Review: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman

Northern Lights (His Dark Materials, #1)Northern Lights by Philip Pullman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“That’s the beauty of the old,” said the Librarian. “to be anxious on behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old.”

Northern Lights is a great book that got off to a slow start. While teasing you with fantastic titbits and morsels, it bored me by focusing on an unruly little girl with no goals or direction at all. Once the story kicked off, and Lyra became a girl with a plan – something important to do – then it got interesting.

The language, however, got annoying really fast. Words like en’t instead of aren’t – ’em instead of them – hisself instead of himself – It became distracting after a while, and unnecessary. And everything is a-going, or a-flying or a-coming. Why was it so important that I know what particular accent they had? It didn’t change the story of the novel, and if anything, it took me out of the narrative. It wasn’t a huge problem but it was a constant annoyance throughout the novel.

One particular point bothered me. Once the party of Gyptians and Lyra began their journey, they also began a cycle of Lyra being captured, then escaping, then captured, then escaping again, then captured again, then escaping again. It got tiring and annoying.

Lyra made a neutral sound.
What the hell is neutral sound?

All in all, though, I did enjoy the book. Despite the minor annoyances it contains some interesting elements and the story was fun. I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

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