The Ring of Solomon has the coziness and laughter of spending time with Bartimaeus again, a fast-paced and compelling story, and wonderful new characters with plenty of depth and surprises. Simon Jones is, once again, the perfect voice of Bartimaeus.
Fans of the Bartimaeus Trilogy will be delighted to get a deeper understanding of Bartimaeus's character and background. Just keep in mind that while the action in the the Trilogy takes place over a period of about six years, The Ring of Solomon begins and ends in about two weeks. There _is_ very satisfying character development, but it's not going to be the same as in the Trilogy.
A Nit-Pick: Fans of the Bartimaeus Trilogy on audio will notice a slightly lesser quality for The Ring of Solomon. Not enough to bring down the rating, but a bit disappointing. There is none of the music at the beginning I love in the other books, and Simon Jones seems to have been, well, rushed. The voices are not entirely consistent, and there were some unexpected pauses. Some pauses were caused by the reader and some introduced in the editing of the program. (I hope this is not a trend for the publishers to save money on audio productions!) Again, it's a minor problem and probably only noticeable to fans like me who've listened to the other books many. many times.
I would love to hear the thoughts of someone who has not already read/heard the first three Bartimaeus books!
I've listened to all the Bailey Ruth Raeburn mysteries in order and enjoyed them all as light reads and cosy mysteries. Ann Marie Lee is a delight to listen to. The main character has qualities that, in the smaller doses of the earlier books, were tolerable or even charming. In this one however, those qualities become irritating vanity, a judgmental temper and the bringing down of a system of rules and her boss for no apparent reason except that she can't be bothered and thinks it's all great fun. Enjoy the others in the series, but stop before you get to this one -- while there is still some hope Bailey Ruth will grow up.
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