The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials Series #2)

The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials Series #2)

by Philip Pullman

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The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 549 reviews.
AnnieBM More than 1 year ago
A continuation of The Golden Compass. Pullman does well continuing the story with some new characters. Very good series. Highly recommended.
Emily Kreps More than 1 year ago
this book and The Golden Compass gave me a different idea of the world (or worlds?)
amanda-willett More than 1 year ago
I read The Subtle Knife for my second book in summer reading. My first book was the prequel The Golden Compass I absolutely loved it. Wanting to read more I read The Subtle Knife and It did not disappoint It was even better than the first book In The beginning you are introduced to Will and eventually Will and Lyra meet and continue on Lyra's journey on discovering her parents, her self, her demons true form, and her destiny. This book was as good as the first.
Pacifist More than 1 year ago
This isn't quite fair since I've now read the entire trilogy, but The Subtle Knife, while excellent, didn't quite grab me like the first or third parts. The addition of Will was brilliant, and his is obviously a thoroughly drawn character. He seems to be just the right combination of edgy, precocious, and yet still child-like - and a perfect foil for Lyra. Whatever might be said about the middle third, be sure to read this trilogy in order, or you will find the total effect greatly diminished.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very strange change of pace, but with characters so vivid,a plot so gripping, and a twist no fan saw coming, you won't care.
SCHSReader1 More than 1 year ago
Before I start to give my giant spiel on the book, I am just going to say SPOILER WARNING. If you don’t want entire book spoiled for you, turn back now. The story starts as a boy named Will takes his unstable mother to a friends house, for Will is on the run from people that sneak into his house to find information on his dad. His dad is an explorer that dwindled in the realm of other worlds, and has since gone missing. Will soon finds a window in the air, an entire other world! He needs a place to hide, so he jumps in. He soon meets Lyra (the protagonist of the first book), and he learns that this world has been taken over by beings called Specters, who suck the life out of any adult they see. Events follow, Will gets the Subtle Knife, they journey to Lord Asriel’s palace (the leader of the revolt), and Lee Scoresby reunites Will and his dad. All throughout the journey, they must dodge Mrs. Coulter’s savage attempt to stop them at all costs. Anyway, I think this book was perfectly fine, but it had a bit too much filler. There are about 30 pages worth of nothing plot related, specifically with the kids roaming around Will’s world or Cittagazze. The parts that have plot-related elements are extremely detailed, and you may need to read the first book in the series, The Golden Compass. Events such as Lee Scoresby’s sacrifice actually made me cry. However, the book may get confusing at times because it switches character focus, and worlds, in almost every chapter. This story flows the first and second book together very smooth, with returning characters such as Lyra, the protagonist of the first book. If you are a Harry Potter fan, I think this book is right up your alley. I do recommend this book, It continues the intriguing story that the first book set up in an interesting way, and it deserves its place as an “International Best-Seller”.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I did not like this one as much as I liked the first book. I was a little lost at the beginning, but it explained everything completely later. In all this one is less about Lyra and more about the newest main character Will. There were times I had trouble following along with the plot, but in all a great story and continuation to the Golden Compass.
Thomas Cummins More than 1 year ago
loved it
The_Penguinator More than 1 year ago
In grade school I couldn't read this enough. Just finished it for the hundreth time in my life and its still mu favorite after all these years:) I definately recommend you read it!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This sequel to The Golden Compass was as fantastic as the first one, if not better. The author does a wonderful job of describing the world of The Subtle Knife, such as the scene in which the titular subtle knife is introduced in the city of Cittágazze. The plot keeps you guessing as new characters are introduced and twists thrown at you from every angle. It follows the continuing story of Lyra Belaqua, as it becomes intertwined with that of Will Parry, who is a boy from our world as opposed to Lyra's. They travel on a quest to find his father, who was lost while on an expedition years ago. Even though it may be somewhat slow at times, it always manages to recapture your attention with an epic scene that makes up for it all. It ends with a very suspenseful conclusion that will leave you begging for the sequel immediately. I would recommend this book to anybody who loves a good, edge-of-your-seat fantasy novel, especially if you've read the prequel, The Golden Compass.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The eBook version I got on my nook was missing entire parts of the books including the parts about the actual sublte knife. Ridiculous.
SilverMist More than 1 year ago
I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. I could not put it down. I love Will.
Guest More than 1 year ago
one of my absolute faveorite books. one of the only books that really worked my brain a great book thru and thru
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was made out of pure genius! It is by far the best book I have ever read. Touching,suspenseful,delightfull. You name it, this book had it all!
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Dark Materials Trilogy is the best Trilogy I have read. It is amazing that someone can come up with all of that stuff. I think that these are the best books in the world. When I started reading these books I fell in love with these books. The way I heard about these books is that my best friend read them and she said they were so good. Now I like them more than her.
WitchyWriter 21 days ago
