Northern Lights

by Phillip Pullman | Romance |
ISBN: 0590660543 Global Overview for this book
Registered by kinedi of Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom on 6/14/2005
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7 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by kinedi from Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom on Tuesday, June 14, 2005
Amazon.co.uk Review
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

Released 14 yrs ago (6/24/2005 UTC) at posted to a fellow bookcrosser in Royal Mail, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases

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Posted off to cheriepie in my favourite US state of Massachussetts. Looking fwd to reading your comments :o)

Journal Entry 3 by CheriePie from Campbell, California USA on Wednesday, June 29, 2005
Came in the mail a couple days ago while I was away for a few days. I've currently got a few other reads to finish up first, but should be starting on it within a week, two at the most.

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. :)

Journal Entry 4 by CheriePie from Campbell, California USA on Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Going in to this book, I was unsure how I'd feel about it. All of the reviews I'd read, and the description itself, kept referring to "The Church" and Christianity stuff. Now, I'm not Christian and never have been, but I know enough about their teachings, and though they've got some good ideas, I am completely at odds with many of their teachings, and some of the things they practice and preach really make me angry, so much so that I tend to avoid books that deal with the subject.

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.

UPDATE 01-AUG-2005:
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).

Journal Entry 5 by RoryG from Palmdale, California USA on Friday, August 05, 2005
This was waiting for me when I got home from work today :) I have another bookring before this, but I should be getting to this soon. I just can't wait.

Journal Entry 6 by RoryG from Palmdale, California USA on Friday, August 26, 2005
In the beginning I was confused and thought of even leaving the book, but I have a 50 pages rule: that much I give the book to convince me. And by that time I was hooked on reading it. I don't know if I had picked this up by chance, so thank god for the BC100 list :) I've really found some great books because of that list, and this was definitely an enjoyment to read.

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!

Journal Entry 7 by kinedi from Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom on Tuesday, September 06, 2005
Book arrived safely back in Edinburgh. Thanks guys for joining this bookring. Here's to Part 2 !

Journal Entry 8 by kinedi at Negociants, Lothian Street in Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (5/10/2006 UTC) at Negociants, Lothian Street in Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom

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To be released at the May Meet Up

Journal Entry 9 by parthaL from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Friday, May 12, 2006
picked up at the edinburgh bookcrossing meetup, looking forward to reading it!

Journal Entry 10 by kinedi from Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom on Thursday, June 15, 2006
Back home

Journal Entry 11 by kinedi from Rushyford, County Durham United Kingdom on Thursday, June 29, 2006
Reserved as a RABCK for Moonblue in South Africa

Released 13 yrs ago (6/30/2006 UTC) at fellow bookcrossing member in by mail, a fellow bookcrosser -- Controlled Releases

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Posted to South Africa. Happy reading

Journal Entry 13 by moonblue from Grahamstown, Eastern Cape South Africa on Tuesday, August 08, 2006
Arrived this week. Thanks kinedi. I am looking forward to reading it, and will then take it to the OBCZ in Grahamstown.

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.

Journal Entry 14 by vuurhoutjie from Grahamstown, Eastern Cape South Africa on Friday, December 07, 2007
I was very happy to be able to reread this book this week, as my own copy is out on loan to a friend. It is lovely to note details in the second reading. I found it almost weird that I was clearly so taken with some of the ideas in it, that I almost forgot how much the book is sheer good storytelling, how the ideas are embedded in this world and shown rather than over-explained. And it amazed me, once again, how I could keep on falling into the story and react to the tension and be anxious even though I 'knew what was going to happen' since I've read it before.

Passing it back to moonblue - she has a journey planned.

Journal Entry 15 by davidseven from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape South Africa on Saturday, December 15, 2007
I got this book from moonblue as she was passing through Port Elizabeth last week.

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.

Journal Entry 16 by davidseven from Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape South Africa on Tuesday, January 01, 2008
I am passing this one back to moonblue, because I think she has someone else who wants to read it.

Journal Entry 17 by moonblue from Grahamstown, Eastern Cape South Africa on Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Given to a friend on New Year's Day. She will read the book and then release it in Johannesburg, or pass on to someone else.

Journal Entry 18 by moonblue from Grahamstown, Eastern Cape South Africa on Monday, May 05, 2008
My friend in Johannesburg returned it. I know she read the book, but could not convince her to make a journal entry or release it. Sigh. So will drop off at the OBCZ in Grahamstown

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