Monday, May 12, 2014

Jenn's Review: The Song of the Quarkbeast


Author: Jasper Fforde
Series: Chronicles of Kazam #2/The Last Dragonslayer #2
Publication Date: September 3, 2013
Publisher: HMH Books
Pages: 289
Obtained: purchased
Genre:  YA, Fantasy
Rating: 3.75
Bottom Line: Plot exposition for bigger and better stories in the series.
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Library
Blurb:  Long ago, magic began to fade, and the underemployed magicians of Kazam Mystical Arts Management have been forced to take any work their sixteen-year-old acting manager, Jennifer Strange, can scare up. But things are about to change. Magical power is finally on the rise, and King Snodd IV, of the Ununited Kingdoms knows that he who controls magic controls everything. Only one person stands between Snodd and his plans for a magic-grab--and that's Jennifer. 

Yet even smart and sensible Jennifer would have trouble against these powers-that-be. The king and his cronies will do anything to succeed--including ordering a just-might-be-rigged contest between Kazam and iMagic, Kazam's only competitor in the magic business. With underhanded shenanigans afoot, how can Kazam possibly win? 

Whatever happens, one this is certain: Jennifer Strange will not relinquish the noble powers of magic without a fight...


Review:  The Last Dragonslayer was on of my favorite reads last year so I've been looking forward to picking this up.  It's only taken me so long because, I love Jasper Fforde, but I definitely have to be in the right mood to read him.  His writing is thick with references and witticism so if you're in the mood to just rip through a story Mr. Fforde's work is not what you want to pick up.

While The Song of the Quarkbeast is just as fun and snarky as the first book in the series, I was left wanting. There were lots of places to pick up and story lines to pursue after The Last Dragonslayer, but Mr. Fforde didn't pick up the threads that felt I wanted to know more about.  However, it hardly seems fair to judge the novel on the basis that it wasn't the story I wanted.  The one told is interesting and expands the world that Japer Fforde has created. Jennifer is tested yet again, rising to the occasion and growing with it, all the while laying the groundwork for the story that is yet to come.

There weren't a lot of twists and turns in this one.  You knew from the outset who was behind everything, so there were few surprises.  I also felt like things were resolved hastily and rather summarily.  I was so taken aback that I actually had to investigate whether or not there were more books planned for the series.  (There are, if you're curious. The Eye of Zoltar is already published in the UK but won't be out stateside until October 17, 2014.)

All in all, it was enjoyable but seemed to be mostly plot exposition.  Will I continue this series?  You bet.  That was some darn good ground work and I am still waiting to see where we are headed.


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