Don's Reviews > His Dark Materials

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman
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's review
Feb 15, 2008

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Read in February, 2008

As a departure from my usual non-fiction, I thought I'd try this trilogy and see what all the hype was about. I just finished the Golden Compass and am currently reading the Subtle Knife (book two).

Pullman's world is an interesting one, with soul-beings called daemons that are somehow separate from their hosts but also joined. His characters are include armored bears, witches, angels, demonic spirit beings, and science wizards. He gets great mileage out of the "many worlds" interpretation of quantum theory, which holds that there are an infinite number of universes, each with it's own occurrences. This creates endless possbilities, because in Pullman's world, characters can travel between universes. It's sometimes hard to keep track of which universe a character happens to be in at the moment, however.

Book two, the Subtle Knife, is better than Book one, The Golden Compass. Comparisons with Tolkein abound, but Pullman's not quite in the same league in my opinion.

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