A long time ago magic faded away, leaving behind only yo-yos, the extremely useful compass-pointing-to-North enchantment and the spell that keep bicycles from falling over.
Things are about to change. Magical power is on the rise and King Snodd IV of Hereford has realised that he who controls magic controls almost anything. One person stands between Snodd and his plans for power and riches beyond the wildest dreams of avarice.
Meet Jennifer Strange, sixteen-year-old acting manager of Kazam, the employment agency for sorcerers and soothsayers. With only one functioning wizard and her faithful assistant 'Tiger' Prawns, Jennifer must use every ounce of ingenuity to derail King Snodd's plans. It may involve a trip on a magic carpet at the speed of sound to the Troll Wall, the mysterious Transient Moose, and a powerless sorceress named Once Magnificent Boo. But one thing is certain: Jennifer Strange will not relinquish the noble powers of magic to big business and commerce without a fight.
©2011 Jasper Fforde (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
"Narrator Elizabeth Jasicki imbues Jennifer's character with the strength and briskness appropriate for a 16-year-old who is entrusted with the financial security of Kazam and the welfare of the world's most powerful wizards. With an accent and surety reminiscent of Emma Watson's Hermione Granger, Jasicki rallies the team of eccentrics against rival company iMagic. She creates charming and earnest voices for Kazam's young assistant and wizard-in-training, as well as an array of fittingly peculiar voices for its wizards. The king and the plotting staff of iMagic are presented with a heavy dose of sanctimony and bravado. The quarkbeast utters only 'quark' but endears himself nonetheless." (AudioFile)
I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!
Fforde is a great storyteller. In this installment, we learn more about quarkbeasts as Jennifer Strange works to foil a coup attempt and keep magic users true to the axioms of their craft. Great listen; can't wait for the next book.
Song of the Quarkbeast sits just above the middle-rank of the audiobooks I've listened to. It is a humorous story that will amuse fans already familiar with Jasper Fforde.
Fforde is true to form in this story, with scatterings of absurd British alternate history among the well-paced fantasy plot points. The story is best when dealing with the odd magic system and magical animal issues, and falters when exploring the sometimes uninteresting secondary characters.
The narrator was quite good with exposition and the main character, but her male voices tended to slow, as if they were all elderly or mentally challenged.
"A Ffetching Ffantasy"
Don't make this your first foray into the worlds of Jasper Fforde. For Young Adult, start with the first in this series (The Last Dragonslayer) and for mature readers you must read his better series, the Thursday Next novels (The Eyre Affair).
I didn't realize it but I love mysteries. Science Fiction and Fantasy are a particular favorite though I like travel logs, science essays.
I can't say whether it's my mood when I listened to the last book or when I listened to this one, but I've laughed out loud several times and smiled quite often which I'm sure has made a few people unnerved on the subway.
Once again, Jennifer Strange, manager of Kazam's group of sorcerers is being thwarted by those in power; the king and the Amazing Blix. While trying to keep Kazam afloat and from being absorbed into Blix's sphere of control she is also trying to help a wild Quark beast come over from Australia when hers died.
The mad cap adventures and utterly entertaining characters are in profusion but it is the wonderful wit of Fforde and makes the story even more delightful.
I highly recommend this one and find you don't need to read the first one to enjoy this one though the details from the previous book of course will add to experience.
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