Orthogonal Thought | Random musings from the creator of Cooking For Engineers and Lead Architect of Fanpop





Books - His Dark Materials 2: The Subtle Knife

Posted 23 May, 2007 at 12:30am by Michael Chu
(Filed under: Books)

In this second part of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy, a new major character is introduced (Will Parry) who is from our world and wanders into the new world that Lyra entered at the end of the first book. Other favorite characters from The Golden Compass (Northern Lights) return like Serafina Pekkala and Lee Scoresby as the narration follows their stories as well as those of Will and Lyra.

On the whole, the story is not bad, but not up to the level of wonder and magic that I experienced in the first novel. Often what happens to the middle book in a trilogy is that the book serves as a bridge and what happens in the novel is not momentous or particularly plot advancing. The Subtle Knife is no exception this this pitfall. We do find out a few more things about Dust and the alethiometer takes second stage to a new mysterious object called the Subtle Knife which may hold the key to not only traveling between worlds but a way for Lord Asriel to succeed in whatever plans he has in the works.

By the end of the novel, you're left wondering where the series is going to lead and which side the reader should be on - the side with Lord Asriel (and presumably Lyra and Will) who seek to destroy God or the side with the corrupt and clearly evil Church. After loving the first book, I find myself at a loss after finishing The Subtle Knife.

What I'm reading: Shardick by Richard Adams (1976 Mass Market Paperback), Vegetables from The Culinary Institute of America (Hardcover), Empire by Orson Scott Card (Audio), and The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, Book 3) by Philip Pullman (Audio).

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