Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Philip Pullman | The Subtle Knife



Philip Pullman knows how to deliver a sequel. Although the plot wasn't as strong I think the content was a bit better. There are a few new characters in this book, new shocks, new woes. In fact, one big horrible death-type woe.

Sequels never seem to fare well when the glory of the previous book is still fresh in your mind. However, this book was a continuation of greatness, following on from Northern Lights. At the end of the last book Lyra "turned away from the world she was born in, and looked towards the sun, and walked into the sky". That is literally the last sentence in the book and also my favourite. Anyway, the second book finds Lyra in this new world where there are no adults. I love the way this was written: the idea of kids putting coins behind a counter when taking a drink, making themselves omlettes, cracking sodas while sitting outside cafes on completely deserted streets... In my mind, this is a very romantic idea. Romantic? Is that the right word?

Kids turn nasty, fights, knives, fingers lost, blahdy blahdy blah, let's concentrate on the sweet stuff. But trust me, this is all done in a His Dark Materials way, it's not street crime which this sounds like.

The plot for Northern Lights was prominent and strict with each part set in a certain place. This book was less about a quest (though it's set the next book up for another one) but like I said, I think the content was better. There were some serious surprises, one of which could probably be predicted but I just didn't. Another was just intensely sad and I think the author had been building up to it, making him a father-like character to a girl who couldn't have worse parents.

I also rate The Subtle Knife 5/5 stars as it was incredible. I really hope the next book is just as good and strongly suggest you pick up the first book if my review of Northern Lights didn't persuade you to already!  

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