Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Northern Lights, by Philip Pullman

Posted by lea at 3:16 PM
This is a really good read, fast-paced and fantastical, taking the reader into a world where every human has a daemon (animal creature that almost equates to the person’s soul) and evil is afoot. Children begin to go missing from every city, and strong forces journey into the mysterious North to discover the secret of the Dust and the netherworld from which it comes.

Phillip Pullman paints a world of scholars, adventurers, witches, talking armoured bears, gyptians (like real world gypsies) and church-world politics. His heroine is Lyra, a girl whose personal journey is central to the story as she goes on a quest to find her playmate, Roger, who has been captured. Lyra is likeable, sympathetic and completely engaging.

Pullman’s narrative is well written and surges relentlessly forward, almost so fast that we don’t get as full a picture as we could of the incredible races, forces and motivations that he reveals along the way.

I was engrossed until the very end, where there is a wide opening left for the second part of the His Dark Materials trilogy, The Subtle Knife.

Rating: 8/10
A great fantasy adventure – a real page-turner.

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