Review: Philip Pullman’s “Northern Lights” (His Dark Materials I)

by writereaderly

This one only crossed my lectoral consciousness because it appeared on BBC’s list: all I knew was that it was a YA fantasy novel that went, quote unquote, “viral” and was now “recognised as a masterpiece”. Hmm. The first 50pp were a drag as the standard fantasy framework was erected: rambunctious preadolescent girl, mystery family, quirky steam-punk setting in almost our world, magickal powers, familiars, etc., etc. But then the story just took off, and I didn’t much care about the average writing style because I was so drawn into the plot and convolutions as heroine Lyra explores with her daemon and her gyptian friends and armoured bears and wanders into the lands of the Aurora and the mystery of Dust. I was gripped and think I will take the risky step of getting the next two out of the library even though I have an assignment due (oh the fool I remain…). Recommended.

Where it came from: Library
Time and manner of reading: An afternoon snippet then absorbed, bookended bed-reads
Where it went: Home
Reminds me of: Atoms, Motion and the Void, episodes 22-24, by Sherwin Sleeves
Who I’d recommend it to: Fantasy readers, but not just them… a good bit of escapism from reality can be promised
Also reading: Rabbit #4; How to Read a Poem by Edward Hirsch; Selected Essays by George Orwell; Picturing Canada by Gail Edwards and Judith Saltman (just the images); The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen