I love YA urban fantasy and dystopian. I also read some middle grade and historical fiction. I apologize for any spelling errors. If any of my ratings/Posts don't match up its because I just imported them from Goodreads and need to adjust them.
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The Subtle Knife by Phillip Pullman
I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting. I guess more time in this world but I didn’t mind Cittagazze. It actually reminded me of Charn from The Magician’s Nephew. (Both worlds are barren and seem to by dying).
I think part of the problem was the large cast. I loved seeing Serafina and Lee but that doesn’t change that fact that a lot was going on in such a short amount of time. It was rather like reading Volume 9 of Fullmetal Alchemist-hectic but still good.
The parts where we learned more about Dust were absolutely thrilling. I just love that moment a character realizes that the square peg doesn’t go in the round hole and everything clicks into place. Just brilliant.
Once it was revealed that Lyra was Eve, it seemed like it should have been obvious. (Maybe it is but I was surprised because I’m not familiar with the Bible?). I liked how all the pieces fit together in retrospect.
The ending was unbelievably anti-climatic. It didn’t really feel like an ending. If felt like a dead end to a road going nowhere.
Another thing that bothered me was the repetitive explanations. I understand that each character has a different amount of knowledge and needs to be filled in but we the readers don’t need to read it every single time.
Dang it Pullman, I wanted more of Lyra! Lyra is entertaining and carried the entirety of The Golden Compass much better than Will carried his portion of The Subtle Knife.
Will was just so boring. I didn’t see anything important about him other than the letters. If he had been a secondary character, I probably would have liked him better. His POV just dragged the story down.
Dr. Malone was particularly well drawn for a secondary character only introduced in this book, and a good chunk into the story too.
Lee and Serafina didn’t get too much in the way of character development but their POVs did flesh them out a little, didn’t drag like Will’s and helped to advance the story.
In Conclusion: A pretty weak sequel. Started out strong but dwindled faster that a kids stash of Halloween candy.