My review of this book will consist of the actions that I took while reading it and hopefully that will be sufficient enough. I bought the book onlineMy review of this book will consist of the actions that I took while reading it and hopefully that will be sufficient enough. I bought the book online a week ago. It arrived today. Due to it being the first sunny day in what felt like an unending winter I cut the grass, set up outside furniture, grabbed myself a Coke with ice and sat into this book.
I had finished it in about an hour or so later. Since then I've bought the next five volumes, and started to re-read this volume due to the fact I couldn't stop reading and missed some of the actual action.
So now I'll finish this review by saying what you need to do. GO. BUY. THIS BOOK....more
**spoiler alert** The Subtle Knife, Pullmans follow up to the vastly popular "Northern Lights" (The Golden Compass in North America) was such a comple**spoiler alert** The Subtle Knife, Pullmans follow up to the vastly popular "Northern Lights" (The Golden Compass in North America) was such a complete onslaught to my sense of "what makes a good book good" I found it hard to keep the book down.
Pullman is in his element here with his sharp eye to detail, but most of all his gift for visual imagery, not to sound too pompous but it was almost as if I was able to taste, feel and get lost in each setting and environment, his portrayal of environments, characters and their emotions are vivid, the city of Cittagazze in particular struck a chord in how I would talk to my friend about how I pictured these places and we'd come up with the same ideas of how we pictured it, but its in that itself why I found this book so enjoyable, its a "water-cooler book", its one whose ideas and events are discussed instantly with those around you who would listen, it left you wanting to share the experience. On many occasions I had lengthy discussions with friends who had read the book about the relationships, ideas and the execution of the story, with everyone having their own takes on the events of the book which is something quite special.
Coming back to the execution of the story this is something else in its own right that requires this book to be on any reading enthusiasts to-read list, its rare, but, when the gravity of the ideas presented match the execution of those said idea in the framework of the piece your on to something brilliant, an example being, the idea of the subtle knife, its execution and usefulness in the story itself and its ability to tie in with the overall events and not leave plot holes is something to be admired.
The characters are interesting, in particular Mrs Coulter, yet my only grievance is with the evolution of Lyra, for some reason I felt she lacked the integrity and refreshing pre-pubescent femme fatale "take on the world and leave no prisoners" attitude she expressed in the first book, although i'm quite aware this may be one of those "its just me" things yet in the ways she was portrayed as a slightly more fragile character threw me slightly for the first while, yet this is the only issue I had with the book and wasn't too much of a grievance to give the book 4/5 stars, its clearly a 5 star effort. My favourite character in this book was easily Lee Scoresby and i'm not ashamed to admit that I got teary eyed at his death, each gun shot felt like a blow to my own senses. Its one of Pullmans most poignant scenes in my opinion because the fact that the image of Lees death stuck with me throughout the rest of the book and also stayed with me in "The Amber Spyglass", yet its in the emotion that this book brought forth that i'm truly reminded of the power that books and stories can have on us, and although this is apparent in all three books of the "His Dark Materials" series I felt i took more from The Subtle Knife then the other two instalments in this series.
So that's my opinion of Phillip Pullmans "The Subtle Knife" an engaging read as rich in imagery as it is in wealth of ideas and substance.
"I can't shoot a man in his back," Lee said. "Shame to die with one bullet left, though." ...more