There’s something about Will that is just...heartbreaking. And perfect. If you’ve ever felt like you had to grow up too fast, chances are you’ll relate to Will. At the end of The Golden Compass, anything could be coming next. It was a long time ago now, but I remember the first time I read The Subtle Knife, and I was surprised we weren’t starting with Lyra. I think I even asked the teacher who oversaw our Great Books club what was up with that, and he told me to stick with it. I was in middle school when I first read this trilogy, so I was the perfect age to be empathizing with these characters. Pullman’s writing has always been...magnetic, for me. So the story sucks you in, and before you know it you’re in love with Will, and you get that thrill when Lyra and Pan show up, and you go on this amazing adventure with them that is heartbreaking and fantastical and gritty and so, so powerful. Even with the literal *death* in The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife manages to be way heavier. It isn’t too dark for kids, because some of the darkness is the kind that kids already know about, like bullying and mob mentality. But even as an adult re-reading this, or listening to the fantastic audiobook, or just thinking over scenes in my head that I know so well, there’s power here, and emotional weight. You need to read this book to get to The Amber Spyglass, of course, which is the best in the trilogy. But this doesn’t feel like a sagging middle book of a trilogy. You get to meet Will, and he’s one of my absolute favorite characters of all time and always will be. And the action is intense, the themes are almost too real, and there are some other delightful minor and major characters that you’re going to want to meet and spend time with. Anyone who’s ever read The Golden Compass but didn’t continue on to The Subtle Knife, this is for you: You’re missing out. In my extremely biased but also professionally-trained storyteller perspective, you NEED to read this book. Even if Lyra isn’t your favorite the way she’s mine, you owe Will a chance. So get on it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the worst book I've ever read!!!! If you know what's right or wrong you won't read this. Find something morally acceptable and good to read like The Lord of the Rings. How is this comparable to the Chronicles of Narnia? This book teaches you to do bad things. Why would any one want "an atheist response to Narnia", as Sally Estes puts it? The whole point of Narnia was to be essentially Christian. Luckily, I stopped reading this before it taught me to. If I were in The Lord of the Rings and I were Frodo, this would be the Ring and I would be travelling thousands of miles just to destroy it! Don't read this!
nevinr3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My fav. book of his dark materials. great book!
nmhale on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although Pullman continues to weave many threads of plot in a fascinating story, I was less engaged with this second book in the Dark Materials trilogy. Lyra has stepped out of her world after Roger's death, and entered the strange new land called Cittagazze. But we actually don't learn about what happens to Lyra immediately; the novel opens with Will's adventures. Will is a new protagonist who we soon realize is Lyra's equal in narrative weight. He is a great character. The novel begins in the middle of action - Will leaves his mother with a kindly old neighbor, not explaining much, and dashes back to his house to try and beat some mysterious men in finding papers hidden inside. A lot of mystery surrounds Will, and Pullman slowly parcels out the missing pieces over the course of the novel.Will's tragedies drive him to seek a safe place to hide, and destiny guides him to a secret window to another world, which just happens to be Cittagazze. Will soon finds Lyra, and we learn that after she stepped into her new world, she scavenged around, half starving, looking for people to help her find out more about Dust and her father. Unfortunately, Cittagazze is curiously lacking in people. Strange specters float through the world and feed on adults, leaving empty husks that are still breathing, but dead inside. The place is quite creepy.I was very engrossed with the opening. It adds new layers of mystery to an already complex story. And I liked Will a lot. My interest was sustained well past the middle of the book, as Lyra and Will contend with a creepy old man who steals her alethiometer, a scientist working on a computer that pixelates Dust in computer images, and the disturbing children of Cittagazze and the crazed knife-wielding brother they protect. Gripping material. In the last third of the novel, though, my interest began to wane. I felt that Pullman was using a lot more exposition, and less action. He definitely has a heavy plot that needs explaining but I never felt bogged down before. Once the kids began to travel with the witches, my attention drained away. Lee Scoresby had one shining moment. The rest of that last third of the novel was lackluster, even when Will met his father, which should have had so much more emotional impact!To be fair, I confess that I did break my self-imposed rule of not reading books in a series consecutively. I like to give myself a break from the material, because I've had past experiences where I hit the second or third book and start to wonder if the author has lost her touch. When I come back to the same series later, I like it again, leading me to believe that when I read too much of one story I can get overloaded. However, this is a trilogy, so I thought I should read all three books right in a row. Now I think not. Either this book was just not as good as the first one, or I am judging it too harshly because I was ready for a break. I plan on giving my reading a little space before I attend on the last book in the trilogy; Pullman is a powerful writer, and I want to give his work a fair chance.
name99 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really astonishingly good. And very very subversive for children's literature.I cannot recommend all three books in the trilogy enough.
rakerman on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The story was a bit of a step down from the wonder-ful first book.This is often the case as mysteries begin to be unravelled.It was a bit of a shock to the reader/listener for Lyra, the unstoppable heroine of the Golden Compass, to be depicted as somewhat incompetent, irresponsible girl, and for her to become a secondary character.The book's finale was good, and very dark.From the audiobook side, the voice acting wasn't as good as in the first book, and this production inexplicably added bizarre, jarring music to announce each chapter.
knielsen83 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Now that I've reread the second book, I can see where religious nutjobs will want to burn this book... after all.. a war against God? Anyways... I'm always surprised when these books end, because I feel like there's so much more that I need to know and that the books don't take up enough time. It seems like in this book only a week passed during the whole 8 discs I listened to. On to the last and final one in the series, hopefully I will remember more of that one than this last one.
benfulton on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Definitely a middle book, pushing us from the end of the first book to the beginning of the last without making a whole lot of progress. Will is an interesting character but I doubt younger readers will really pick up on the complexity.
EllaJurisDoctor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Just as good as the first book in the series, if not better. Even though it was written as three books, each one builds on the other, developing the story and characters even further. I can't wait to re-read this book after I finish the first one!
Zathras86 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I reread this recently on a day off from work this summer. I liked it, and it suffers only minimally from second-book-in-a-trilogy syndrome. However, it is a little slower than I remember The Golden Compass being. I'm excited to move on to rereading The Amber Spyglass and finish the story.