So I just read The Northern Lights/The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman and
I’m honestly not sure how I felt about it. I enjoyed the story mostly but I found I struggled to read it and some parts of the writing itself was hard to read. But I have carried on to the second one because of the amount of people who have said I need to finish all 3, it’s become something that’s needed.
Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal–including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.
Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want–but what Lyra doesn’t know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other.
First I want to talk about what I liked about the book. The world building was very well done, I felt like I quickly had an idea of how things worked without feeling like it was being painfully explained to you. I learnt as the main character explored a world she was already part of.
I love the world this story is set in, the idea of the daemon is something almost beautiful to me. I have an amazing relationship with my dog, Mylo, and I almost have an understanding of what this would feel like. They talk a lot about loneliness and how people without daemon must be deeply lonely, that hit me hard.
All the characters were well developed, even side characters felt like they had a full background and an extensive character profile. They were all very unique to each other and had their place in the story. For all I wasn’t a huge fan of the main character I did find likable qualities in others.
But even with all this said I did just really struggle with this book, it’s the only book I got through that month. I think this may be the writing style, this often making books harder to read for me. I’m currently on the second one now and I know I do want to finish it but even this one I’m struggling with.
There were also a couple of small things that annoyed me about the writing, the fact he says breast instead of chest when that makes more sense and he talks a lot about Lyra falling asleep. This made chapters feel like they ended abruptly because Pullman had no way of ending the book.
All in all I would say it’s a good book and I think other people will totally enjoy it but I just really struggled with it. The story is beautiful and I think people should get a chance to enjoy that.
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