Posted November 27th, 2012 by Bex
A Book Review by Starfire
in In the TARDIS having an argument with the doctor about who has more skillz- the chumblies, or the cybermen (chumblies forever
When Lyra's best friend Roger disappears, she and her daemon Pantalaimon, determine to find him. The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendor of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies- and where a team of scientists are conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.
Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her- something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights.
Blurb taken from the back of the book.
Northern Lights in an enthralling and mysterious novel with realistic characters and a captivating plot, the perfect page-turner.
The first page gives us an idea about the mood of the story- a rebellious heroine, a mysterious alter world and a uniquely descriptive style of narrated. We immediately learn about Lyra through a series of subtle hints Pullman has hidden in the text. It's the best type of book- the first chapter alone is filled with mystery and the plot is already developing. By this point, no sane reader could put the book down.
The plot is well-developed and clear, but also leaves room for the reader to figure out what's going on. There are well-written cliff-hangers in all the right places- most painfully at the end of the book. Spoilers- Lyra and her daemon Pan are in for a whole new level of chaos.
The thing that I love most about this book are the characters. No other book I've ever read has had characters with such depth, realism and character. The characters have their flaws, yes, but that only adds effect. In a book with such far-out plots and concepts, having realistic characters definitely acts as an anchor to the plots. Lyra and her daemon who is often called her soul, have such contradicting personalities that it's almost humorous. She and Pan have so much dedication, loyalty and love for each other that you can't help freaking out when they nearly cut Pan away from her. The supporting characters are no different, they are just as amazing. The Master of the college who seems to be at war with himself, Farder Coram with such dedication to the gyptians, and Mrs Coulter, who I still can't make my mind up about. It all adds up for a good novel.
Now, we move on to the flaws. There are a few, minor reasons why Northern Lights didn't get full marks from me. The first- the lack of description about Lyra's physical appearance. Every now and then you hinted that she had dark blonde hair and blue eyes, but that was it. I wanted to know more. How tall, was she skinny? What shade of blue were her eyes? Was she stockily built? Dark skin, light skin? I really felt that I wanted to know more about what she looked like. The second reason was the lack of depth to Roger. Roger should have been built on more, afterall, he was vital to the story. If he had not gotten kidnapped, Lyra would have no motivation or desire to leave the college. As well, Roger was killed by Lord Asriel, Lyra's father. Surely a characters with such an important role should have had some personality.
Overall this a feel-good, well-written page turner that I'd recommend to anyone who enjoys steampunk fantasy.
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