Thursday, November 19, 2009

Book Review: The Subtle Knife

Philip Pullman's The Subtle Knife, the second book in the series, His Dark Materials, takes you to a haunted island in the middle of an ocean, surrounded by monstrous ghosts. Readers of The Golden Compass, the first book in the series, will learn more about Dust and the evil creatures, soulless children, and the journey of its inspiring heroine, Lyra.

In The Subtle Knife, a young boy named Will meets Lyra in a haunted world filled with ghostly monsters called Spectors. Will and Lyra are both from Oxford. Lyra's Oxford contains people's souls walking beside them as talking animals otherwise known as "daemons." To follow that, Lyra's world is also filled with Spectors alongside powerful and beautiful witches. Will's world contains the same familiar objects and creatures as ours.

Will takes Lyra into his world, where a dishonest man steals Lyra's compass and then tells them to bring him a knife if they ever want it back. But when they go to find the knife, turns out that it really belongs to Will, after he loses two fingers fighting for it. But the thing that irks me about it, is that the man who wants it doesn't know how to use it. And therefore, he was stupid to ask for it because all he really wants is to travel to other worlds, and the knife does allow you to do it but he knew it wasn't going to work if the holder didn't work it properly.

One thing I noticed about this book is that Lyra (even though she's the child, who's a very important person in the first book) is much less important than Will, who is, surprisingly, a new character. And that Lyra starts using the alithiometer less and less, Pan is now referred to as "Pantailomon," who was mentioned a fair amount of times in the book before "The Golden Compass", but now his name is barely mentioned at all, and so is Mrs. Coulter's daemon, who was mentioned a surprisingly high amount before.

The setting where Lyra and Will meet each other is the haunted world, which is a good place to meet. It adds a little twinge of fear when you hear that Lyra and Will have been standing right in the middle of conscience-sucking ghosts the whole time they were there.

Notice how most of the characters don't feel a lot of fear when a big battle comes. Lee Scoresby for instance. Whenever he gets in a big mess he's always calm and sophisticated.

I recommend this book to people who love suspense and action. And for curious people like me. After all, Lyra does find out a lot about Dust in this book.


Okay, so let's keep track of how many visitors we've had here in France so far and how many of them said things like #1"How lucky are you all to live here in the Var for an entire year," and how many of them said things like #2"Out of all the cool fun and amazing things there are in France, why choose Aups?" And if I were to guess I think that all the visitors we've had in the previous month have chosen number one and none of the have chosen number two. And thank god it's true! I have absolutely no idea why we chose Aups! You would expect that these Aupians or whatever you call them might have a few questions for us! And surprisingly, so do I!

Speaking of, Grandma and Grandpa just arrived the other day with a huge story behind them. And as they were telling that story, I was staring off into space thinking "Wow I really wonder if the next visitors won't be so lucky. Let alone the cookie-loving four-year-old and his exhausted mommy that are supposed to be arriving tomorrow." (Otherwise known as cousin Finn and Aunt Laura.)