I am giving it Five Stars because:
A. It gave me so much pleasure to re-acquaint with an old favorite, namely, the witty, boastful, and oftentimes powerful, but also self-deprecating and silly Bartimaeus. (A bit like Bruce Willies in Fifth Element.)
B. Stroud manages to present several different angles of the plot line and bring everything together in thrilling culminating sequences.
C. The three main characters: Barti, King Solomon, and Asmira, the young royal guard of the Queen of Sheba, each is layered and real and inspire admiration in very different ways.
D. And I believe that it is a book that many many young readers will find enjoyable….
… among many other reasons — cool magic, interesting twists in the plot, a tinge of melancholy that only a couple-of-thousand-year-old Djinni could experience, etc.