The Amulet of Samarkand - Jonathan Stroud I have to admit: I picked up this book because I had nothing else to read, and it had been lying around in my room for a year. I had started reading it once, but had given up after the first chapter. The beginning is a little boring, but it gets a lot more exciting as it goes along--I'm glad that I gave this book a second chance, because I actually really liked it. Bartimaeus is a great character with a consistent, humorous tone. He's sort of annoying, but somehow appealing at the same time. I found, though, that the other main character, Nathaniel, was a somewhat boring character, and I found the chapters about him a little dull. But the book is still worth reading. :)