Book Review: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

It only gets better, this trilogy. With this book I know that Dark Materials falls under the SciFi category and not fantasy, and it is unforgivable to catalog it under Young Adults! For a book where a child trusts another only because she knows he is a murderer and believes that the one who murders must be courageous and loyal, cannot be for young ones.

Once you are midway of the second in the Dark Materials series, you realize that the first book was a mere preface. Fantastic as it was as a singular read, it pales in comparison of its successor.

Lyrical, Passionate, and Magnificent

The Golden Compass ends with a strong-willed but helpless Lyra walking across the bridge into the aurora, but the next book opens with a little boy, Will Perry, knocking the door of his old piano teacher. It seems like a whole different universe. In fact, Will’s universe seems the closest to ours, with very worldly problems. So much so that the book started to feel like a drama! Not so fast though, because on the next page the fantastics return and this time they are bigger and better.

The book spins multiple wondrous, wild, and beautiful tales involving different creatures and characters, but all linked together in a very non-Amores Perros way. The most brilliant thing about this book is that every next chapter is from a different point of view, making it all more engaging. While all the awesomes of the last book make an appearance (except one, for whom we read the book 3), many new and fun characters and numerous new concepts are introduced. Things start to become clearer as we understand Dust, and the plans of Lord Asriel. Mrs. Coulter, however, becomes a deeper and more fascinating mystery.

The books warmed me all the way to my toes, because besides being fabulous and fantastic, it is also extremely emotional. The adventures of Will and Lyra in three different universes often give us an insight into their human strengths and weaknesses. At the same time, the book dwells deeper into the politics of the world and continues its strong commentary on the domes of power. Everyone wants to be free of whoever holds the reins; the created wishes to break free from the creator, be it an atom or a human being.

Of course, it ends at a cliff-hanger, a superb one too. And expect a review of the final book tomorrow because I am three quarters down already. (:

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One Response to “Book Review: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman”

  1. Matthew (Bibliofreak.net) Says:

    There’s so much to enjoy in these books – but you’re right, there is a real emotional hook to them, and Pullman really isn’t afraid to put in some serious tragedy.

    My review: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

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