5 The Third Volume In Philip Pullman S Incredible HIS DARK MATERIALS Trilogy First Published In , And Acclaimed As A Modern Masterpiece, It Won The UK S Top Awards For Children S Literature We Re Going To The Land Of The Dead And We Re Going To Come Back Will And Lyra, Whose Fates Are Bound Together By Powers Beyond Their Own Worlds, Have Been Violently Separated But They Must Find Each Other, For Ahead Of Them Lies The Greatest War That Has Ever Been And A Journey To A Dark Place From Which No One Has Ever Returned The Golden Compass brilliantly invents a fantasy world full of adventure, action and allegorical lessons regarding religion and life The two sequels smoothly carry on the story line and largely continue to keep the readers absorbed and satisfied, but I cannot say that they are as perfect as the original.
While the author successfully introduces new environments and characters through the series to keep it fresh, I cannot help notice that his preaching of liberal values grows naked as the series progresses Make no mistake, I am happy that this series exists to serve as a counter weight to the typical Christian fundamentalist propaganda parading as young adult literature, e.
g Narnia, but I have to admit that some story elements in this final volume push the envelope a little too far and make the book suitable for mature audience only, which is quite regrettable as the first two books have been great for even very young kids Specifically, the climax of this book involves the protagonist, 13 year old Lyra, committing the original sin with her boy friend in the woods within the sight of the last surviving bad guy, a zealot priest on a mission to assassinate her The ex deus machina comes about when the priest is killed just in time by a gay angel sworn to protect the boy Yes, you read me right This book features gay angels as well as horny ones by the way The author certainly cannot be accused of a lack of imagination.
My other complaint regards plausibility We are talking about a fantasy series here, so I am not trying to apply real physics to the story It is the motivation and behaviors of some characters that bothers me For example, the ghosts and harpies talk, interact and respond in ways totally illogical and unrealistic But they are minor characters non essential to the core plot, so flipping quickly past these parts is not difficult.
Despite these flaws, I still enjoy reading it tremendously This series is truly one of the best in its genre.
This is a challenge to get through and one hat requires a good deal of thought on the part of the reader It is well worth the effort Pullman s views on organized religion are a challenge to anybody of faith, but it needs to be kept in mind that he is not opposed to a particular faith, merely to the limits that religion can put on consciousness, knowledge and curiosity The passage of the dead to their release into the living world, where they are liberated and made part of new life, is intriguing Especially so in the description of the reuniting of the parts of Lee Scoresby with his beloved daemon, Hester This is my third time reading the trilogy, this time to my 13 year old grandson who amazed me with his insights and understanding of the plot I am just about to start reading the first book of the next trilogy to him, La Belle Sauvage.
Phillip Pullman s His Dark Materials trilogy is such an ambitious undertaking that I wondered if he d be able to pull it off The answer is sort of The quest is momentous, the stakes high The premise and themes are as lofty as you can get the very purpose of human existence.
If I were to compare this trilogy to The Lord of the Rings, I d say the story is nuanced than the good and evil of LOTR, the plot less linear And while no world building can match Tolkien s, the worlds that Pullman s creates are amazing Citegazze with its specters and the inventors of the subtle knife the world with the Mulafa, who learned to travel on wheels, developed in a symbiotic relationship with trees Lyra s own world, so similar to ours but so different the world of the dead and our own world juxtaposed with all of these.
The writing is good and seemed to improve with each book And yet despite all of this, it failed to rise to the level the premise deserved Why Emotion comes not just from plot but from how the characters react to it And in this regard, the author failed to let us deep enough inside the characters to fully experience what the situation deserved.
The premise should feel cataclysmic than LOTR, not merely the triumph of good over evil, but a multi layered conflict between seekers of knowledge and those who would deny the human race growth So why doesn t it feel powerful The answer lies in how close we get to know Frodo and Sam, the intensity of their relationship, and the depth of the secondary characters.
Mr Pullman doesn t let us that close to his characters, perhaps due to his choice of omniscient perspective But I can t help thinking what this series might have been.
The author s diatribe against the church is mild and not pro or con religion, but for or against open mindedness and the quest for knowledge There are believers and agnostics that come down on both side of these issues.
This trilogy was broad, original, well written, dramatic and with lofty themes But stories are told through their characters And whether it be Lord Asriel or Mrs Coulter, Lyra or Will, I never felt deeply about them This is a great series that rises well above most of what we see today in fiction With a bit it could have risen to the level of a true classic.