Monday, August 26, 2013

ARC Review: The Song of the Quarkbeast

The Song of the Quarkbeast by Jasper Fforde
4/5 stars
Harcourt Children's Books, 2013
289 pages
YA Fantasy
Scheduled to release September 3

Source: Received an ARC through Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

After enjoying book one The Last Dragonslayer, I was pleased to get an early peek at its sequel (not really early as it has already been released in the UK). I picked this up one weekend expecting more hilarious shenanigans from Jennifer Strange and her coterie of magicians and assorted associates. As I anticipated, this was quintessentially Ffordian. I think if you enjoyed the first book and Fforde's writing in general, then you'll want to check out this sequel.

This go-around makes mention of the resurgence of magic following the events of the first book and continues some of the same threads but mostly the story is new, giving us further insight into the world of the Ununited Kingdoms. The big threat is over the future of magic with the king and wizard Blix eager to monetize it for their own gain while Jennifer and her crew want it available for everyone. These divergent philosophies battle it out, culminating in a bridge rebuilding competition to decide the fate of magic.

But really the plot doesn't much matter. Instead you'll be enchanted by the charming writing with its asides and the way that everything will come together. Small details are carelessly tossed to the side but later events prove how we had all the clues we needed, if only we could piece them all together the way Fforde does!

Jennifer continues to be plucky as foundlings are and we get to spend some time with the mysteriously disappearing and reappearing Great Zambini as well as all the fun characters from last book. I think my favorites here were greedy King Snodd IV and the King's Useless Brother (this is his actual title from the book) who is easily distracted by just about everything.

Overall: Though you could probably read this as a standalone, I do recommend checking out the first book beforehand and just being prepared for a zany ride!

Other Opinions:
Adventures of a Bookonaut
Lauren's Loquacious Literature (how cool is that blogname? I'm a sucker for alliteration)
Yolando Sfetsos

24 comments:

  1. I'm glad to get this info. I have this one, but not the previous, so maybe I will try to get the earlier one first!

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    1. Definitely read the first one first-it will make more sense that way!

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  2. Great to hear it was a funny adventure. I haven't heard of these, except maybe your first review

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    1. They're a fun series-I know not everyone likes the humor but I'm totally a Fforde fangirl so it works for me!

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  3. I have this one on my TBR. And it's always nice to see a book in that towering pile of doom get a good review.

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    1. Maybe you'll be checking it out soon ;)

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  4. Have never read a Jasper Fforde book, but how can I not love a hilarious character named Jennifer?

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    1. Yes, it's great to see a Jennifer-she may have reminded me of someone :)

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  5. Great review. This is new to me but it sounds interesting :)

    new follower via gfc & bloglovin

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    1. Hi Shane-thank you so much for stopping by! I look forward to checking out your blog later today.

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  6. I keep meaning to read Jasper Fforde, people keep recommending his books to me! And after reading this review, I can see why. One of these days...

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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    1. You should definitely give his books a read-either this series or the very popular Thursday Next!

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  7. Jasper Fforde is seriously quirky and bizarre. And I did enjoy the one of his that I read! This one sounds really goofy -- in a good way.

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    1. Yes, all those adjectives apply! That's why he's one of my favorite authors.

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  8. I haven't read anything by this author yet but I do enjoy books like have some humor and will definitely be checking this one out.

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    1. Very humorous-time always passes by so quick when I'm reading one of his books.

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  9. We do like Jasper Fforde's style and humor, as seen in the first few Eyre Affair books, so we've been wondering about his YA series. Glad to hear it's good! We'll have to check it out. :)

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    1. The style is very similar though less literary since no one is jumping through books.

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  10. It sounds like a fun read. Great review. :)

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    1. Thanks-it was nice to just kick back with a book by a beloved author.

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  11. Oh my god thank you SO much for putting my review up there, that's really amazing of you!

    I'm always so excited to find someone else that loves this series and I think you are completely right in saying that the plot of these books doesn't necessarily matter: it's all just about enjoying the crazy roller coaster ride with the occasional lobster reference thrown in (which I have discovered is some kind of thing with his books, there's quite a few that mention them).

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    1. I was thrilled to reference you-you're a new blog I discovered and loved. I don't really remember the lobster references but that is something I'll keep in mind for rereads of Fforde's work.

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  12. I remembered you being a fan of this author, so I grabbed the first book while it was on sale. It looks fun, so I can't wait to read it! :)

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    1. Wow-I feel so honored. I hope you really love it-fingers crossed!

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