His Dark Materials (trilogy) - Philip Pullman
titles: Northern Lights, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass
rating: 10/10, favourite.
blurb: (for Northern Lights) Lyra and her animal daemon live half-wild and carefree among the scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. But the destiny that has awaited them since birth takes them on a dangerous journey to the frozen North in search of a kidnapped child - a journey that will have immeasurable consequences far beyond their own world.
I first read these books probably when I was about 12 years old. At the time I thought they were brilliant, if a little complicated, and very well written. They did make my list of favourite books but I didn’t read them over and over like the Harry Potter books. I also decided to never see the movie because it is not only a shitty movie but they cut off the ending of the book (it’s only the first book) and turned it into a ‘happy ending’, which is the kind of thing I hate.
At the end of the school year I picked up the first book again, Northern Lights, and decided I would re-read the trilogy. I am older now, 14 and a half. That may not seem much older but I’ve matured a hell of a lot since I was in primary school, and I’m used to reading adult books with very strong themes and obviously can understand any novel in greater detail, emotionally and critically. I had also conveniently forgotten what happens in the 2nd and 3rd instalments of the series, so it was like reading it again for the first time.
I was not prepared.
I still find it difficult to believe that these are classed as YA fiction, but I guess it’s the young lead character and the coming-of-age aspects. I truly think that these are the best books I’ve ever read, in every single aspect. Even compared to the classics, the literature, real adult fiction, even compared to the Harry Potter series. Upon re-read they have become my favourite books. I don’t think I’ve ever cried so hard over a book in my life. I had to take breaks during the last half of the third book to get the crying under control and when the book was finished I locked myself in the bathroom for a while. Not much has ever affected me in such a way before, in so many ways.
The story is absolutely brilliant and so very tragic. Loneliness, friendship, adventure, love, lust, hope, betrayal, sin, violence, death. Gods, ghosts, angels, daemons, witches, bears, a war across the universes - but most important of all, people. A study of growing up from every aspect, the most heartwrenching depictions of humankind’s triumphs and downfalls, challenging religion and the notion of original sin… I am running out of words here.
Absolutely stunning novels. Brilliant. They have taken the #1 spot out of all the books I have ever read. That means something, considering it is equal to or possibly taken over the Harry Potter series which is the world I have grown up with.
Just… read them. Please.
tagged as: his dark materials, northern lights, philip pullman, the amber spyglass, the golden compass, the subtle knife, books, review,