August Book Review – Northern Lights by Philip Pullman…

August 5, 2018

Northern Lights Philip Pullman

I have two favourite colleagues at work at the moment.  One is a female and of a similar age, loves food and knows all the great places to go in London.  The other is a older distinguished male who loves to know about new books and TV shows and we are constantly swapping Netflix picks!  Recently he lent me his copy of Northern Lights by Philips Pullman after learning of my predilection for fictional writings with discerning story lines.  I was under an iron clad agreement that I would return the book after he lost a selection of his favourites to a friends ex. Pressure!With this in mind I daren’t take this book out of the flat and it has bode well that I have imposed an 8.30pm screen time ban.  This has allowed me around two hours to read, give or take some faffing around, tidying or general flat wandering!  Northern Lights was first published in 1995 and was adapted more recently into the motion picture, The Golden Compass.  The main story follows Lyra in her world where all humans have an animal daemon that is spiritually linked and detachment can cause death to both. Her daemon is called Pantalaimon, Pan, and until she becomes an adult he, like the rest of his kind, can take any animal shape he chooses. Pullman expertly takes our world geography and elaborates further creating a send of familiarity, set predominantly in the United Kingdom.

Lyra is a young pre teen girl who’s parentage is unknown and despite everyone else foretelling, is not aware of her great fate and the part she plays in everyone’s future. Her fierce temper and inquisitive mind has been often frowned upon by the masters at Jordan College, Oxford as they are charged with keeping her safe. From the very beginning a concept of Dust is presented to the reader who then learns details of its use as Lyra does by journeying through the country travelling with different groups of people. Initially the story is dominated by studious male characters from the college however there is some relief when the beautiful and lovely Marisa Coulter arrives. Ms Coulter has an air of sophistication and beauty that hyponotises anyone that she speaks to. We are also introduced to Gyptians, a hard working group of people who live and work on riverboats and set off on a mission that Lyra begs to join. Iofu Raknison is an armored polar bear, who’s soul is rescued by Lyra and repays this debt through providing protection on her journey. Every time I read about Lyra being allowed to climb the back of Iofu and ride through snowdrifts I felt jealous as to the fun and excitement she was having!

I don’t want to say too much more in fear I will give away the storyline. This book is especially well written and it captured my imagination within the first ten pages. If you are like me and trying to return to books after lots of screentime Northern Lights by Philips Pullman is one that can help get you there.

What books are you reading at the moment? I’d love to head some recommendations. PF xo

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Northern Lights by Philip Pullman


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