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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 2019-10-22 19:47
The Secret Commonwealth, Book of Dust #2
The Secret Commonwealth - Philip Pullman

Once again, amazing. Lyra Silvertongue is 20 years old and attending St. Sophia's college in Oxford. All is not well. She and Pantalaimon are fighting and can barely speak to each other. Lyra has become enamored with a popular novel and a book of philosophy that disdain the mystic, the mythic and even daemons. As if their personal discord isn't enough, it seems that there are powers in their world that are not finished with them and Lyra and Pantalaimon are about to be severely tested.


'La Belle Sauvage' began the work of expanding the world of 'His Dark Materials', following Malcolm and Asta and Alice and Ben's rescue of an infant Lyra, but 'The Secret Commonwealth' makes it clear we're reading an adult novel. The marketing may still point it towards the 'ya' section, but this book may attract new readers to Pullman, but this book is for those of us who waited, almost 20 years ago, for the last installments of the series.


Lyra is an adult here, and so are Malcolm and Alice, and their world is necessarily better defined and provides sharper parallels and differences for the reader. The Magisterium is a realistic entity, and the more fantastic elements of the story may seem jarring in the face of that reality, remember the talking armored bears and everything else follows.


Pullman has outdone himself. A sequel to 'His Dark Materials' did not seem necessary four years ago, but now it is inconceivable that the story doesn't continue. I can't, well, I won't, go into further details. Once my personal life allowed it, the 600 pages flew by.


The Book of Dust


Next: '?'


Previous: 'La Belle Sauvage'

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