Austin Neaves's Reviews > The Subtle Knife

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
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's review
Jan 13, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in November, 2010

The second book in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy is better than the first. The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman is a jump through a multiverse that is as rich in religious symbolism as it is exciting to read.

The unflattering light (some people believe) it shines on Christianity and the Catholic Church have no doubt caused a lot of controversy. It doesn't distract from the story however, it adds to it. This is what makes the book such a great read for an adult. It would be over simplification to call this book anti-Christian.

Without spoiling anything, I'll try and explain what the story is about. This book adds a new main character, Will, who serves as a companion to Lyra (the protagonist from the first story). They travel between parallel worlds and discover more about dust and a great battle that is to come. Eventually the focus of the novel revolves around the subtle knife, an object that has great impact on the story.

If you haven't read this series then I suggest you give it a try (Especially if you liked the Harry Potter series, Coraline, or the Chronicles of Narnia). I reviewed the first book here. I suggest it for both kids and adults. I give it four and a half stars out of five.

Originally reviewed on my blog at

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