The Amulet of Samarkand

And then, as if written by the hand of a bad novelist, an incredible thing happened.

The Amulet of Samarkand is a fun book. It feels someone like a grittier Harry Potter, where instead of the bright and shiny flick of a wand, you summon demons. Instead of a fantastic hidden castle in the woods, you have Arthur Underwood–imagine if Harry was tutored throughout his magical career by a slightly more competent Vernon Dursley. And instead of a dark wizard coming to kill you because of an accident of your birth… well, Nathaniel does a pretty good job of bringing trouble down upon his own head.