Monday, October 08, 2007

The Golem's Eye

The Golem's EyeThe successor tale to the wicked - or rather, resourceful -, self-loving djinni doesn't disappoint. Following the event of the first book, sets two years apart, some characters that had previously side-stepped and mentioned in a sort-of just-passing manners to gave the much more appropriate spotlight to the main plot (the Amulet of Samarkand), returned with more prominent roles in this second installment.

Just like its first book, the second book, again, centered around the struggle for power. Ah you know, those sort of things, when a ruler's power began to wane, and some candidates (those who had the potential to be the ruler, and more dangerously, those who thought had the potential to be the ruler) raced, openly and often - and more interesting to turn into a story - devious and mischievous, to wield the power. And our protagonists - sort of -, trapped within.

Still wielding the same story-telling technique, the book again acquainted with the self-loving djinni, Bartimaeus, his young master, Nathaniel, who after the event in the book one, earns himself a respected position at the ministry, a respected position that was seen by his peers with awe and envy. Ah, you know how it goes, there are some - and even more so in the literature world - who doesn't like you because simply you're smart and your career advanced faster, much faster than his. The same goes with Nat, some people watches his career closely, and quite easily would love to see him fail and humiliated. It's a man eat man world.

And so, the trouble brewing, some commoners (non-magician) under the flagship of Resistance tried to topple the Ministry of Magic, and as Nathaniel was given the responsibility to unfold the Resistance, his neck was soon on a chopping block after the Resistance seems growing bolder and caused more havoc than ever in the London street, and then there's this mysterious, shadow-shrouded power-house monster that seems invulnerable to magic, caused more chaos, and - oh yes, there's always more - someone or some party broke into the top magician's tomb and had unleashed the afrit - a powerful entity even stronger than djinnis - within. Our 'hero', Nathaniel, and his djinni, Bartimaeus soon entangled within. He - our hero - had his own theories, and of course, the ministry won't believe him and he was backed with none save his own djinni who obviously more interested to save his own skin and get out off the world as soon as possible.

I liked the book even more than its predecessor, because, first of all, there are no single prominent protagonist. Nathaniel? Oh, he's corrupted with desire for power already (i had pointed out in my review of the first book that he reeks of seven sins, and even prominently so in this book). Probably the only good guy (not girl, i would come to it later) in this book is our djinni, Bartimaeus. But, as he thought more about himself more than any others, he would save his own life before even thinking to save other's. And then there's Kitty Jones, the member of the Resistance. She had show up in the first book, made a brief acquaintance with Nathaniel and Bartimaeus in different occasions. If Nathaniel's innocence and altruism sometimes shown up subtlety in the first book, in this second book, it was Kitty's who took that part of innocence and altruism. So yeah, you had one good guy, and good girl. For now.

The book ended in an appropriately safe manner. I mean, we know - or rather, we wanted - the figure who was pulling the strings of most events happened in the book, and Mr.Stroud has given us so. Expected ending, but also a promise was made about the final book. I haven't read the third book, but this book really really worked as a cliffhanger episode between the first and the third. And i did mentioned that almost every trilogy's best was at number two. According to my taste and preference, at least.

I really loved the last dialog exchange between Nathaniel and Bartimaeus. It hurts so much, and mounted to a subtle emotional feeling between Bartimaeus and Nathaniel, but not the other way around in which that's why it hurts so much.

My Rating: ***1/2 / **** (Getting better, much better, i recommend this trilogy to any self-proclaimed book-worm. And it has been translated to Bahasa Indonesia anyway).

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