally worth your time. Go read it now.

Rating: 8/10 (though the series is a 9 on the whole)

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