The Subtle Knife

(His Dark Materials #2)

493 pages

English language

Published Aug. 5, 2002 by Thorndike Press.

ISBN:
9780786241248
OCLC Number:
48966551

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (67 reviews)

As the boundaries between worlds begin to dissolve, Lyra and her daemon help Will Parry in his search for his father and for a powerful, magical knife.

32 editions

Review of 'The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2)' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This was not at all what I was expecting from a sequel to The Golden Compass. The end of the first book in the trilogy pulls the rug out from under the reader, revealing that Lyra’s father is just as dangerous as her mother, if only with different methods and conflicting alliances.

The second book resets the playing field when we meet Will Parry, who comes from a world much like our own and who lives in modern times, not the early part of the Twentieth Century like you might imagine from Lyra’s version of Oxford.

The Subtle Knife is deeper and weirder, and much more disturbing than the first book. Lyra and Will discover a third world that serves as a way station between their respective worlds, but it has fallen into disrepair and been overrun with invisible specters who can suck the life out of an adult in …

Review of 'The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2)' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I pointed out in my review of [b:The Golden Compass|119322|The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)|Philip Pullman|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1290482272s/119322.jpg|1536771] that the Dark Materials trilogy to me isn't really three books but one book split in three. At first this book seems like a real left hand turn. Will Parry takes centre stage, and he's just as complicated a character as Lyra, but living in what seems to be modern day London. Like Lyra, he seems to be a good person who does bad things for good reasons - with some interesting complete contrasts. For instance, Lyra saves a life early on in book one, Will takes one. I wonder about the chronology here - I see elements of so many other novels in this one. There's shades of [b:Lord of the Flies|7624|Lord of the Flies|William Golding|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1165637417s/7624.jpg|2766512] , and the Thomas Covenant series for instance. Who begat who?

This book is shorter, and …

Review of 'The Subtle Knife' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I love the plot, the philosophical and political underpinnings and commentary, and the basic premise of the trilogy. The story alone is enough to get me reading. However, I found it harder to suspend my disbelief with this book than in the first. I am no stranger to speculative fiction and am used to encountering talking animals, magic, strange machinery etc. in my reading. But I have a much harder time swallowing unrealistic human behavior. This was a very minor nag in the back of my mind in the second book of the trilogy, and barely registered when I read the first. In the first book, Lyra was unusually precocious, which I was able to accept. What I have a harder time accepting was the actions of the adults in The Subtle Knife, which seem to be irrationally focused on Lyra, Will, and their respective tools. I understand that as …

Review of 'The Subtle Knife' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

This series is definitely dark. There are a lot of dark themes weaved into the plot which twists and turns unrelentingly. I can see how the book is unsettling to some people, much more than The Golden Compass. I'm sure my imagination is only scratching the surface of where the next book will end up.

Review of 'The Subtle Knife' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

The sequel to Golden Compass is not as immediately engaging as the first of the series, I think perhaps because it begins in a world that we already know. But as the mesh of different worlds begins to occur, we are plunged back into the wonderful fantasy world of the first book. However, I still didn't feel the same wonder that I felt with the first book, which may be because now the overarching plot seemed to be overtaking the flow of the narrative.
That said, however, still thoroughly enjoyable, and am looking forward to finishing the series.

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Subjects

  • Large type books
  • Fantasy
  • Large type books

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