Book Review: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials #2)

Hello, hello!

Due to a rather stressful time at University it took me some time to catch up with my current to-read-list.
I already wrote on the first installment of Philip Pullman’s famous His Dark Materials trilogy. Finally I found the time to share my thoughts on part 2, The Subtle Knife.
So here we go!


The Plot:
Surprisingly, this one doesn’t start off with Lyra, or any other character we already know. The story begins with Will who finds his way to a different world where he encounters Lyra. They try to help each other but their adventure gets more dangerous with every page you read.
Will comes into possession of the subtle knife, a very powerful tool, that can cut windows between worlds.
While the kids struggle on their own, Lord Asriel is preparing for war…


The Rating:
After being absolutely fascinate by part one, I was super excited to read The Subtle Knife.
However, my first thought on this book was: irritating. Especially when Pullman starts the story in our world. Yes, that’s right. No deamons, nothing fancy. Will is an ordinary kid, living in our world. It took quite a few pages to take that and I was rather startled by it.

Well, I got used to it after some time and when I really allowed myself to sink into the story, I appreciated it more. Pullman is a great writer, he paints the most marvellous pictures with his words. But – there always has to be a but – The Subtle Knife got nowhere near the first part, Northern Lights.

While the first installment was fascinating and full of a subtle sort of magic, this book just can’t keep up. Especially the chapters set in our world are for a huge part only weird. For example those parts with Dr. Malone. Those of you who read the book will understand what I’m talking about.

So, from time to time the story does pick up some really interesting aspects and you want to find out more. But unfortunately it never took long Pullman to return to a point where it just felt like dragging on.

I have to say, my feelings are rather mixed about this one. It is a decent book, but definitely not worthy of the first installment in the series. I had expected so much more and ended up disappointed.


Did you read it? What do you think? Let me know in the comments!


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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials #2)

  1. Pingback: Book Review: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (His Dark Materials #3) | The Punk Theory

  2. Pingback: Stranger Things Book Tag | The Punk Theory

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