Claire Huston's Reviews > La Belle Sauvage

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman
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liked it

I'd actually rate this a 3.5, but as I've been forced to choose, I've decided to round down.

Obviously, as this is written by Philip Pullman, the writing is great - that wasn't an issue. I think the reason it left me slightly indifferent was that the whole book - and there's a lot of it - felt like set-up for what's to come in the next two. And while I understand that's what first installments in a trilogy have to do, surely they can do it while also delivering a first chapter which is gripping in itself and crammed full of fascinating new characters?

As it was, the new characters felt a bit blank. The highlights were seeing all the characters we already know from His Dark Materials. As such, I would definitely recommend reading the His Dark Materials trilogy first before starting on The Book of Dust. But then, I'd recommend reading His Dark Materials anyway: those books are tremendous.

There were also a couple of supernatural episodes in the second half of La Belle Sauvage which felt odd and out of place. Up until those moments the story had been more of a struggle against sinister forces of repression and the elements, which I thought worked. And then all of a sudden the undead, river gods and fairies? Hmn.

All in all, it wasn't bad, but then it wasn't what I'd been hoping for either. Fingers crossed all the necessary scene setting has been done here and books 2 and 3 are marvellous as a result.
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Reading Progress

January 14, 2018 – Started Reading
January 14, 2018 – Shelved
January 18, 2018 – Finished Reading

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