November 20, 2007

The Subtle Knife

And so the adventure continues...

#29 Philip Pullman: His Dark Materials: The Subtle Knife (November 2007)

Everytime I read this series beyond the first book, I notice an immediate difference in the second and third book. Pantalaimon, Lyra's daemon, is not nearly as present as he had been in The Golden Compass. I find myself missing the conversations that went on between the two of them. Suddenly Pan is given the backseat, and we don't hear much from him, other than what he says directly to twelve-year-old Will Perry, Lyra's newest friend.

Another difference is the point of view of the story. Pullman had written it from persepectives other than Lyra's in the past, but suddenly the amount of times this happens strongly increases. This book has a feel to it as if it is Will's story, not Lyra's. If you think about it, even the titles suggest so. In The Golden Compass, Lyra obtains the alethiometer, while in The Subtle Knife, Will obtains the AEsahaettr. It's been too long for me since I've read the next book in the series, but I have a character in mind for whom that story is told for as well.

While reading this book, you come across many adults striving for the greater good, and dying for a cause. Ideas such as 'the greater purpose,' 'live life to the fullest,' and 'give it all you've got' come to mind.

This book ends with as much mystery as the first one did, perhaps more. Lasting question: where is Lyra now? While some may be able to read the first book and not continue on, I can't see how anyone could do that with this one. The Amer Spyglass becomes a must-read.