Seems to me the place you fight cruelty is where you find it, and the place you give help is where you see it needed.
I love Lee Scoresby with all my heart.
With that important preface aside, The Subtle Knife is an entirely worthy successor to Pullman’s The Golden Compass. I remember struggling with it a little as a teenager, so enamored by the adventures of Lyra that the sudden shift into Will’s world was jarring. This time around, I loved it. I still adore Lyra, of course I do, but in The Subtle Knife, Pullman widens his universe(s) through the expansion of his POV characters, and between Will, Lee Scoresby and Serafina Pekkala, there’s not a one that isn’t wonderful.
In some ways, I found this story a little slower than The Golden Compass. It certainly took me longer to get through – just shy of two weeks, while I firmly believe that time stood entirely still as I listened to the first installment. But there’s groundwork to be laid, relationships to be developed and concepts to be unveiled that I trust will pay off magnificently in The Amber Spyglass. I remember very little about that book, and am looking forward to it enormously.
Once again, Pullman’s narration is superb, and the voice cast perform their roles admirably. There’s not a mis-step or disappointment among them. I really believe that this might be the best audio adaptation I’ve ever listened to, and that’s entirely as high a praise as it sounds.
[Read from 31 March-11 April 2016]