A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
The Eye of Zoltar displays a satirical outlook on fantasy cliches and spotlights some of the absurdity of quests for adventure. Many of the characters indulge in clever wordplay.
Persevere in the face of adversity. Remain optimistic even when confronting danger.
Positive Role Models
Jennifer Strange handles every crisis with a good degree of grit, determination, and common sense. In the face of mortal danger, she's brave and resourceful. The adult characters depend on her, and the villains frequently underestimate her. The villains are vain, self-centered and blind to the troubles of others.
Violence & Scariness
Violence is largely warned about but not seen. There is one fierce battle, some minor characters die, and a member of the supporting cast loses a hand.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some flirting between teens Jennifer and Perkins.
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"Arse," "hell," and "pissed" are used a couple of times each.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Eye of Zoltar is a clever follow-up to The Last Dragonslayer and The Song of the Quarkbeast. The pace is a bit more frenetic and the tone a lot darker this time around. The novel contains little violence until the climax and denouement, when there's a deadly battle and some supporting characters die or are seriously injured. "Arse," "hell," and "pissed" are used a few times each. Sexual content's limited to a crush and some flirting between two teens.
Is It Any Good?
THE EYE OF ZOLTAR serves up the kinds of clever magical hijinks that distinguished the previous volumes in this series. The plot cuts Jennifer off from many of the familiar characters from the first two books and introduces a handful of new members to the supporting cast. Which is a good way to prevent story stagnation.
Some readers may be disturbed by the violent, open-ended denouement, which takes a darker turn than most will expect, More installments in this series are on their way, as this volume ends with a cliffhanger.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.