Review of Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

I sailed through Northern Lights and there were many things I enjoyed about this novel.Although it’s not a light-hearted story, it’s quite a light hearted read and easily grips and keeps hold of your attention.

To sum up:

What was particularly good?: I really enjoyed the pace of this novel. It moved fast and there was always something new going on. There was constant development in both characters and the plot throughout which made it not only easy but also really fun to read.

What I didn’t enjoy?: Sometimes there were developments in relationships between characters which were sudden. Often they were good but there wasn’t much content to make it believable and you sort of just had to accept that’s how they were.

Novels that begin in medias res are doing it right. The tension is high the moment you enter the world so you’re almost obliged to keep reading. Northern Lights does this and never ceases to with each chapter. As I said above there is constantly something going on and each part of the story is vital to its plot.

Due to this, the story moves along fast so there isn’t really “time” to question the world because you become immersed in Lyra’s (protagonist) journey. You’re content knowing what she knows and not knowing what she doesn’t know because you know that eventually it will be revealed.

Besides it’s Anti/Biblical implications, the idea of having a daemon that embodies your consciousness or soul is a fantastic idea. It creates wonder and also an emotional attachment to the characters both human and daemon.The importance of having one is exemplified through the bonds that we see in Lyra and her daemon and the other humans alike – it’s sweet and you sympathise a whole lot more with the children (especially Lyra) than adults throughout.

This novel in particular was based a lot around “The Alethiometer” or “The Golden Compass” and its powers or more so Lyra’s powers. This soon became more evident but, I feel that the explanations of how Lyra hears the answers it gives whilst the other characters do not is too brief. It is quite an important factor of the story so would’ve been worth the explanation.

The ending of the novel is not anymore intense than other parts of the story but it still has a great impact as we learn like Lyra, ‘horrible truths’. It also paves a way for the sequel so it’s not all frowns and tears because her journey has not yet ended.

Being a practiced liar doesn’t mean you have a powerful imagination. Many good liars have no imagination at all; it’s that which gives their lies such wide-eyed conviction.

My rating: 5/5

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