7 journalers for this copy...
Lyra's life is already sufficiently interesting for a novel before she eavesdrops on a presentation by her uncle Lord Asriel to his colleagues in the Jordan College faculty, Oxford. The college, famed for its leadership in experimental theology, is funding Lord Asriel's research into the heretical possibility of the existence of worlds unlike Lyra's own, where everyone is born with a familiar animal companion, magic of a kind works, the Tartars are threatening to overrun Muscovy, and the Pope is a puritanical Protestant. Set in an England familiar and strange, Philip Pullman's lively, taut story is a must-read and re-read for fantasy lovers of all ages. The world-building is outstanding, from the subtle hints of the 1898 Tokay to odd quirks of language to the panserbjorne, while determined, clever Lyra is strongly reminiscent of Joan Aiken's Dido Twite.
Part 1 of the Dark Material Trilogy ! My alltime favourite books ! Now being offered as an international bookring. Please do not keep book longer than 4 weeks. Thanks and Happy Reading ! LIST NOT FINAL
1.) cheriepie, USA
2.) RoryG, Finland
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Posted off to cheriepie in my favourite US state of Massachussetts. Looking fwd to reading your comments :o)
As I mentioned to kinedi, I'm looking forward to reading this author. He's been recommended to me in the past, but I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the strong Christian slant. If I like this one, I'll probably move on to read more of him. :)
That said, with the exception of the very end of the book, and the fact that many of the characters held various positions in the Church, there really wasn't too much religion in it, which allowed me to enjoy it for what it was.
The book takes place in a universe similar to ours, but different in many ways. Each human, and witches as well, has a personal daemon, an animal of the opposite sex from themselves, who is sort of like their soul, or alter-ago. A human and their daemon cannot be separated from each other by more than a few feet, and to be separated from your daemon can cause certain death. Before they've reached puberty, a child's daemon can change form at will, and will not settle on one particular form until their child has become an adolescent. Lyra's daemon is named Pantalaimon and often takes the form of an ermine, which seems to be his favorite form. When he wishes to appear inconspicuous, he can be a moth, or a mouse, or in a protective mode, even a lion.
Lyra and Pan have spent most of their childhood growing up at Jordon College near London. She's an orphan, or so she's been told that her parents were killed in an accident when she was younger. Though she lives at the college, she's friends with the servant's children, some of the town children, and even children from other colleges. The arrival of the "Gobblers" in town has put fear in the adults and children alike, for the "Gobblers" have been stealing children and bringing them North for secret experiments.
As the story progresses, Lyra discovers some hidden secrets about herself, the Gobblers, and the Northern Lights, and progresses through a number of dangerous adventures on her way to find out what's going on and help to save the children. The ending, though coming to a satisfactory conclusion, is left open to pave the way to the second book.
Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely. (I almost gave it an 8 instead of a 7, but the fact that I had to stop and look up some words in the dictionary made me decide to go with the 7.) Plus, at the very end when Lord Asriel and Lyra went into a discussion about "original sin" and quoted a few bible verses, I thought "Oh oh, don't start now!" But it was only in the last 30 pages or so, and it only went on for a few pages and then just became a minor concept again so I was okay with it. However, I'm wondering if leading into the 2nd book, this whole concept of "original sin" (which is one of those things that I have a grudge against) is going to be further explored. I hope not!
I'll be sending this off to RoryG in Finland as soon as I get an address.
This is all packed and labeled to go out in tomorrow's mail (Aug 2). It's being sent via Surface since Air was more than double the cost ($3.80 vs. $8.70).
It took me a bit longer to read due to my stressful situation at work (which luckily has now changed for better), but I'll send the book back home next week. Thanks for sharing kinedi!
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
To be released at the May Meet Up
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Posted to South Africa. Happy reading
I passed it on without making a journal entry. So am just adding my opinion, which was that I really enjoyed the book. The world building and writing is very good, and the characters were well developed.
With the film coming out soon a lot of people have expressed interest in this book so I am passing it on in a sort of informal ring. I can't wait to read book 2 now.
Passing it back to moonblue - she has a journey planned.
I enjoyed it. Its fairly well written, and has quite a few interesting concepts. I absolutely love the polar bears in battle armour. How cool is that?
Reading it as a Christian, I was very aware of looking for the heresy and blasphemy I had been warned about. I didn't find any. Maybe he's saving that for the next book.
Enjoyable for adults, but with a definite children's book feel about it.