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  1. It's interesting that I've only read two books out of the top fifty--this one and The DaVinci Code. I could argue that I just don't follow trends, but it really just means that I'm clueless. This book was charming, if slight. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone since it was definitely not deep or innovative. But the characters are very attractive and the writing style is distinctive and pleasant. Much better than The DaVinci Code! Julie
  2. I wasn't impressed with the book, but I didn't hate it. I thought the writing was fairly poor and the dialogue? I can't imagine people actually using the phrase "the sacred feminine" without collapsing into fits of giggles. But the pacing and plotting of the book seemed fine, if unspectacular. I think the only thing that really disturbed me was the near-libel of Opus Dei. I don't know bupkiss about the organization, but I was shocked to find that he was targeting a real one. That seemed too personal, especially with a plot filled with such nefarious deeds. Did this bother anyone else? Julie
  3. Obviously this question is mainly for those who love fantasy, though if you hate it you can explain why for that, too. I view fantasy as escapist reading for the most part, but I am also drawn to the way a character can be isolated and explored free of the constraints of some "realistic" fiction. Both science fiction and fantasy, to me, are really ideal media for delving hard into a character's real, well, character, by manipulating their environments to the task. What is odd to me is that I really dislike science fiction and I adore fantasy (my husband is the opposite) though I'll read the occasional hybrid. So, why do you read fantasy, if you do? Why don't you, if you don't? What do you read in addition to fantasy (or instead of, as the case may be)? Julie
  4. I don't think there are any books that I would say are just for children. YA fantasy is definitely a genre where lots of readers can intersect. I often find the explorations within YA fantasy worlds to be less corrupted by pretention or authorial attempts to be profound, though they are more prone (I've found) to be shallow knock-offs of more popular works. Anyway, I enjoyed this trilogy. I would have been extremely disturbed by the first book if I had read it as a child, though I imagine that my deep longing for a daemon would have been that much stronger then. I was a little tempted to send a copy of this trilogy to my niece, whose parents are extremely conservative, and restrictive of her. They forbid Disney movies and Harry Potter because of the presence of "Dark Magic," so I can just imagine their reaction to Pullman! Julie
  5. I enjoyed this book more than its predecessor, mostly because Stroud made an effort to make his main character, Nathaniel, more likeable. Still not loveable, mind you, just more likeable than he was in the previous book. Bartimaeus, the djinni, is a hoot.
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