Recent convert to Philip Pullman
Have just recently discovered how good an author Philip Pullman is and I have my son to thank for it. My son asked me to look after several boxes of his books while he was away overseas. It’s been five years now, he is still overseas and I have come to the conclusion that I will be looking after them forever. A few months ago I decided to add the books to my own bookshelf. I’m steadily working my way through the collection and have found some great reads. This explains how I found myself reading my first Philip Pullman book.
Northern Lights is the first book in the His dark materials trilogy. In America it was released under the title of The golden compass and a movie under this same title came out several years ago. Northern Lights is a fantasy novel that deals primarily with the major themes of Good versus Evil. Set in a parallel universe the novel begins in Jordan College at Oxford University where 11 year old Lyra Belacqua lives an unstructured and undisciplined life amongst the Oxford scholars. In Lyra’s world experimental theology is regarded as a true science, so it is only natural that everyone’s soul or daemon is separate and visible. Daemons appear in animal form, share every intimate thought and have to stay very close to their human to survive. Lyra’s friend Roger is kidnapped by the arch villain, Mrs. Coulter and the Gobblers a group who kidnap children and sever the bond between human and daemons, a process that kills many of the children. Lyra and her daemon Palntalaimon set out to rescue him. Lyra is a brave, loyal and very cunning young girl and the book is enthused with some wonderfully developed characters that include an armoured bear, travelling balloonist and a clan of beautiful ageless witches. Pullman has crafted a well written and complex themed novel. The main protagonist might be young but the situations she finds herself in and the solutions she finds to overcome them are not. I’m looking forward to continuing the journey in book two ‘The subtle knife.’