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His Dark Materials II: The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman

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Reviews - His Dark Materials II: The Subtle Knife - Philip Pullman

The second book in the "Dark Materials" trilogy. Will is 12 years old and he's just killed a man. Determined to discover the truth about his father's ...

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Excellent

“Pullman cuts loose”

published 30/11/2011

ProLots of action, parallel worlds are believable, th...

ConsWill does irritate me just a tiny bit

The last shall be first It's not often that I'll begin a review of a novel by talking about the book's ending, but in the case of The Subtle Knife, the middle volume of Philip Pullman's extremely fine His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy, I'm going to make an exception. No, don't worry, I'm not...

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Super

“Worlds Apart”

published 02/06/2005

ProContinues the stunning story, creates strong new c...

ConsSlows in the second half; no real start or finish

The Subtle Knife is the second of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, a truly epic adventure embracing religion, science and classic adventure. The series is very much one story broken into three books, rather than a set of interlinked, but essentially stand-alone stories, such as those...

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Excellent

“A not so Subtle improvement”

published 25/08/2004

ProGreat characters, story, still a third part to go!

ConsNone

Introduction Well this is part two of three of my review of the His Dark Materials Trilogy. This review is of the second book, which is called the Subtle Knife. As those who have read my first review will already be aware, the other two books in the trilogy are called Northern Lights and the...

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Excellent

“A Cut Above The Rest”

published 28/03/2003

ProOriginal and imaginative, Intelligently written, S...

ConsYou need to have read Northern Lights first

How do you even begin to write about a book like this? A book so unlike any you have read before, a book so absorbing, so original, so intelligent and so magnificently written? A book that makes you want to rush home from work just so that you can pick it up again and find out what happens next...

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Excellent

“When worlds collide”

published 25/02/2003

Progreat story well told

Consnot really going to stand alone

'The Subtle Knife' is the second book in Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. While each of the three books contains a tale that largely works in its own right, they work best if you read them in order. I must warn you that it is nigh on impossible to review a book in a series without...

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Super

“Cuts like a knife”

published 04/02/2001

Proclever and imaginative

Consdepressing in parts

I enjoyed Northern Lights so much I had to know what happened next. The Subtle Knife introduces Will and our world. In far too many "fantasy world meets our reality" stories the plot starts to unravel, but the Subtle Knife is stronger for the introduction of our reality. Will's life has been...

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Excellent

ProSuperb story brilliantly told

ConsNone

I heard over the weekend that Philip Pullman’s “The Amber Spyglass” (The concluding part of the “His Dark Materials” trilogy, of which this is book two) did not make the Booker shortlist. A snooty Waterstones sales person was heard to remark “Well it is ONLY a children’s book”. Whilst the main...

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Excellent

“A Subtle Novel”

published 23/11/2003

Probeautifully craft, genuinely emotional storytellin...

Consha ha

The Subtle Knife is an absolute paragon of what the middle novel of a trilogy should be. It would have been very easy for Philip Pullman to have sat back on his laurels and gone, Right, I’ve written something excellent, it’s sold millions of copies. Now I don’t really have to think much about the...

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Super

ProGreat characters, engaging plot

ConsConfusing if you've not read the first book

Sadly, The Subtle Knife fails to live up to the standards set by Pullman in Northern Lights, but that is forgivable, as Northern Lights is an outstanding book. Its sequel suffers from being rather too obviously the middle book of a trilogy - characters and concepts from the previous book appear...

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Excellent

ProThis book will question your beliefs.

ConsYou thought Gobblers were bad, wait till you exper...

I picked up “The Subtle Knife” expecting to pick up Lyra’s story where “The Northern Lights” had left off. Instead the book opens by introducing its main character, Will. We find Will, not in Lyra’s world, but in our own. “The Subtle Knife” switches between three worlds- Lyra’s (read more about...

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Excellent

“Anything but Subtle.”

published 18/10/2007

ProContinues an amazing saga brilliantly.

Consyou may have to fight your kids for it.

For those of you who are not aware, this is the second book of a trilogy, so if you have not read the first one (the northern lights, sometimes known as the golden compass), turn back now, youv'e just missed one of the best reads of your life. Not to mention you probably wont have a clue about...

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Excellent

ProImaginative, addictive read

ConsNone

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman First Published in 1997 by Scholastic Ltd. ISBN 0-590-11289-9 The Subtle Knife is the second book in the Dark Materials trilogy (the first book is Northern Lights, the third book The Amber Spyglass). The first book, Northern Lights, was the most amazing book I’d...

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Excellent

ProIt is gripping

ConsYou won't want to put it down

OK, so my plan to reveal less of the plot left less helpful ratings, so I decided to amend my review to include a bit more detail. So here goes. On completing The Northern Lights, I was excited at the prospect of reading this, although very aware that a sequel can be a total anticlimax. Expecting...

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Excellent

“The subtle Knife”

published 12/10/2006

ProReasonably short, Great Characters and storyline

ConsNone that i can see

This is definitely one of my all time favourite books since the storyline was so thrilling and kept you interested with new ideas coming into play all the time. The story continues from the ending of the previous book where Lyra left the world in which she was born in and walked with her daemon...

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Excellent

ProFast paced plot, interesting story, suitable for a...

ConsThere were no disadvantages for me.

'She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy? The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer. When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once. He could find food, and show her how to reach Oxford, and those were powers that were useful, but he might still have been untrustworthy or cowardly. A...

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