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review 2020-06-20 00:38
Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
Northern Lights - Philip Pullman


“So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in, and looked toward the sun, and walked into the sky.”


Reading this for the first time as an adult this book is wonderful, the lead character Lyra may be a child but the writing is not dumbed down for children. And I love when authors do this, you get enjoyment as a child and when you come back to it years later it doesn't feel like you're reading a childrens book.


Considering this has been around for so long, I actually had zero knowledge what it was about. The story follows parentless Lyra and her daemon who has grown up in an Oxford College, when she's not being tutored she's and playing and fighting in the streets with the local children. Each human has a daemon, which is essentially you're soul and once you become an adult it settles into one form of animal that becomes a representation of of you. 


Lyra craves something more than the stuffy male professors she's been brought up around, and one day, the glamourous and mysterious Mrs Coulter appears offering her all she's dreamed off. Lyra jumps at the chance. However, children are disappearing. Tales of the Gobblers have travelled up and down the country. Soon Lyra finds herself embarking on a huge adventure to save the kidnapped children, and as she travels further North she discovers there is far more too the disappearances.


This book was completely unpredictable, this story was so unexpected and anytime I thought I knew where the story was going it went in the other direction. This book is a fantasy classic, and I wish I has read this when I was younger, a daemon companion, traveling to the North with the gyptians and befriending an armoured polar bear. I would also recommend listening to this as an audiobook, the narrator and author Philp Pullman has a wonderful deep voice, and towards the end he and the cast pull off a wonderful job at building the urgency and tensions between the characters.


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review 2020-03-10 20:57
The Secret Commonwealth
The Secret Commonwealth - Philip Pullman

No. Just a thousand times no. This was long, boring, and there's a really weird set-up with two characters that I would rather Pullman just leave the hell alone. This dragged. Badly. I didn't like Lyra and I didn't like Pan. I just felt like this was filler and it ended on a weird note. 




Also can you call this Young Adult anymore since Lyra is not a young adult? She's 20 which puts her in New Adult status regarding book genres. Apparently my streak of disliking mostly every New Adult book I have read is undefeated.



"The Secret Commonwealth" jumps forward and instead of following book #1 in the new series, we are plunged several years after Lyra and Will were separated. Lyra and Pan are finding themselves at odds and there's a mysterious murder that once again Lyra is in the middle of. We have previous characters from the last book (Malcolm and Alice) in this one to not do much besides fret over Lyra and or get shuttled off screen until Pullman remembers them. 


There's too much going on. I think we had to follow at one point 4 or 5 people? That includes Lyra, Pan, Malcolm, Alice, and others I am blanking on now. I think the worst part is as I said I didn't like Lyra or Pan.


Pullman turns Lyra into a freaking Mary Sue. Everyone wants to protect her and or is in love with her. I just...deep breath. I don't know what this was. It was a hodge podge of ideas that don't work. I don't know when book #3 is coming out, but I hope that Pullman gets rid of the characters we don't care about and focus on Lyra. The mess with her and Pan made zero sense and it got so stupid I couldn't even keep reading about it.


I started skimming over Malcolm's parts. I don't like him.

Alice felt the same but older between books #1 and #2 and I would have rather followed her.


The writing didn't read like Pullman and the flow was awful. There are stories within stories and info dumping galore. 

The book ends on a damn cliffhanger. 


Also, see spoiler below. 



The Malcolm and Lyra romance is gross and awful. I just cannot. 


(spoiler show)
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text 2020-03-09 21:28
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Secret Commonwealth - Philip Pullman

First clunker of the series for me. 

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review 2020-02-13 09:05
Engaging second volume in the Book of Dust series
The Secret Commonwealth - Philip Pullman



Phillip Pullman takes us further on Lyra’s journey, this time as a young woman, leaving Oxford to embark on a long purposeful trip, meeting a host of different characters along the way, both friendly and hostile. Meanwhile political machinations are underway.

The writing is engaging and very literary in places and makes the whole experience enjoyable. The characters are well-developed and evolve as the story progresses. Fans will certainly find the novel rewarding.

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review 2019-10-27 15:26
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman, John Lawrence
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman,John Lawrence

More books should be published in small editions with illustrations.


Lyra is a bit much in The Golden Compass; Will was my favorite character in that series. But over the years she's really grown on me.


This is just a short visit to check up on her well after the events of His Dark Materials are past. Her life is different and she is changed. But it's lovely to see her back in Oxford, in her natural element, up to at least some of her old tricks.


Plus, who doesn't like to imagine what their daemon would be?


And in joyful news, this little book gave me a bingo! And now it'll likely be at least one bingo with every book I finish.


I made a mistake: there should be a Bustopher on Full Moon. That's the one I transformed to New Release for Emergency Skin.

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