Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (Books 2019, 18, 19 & 20)

His Dark Materials, as I said.

Holy hell, this trilogy is good! I think I’d forgotten just how good it is.

In the first book we meet Lyra, a wild orphan who lives in fabled Jordan College in a parallel Oxford. Plots and adventures quickly ensue.

The second volume starts with Will, a boy who lives in our world, and who has to run from his home because he has killed someone. How will his story connect to Lyra’s?

And the third builds on everything that has gone before, and a whole lot more.

There are armoured bears, angels, daemons, airships, witches, harpies, the dead, and much else. The fate of worlds hangs in the balance.

If you haven’t read it, you should. You could start watching the TV series instead, but I expect there’ll be a long wait between the seasons, and the books are right there.

Of course, I’m going to find myself in a similar position with the sequels. It was eighteen months ago that I read part 1, so presumably we won’t get the conclusion till some time in 2021.

I like what they’re doing with the TV series so far. Enough changes to keep it interesting, not enough to spoil it.

Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman (Books 2019, 18, 19 & 20)

On Pausing Stories

Almost exactly a year ago I started reading a novel, then put it on hold. This year I’ve done the same, for different reasons.

I started The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers in October of last year. I quickly put it aside as November approached. I realised that it — or at least its start — was much too similar to the novel that I planned to start for NaNoWriMo.

I haven’t got back to it yet.

This year it was the new Philip Pullman, The Book of Dust Vol 2: The Secret Commonwealth

Now, you’ll recall that I said I might do this after I read the first of the new trilogy. Other things got in the way of that, though.

So I read a chapter or two of the new one, and realised I needed to refresh my memories. There’s a whole thing that we learn about at once that I don’t remember. Or at least don’t remember how it happened.

There’s also a TV series coming. I was aware it was in development, but not of how soon it was going to be. Turns out it’ll be on in a week or two.

So now I’m worried that watching it is going to be a bit like the recent Good Omens series was for me; really well done, I appreciated it… but I had re-read the book too soon before watching it, meaning it was all just a bit too recent in my memory for maximum enjoyment. But we’ll cross that ice bridge to another world when we come it it. The trailers look great, anyway.

The difference with this year’s pause will be that, while I will get back to the Chambers eventually, I’m obviously not in any hurry to do so. Whereas I fully expect to restart The Secret Commonwealth as soon as I’ve recovered from the ending of The Amber Spyglass. Which I’ll probably be starting quite soon.

On Pausing Stories