Northern Lights by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials #1)

12699042Northern Lights to put it simply, is a lovely novel with interesting characters and a far more interesting world. From the minute I started reading I was drawn to this Steam punk-world with Christian influences.

Our hero is a young orphaned girl by the name of Lyra who was raised in Oxford by scholars. In short time we realize she is quite important to the fate of this world. That and other strange things, kidnapped children, Church mysteries, witches, armored bears, this thing called ‘dust’ and perhaps the most interesting thing of all: daemons.

I loved the concept of Daemons. Constant animal companions who are tied to each of the humans in the world. Basically they are the external self of a human being, their emotion, their soul. And before each human reaches puberty a daemon can change their shape whenever. But once they grow older they take a fixed shape.

This brings me to mind what kind of animal my own Daemon would be…It would have to be the Quokka. Yes, the Quokka. I am a happy little critter.



I also enjoyed the political, scientific and religious aspects of this world. It was interesting how it explored political coercion and subterfuge. And how we as adults love to obsess over innocence and preserving that innocence.

However despite my interest in the world building not everything was up for scratch for me. The information about the world felt heavy-handed, too much telling and not enough showing. The plot was hardly special despite some interesting parts. And although I found the main characters like Mrs Coulter, Lord Asriel, Lyra and Iorek interesting—others felt bland by comparison.

The writing was beautiful – but again heavy handed with information.

However I will continue with the series, if only to sate my curiosity.

I give it 3.5/5 *






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