Kate's Reviews > Once Upon a Time in the North

Once Upon a Time in the North by Philip Pullman
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's review
May 12, 2010

it was ok
Read in March, 2010

I've been grateful for these additions to His Dark Materials, packaged as hardbound, bite-size treats intended for a child. They are a way for Pullman to let his obsessed fans continue on journeys with characters they have come to know and love so well.

Lee Scoresby and Iorek Byrenison both play leading roles in Once Upon a Tim in the North. The timing of their meeting and adventure is appropriately vague. Did this occur before the adventures spoken of in His Dark Materials? Afterwards? In another world? Doesn't matter, so don't get hung up on it.

I'll admit that I found the story a little confusing. Both man and bear find themselves in a land in the far frozen Arctic amidst corruption. Being both noble souls, they try to do what they think is right and get into a heap of trouble along the way. The full story is short, exciting and a nice rainy-day read. Maybe get the book from the library or borrow it from a friend, though. Regardless of it's painfully cute exterior and board game (see below), the book doesn't stand up to Pullman's others and isn't a necessary part of your library.

Once Upon a Tim in the North shares similar illustrations throughout the story that Lyra's Oxford had, but instead of a pull-out map, this one has a board game. A board game! I'll admit to being too scared to opening the board game packaging. Right now it is so sweet and pristine. If I (wo)man up and give the game a go, I'll let you know if it's any good. I read the instructions and it sounds wonderful.

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