This is a lovely little story, but somewhat lacking in substance. Given the ending of The Amber Spyglass, it’s fantastic to be able to check back in on Lyra and Pan two years down the line and follow them around for one more adventure. It’s just a very compact, bitesize little adventure, that isn’t quite enough to fully satisfy. I own this as a hardback, but chose to listen the the audio, having enjoyed Pullman’s narration so much through the main series. There’s a lot of character in the physical book that just can’t translate to audio, though – maps, pictures, and a postcard that’s inexplicably mentioned in the narrated preface but neither transcribed nor described again – which left me somewhat confused until I flipped through the hardback. Still, by no means would I discourage any fan of His Dark Materials from reading the story – any visit with Lyra is bound to be a wonder, however brief.
[Read from 28-29 April 2016]