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The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
Member Name: ryanando
The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman
Advantages: Gives you the next installment of "his dark materials"
Disadvantages: Makes you sob like a girl, a very sobby one too.
For those of you who are not aware, The Subtle Knife is the second book of a trilogy, so if you have not read the first one (the northern lights, sometimes known as the golden compass if you're just plain silly), turn back now, youv'e just missed one of the best reads of your life. Not to mention you probably wont have a clue about whats really going a little later in the book. Its deceptive like that, it seems like you may be able to pick up from the second book but things make a lot more sense if you do the sensible thing and read the first one.
If you are anything like me, after reading The Northern Lights, you'll frantically run upstairs (if you have no stairs, pretend) grab this one off your shelf, run back down and take up your seat till at least the first ten chapters are over.
The books span over a few different worlds, the first being focused in an alternate universe belonging to the main character, Lyra.
This book is a little closer to home, being in our universe, on our planet, in our oxford. We begin with Will Parry. There is something not quite right from the beginning. Something has happend. Will is running away from his mother whom he loves very much.
By chance Will stumbles apon a door to another world. Surprise! Dont worry, Mr Pullman builds up a whole lot more excitement than I do. This is why he's the writer.
Figuring this would be the best place to hide from whatever it is he is running from, off he goes. While in hiding, will meets a little girl we (should) all know well. Her name is Lyra and she is from another world. She is on a mission to find her friend. After spending some time in this strange world, full of life sucking ghouls (Managers, as I like to call them) they decide to try and help eachother.
Along their journey they discover even more about the mysteries of the alethiometer (the instrument Lyra has been given in the first book) and find a new weapon to help in their fight against evil- aka The Church.
There are a tonne of new character in this book, building on the wealth of them produced in "The Northern Lights" and yet Pullman manges them all perfectly. He effortlessly follows at least 3 different people in different worlds doing different things and manages to not confuse a soul. These books are, after all, written for children. (Don't worry, Harry Potter made it ok for grown ups to read kids books)
As Lyra and Will make their way to who knows where (I do, I've read it), there are twists and turns, deceptions and trickery keeping them and the reader on their toes at all times. You'll never quite get who's on the good side and who's on the bad side until its too late. Even more brilliantly, you probably won't even be able to distingush Good and Bad. True to life, there are a lot of characters who are both good, bad and ugly.
This book is full of suspense, drama, shock and some rather scary beings. Brilliant for kids and amazing for adults, full of meaning the adults will understand and the kids wont even know is there.
This story is being built with unbelieveable skill. It will take you on a journey to the edge of your imagination and back and, if you're as big a wuss as I am, it will defenatley leave you in tears more than once (in a good way of course)
Ending on a complete and utter cliff hanger, you are left dangling by a thread above a canyon you cant even see the bottom of. You won't be able to not read the third (the amber spy glass). Just think yourself lucky you started reading when the saga has been completed!
Price, we are talking the same as the other books, around £5- £8 from any good or otherwise self respecting book store and well worth it too!
A quick warning too, make sure (mostly for my sake) that you get the same set of covers you started with! There are a lot of different covers for these books and it would be bad, wrong and evil of you to mix your covers.
Definatley a must read.... right after you read the first.... and right before you read the third!
(Taken from my Ciao review)
Summary: Number 2 out of the "his dark materials" trilogy