I seem to be constitutionally incapable of taking a break between volumes of a series. No sooner had I finished Jonathan Stroud's The Amulet of Samarkand than I picked up the second book in the Bartimaeus Trilogy, The Golem's Eye. And to think, my plan was to take a month's break in between (that lasted about eight seconds).
Stroud's characters, including the overly-ambitious Nathaniel/John Mandrake, the wonderfully-irreverent Bartimaeus (whose footnoted asides remain one of the best parts of the book), and erstwhile Resistance figure Kitty Jones continue their adventures, taking on vicious dark magic in the form of a very destructive golem, a demented demon stuck inside the skeleton of a long-dead prime minister, and hordes of werewolf cops. Their powers and capacities for good will be stretched to the limits as they struggle against their enemies known and unknown, and, occasionally, against each other.
A bit more darkly comical than The Amulet of Samarkand, which I enjoyed, but with perhaps a touch too much adolescent angst (there were a couple Harry Potter volumes in the middle of the series where this bothered me too). Nonetheless, it was another fine installment in the series and I look forward to the third (which I'll probably pick up later tonight).