His Dark Materials: Northern Lights – Philip Pullman
February 22, 2010 § 16 Comments
Some of my favourite blogger friends have been so excited when I ‘announced’ that I would be reading His Dark Materials, and have said rave things about it. They told me how much they loved this trilogy, how it was their favourite fantasy genre book of all time, and how much they hope I love it too. So it’s only natural for me to have some form of expectation going into this book.
Well. Much as I had my hopes up for a good story, I had not set myself up for such an adventure. And I’m not buttering anything up when I say that I loved this first volume, Northern Lights.
I cannot do a proper review of this book. Not right now. All I can really say is, I’m loving Mr Pullman for writing such a magnificent piece of work. And I just can’t wait till I finish this post and get right on with the next book in this trilogy, The Subtle Knife.
There were just so many things about this story that I loved. I’m absolutely in love with Lyra, but more so with her dæmon, Pantalaimon (or Pan for short, but really, that’s just such a beautiful name). I love Lyra’s spirit, her strong sense of friendship and justice and doing what’s right according to what her gut and her dæmon tell her. I love how she lets herself get into trouble, how she lies to get herself out of it, and how she just pieces things together without really knowing how she does it herself.
And I love the gyptians (they travel in boats!); and the cast-out armoured bear, Iorek Byrnison; and the witches, particularly Serafina Pekkala and her dæmon. But really, how in the world did Pullman even imagine and create that alethiometer (an instrument to measure truth)?! That thing is just pure magic. In fact, the whole story has been pure magic for me.
I know the book had been made into a movie before this, The Golden Compass, but I didn’t watch it then. I’m wondering if I should watch it now that I’ve read and enjoyed this book so much, or if I should just leave the movie alone while I allow myself to fully immerse in the world that Pullman so skilfully created for me in the pages of his book. I’m guessing I shouldn’t risk watching the movie, but I’m still open to suggestions, especially from you fellow lovers of His Dark Materials, you know who you are. =)