Reviews tagging 'Animal death'

The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman

10 reviews

orchidlilly's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

A fascinating sequel to an excellent beginning. This time, we get perspectives beyond Lyra's with more frequency, and I rather like being able to read the story from all sides. We end on a very compelling cliffhanger, ready to start the next book. My only complaint is that in this second part of the trilogy, Lyra loses a good bit of her charm and free will. It's a bit annoying to see Lyra immediately fall into an almost subservient role the second a male character comes into play. Where is that independence and determination that so greatly defined her in the first book?

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jessthanthree's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.5


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theespressoedition's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

I have to admit that while The Subtle Knife was plenty adventurous and certainly interesting, it didn't quite hold the appeal of the first installation in this series. I was missing something... and I'm still not sure what that something was.

Maybe it was the fact that Lyra wasn't the primary character that we followed? Instead, it was Will, who I didn't find particularly likable or interesting. I never really felt as though I had a reason to root for him, even though he had his fair share of struggles and emotional turmoil.

Maybe it was that Iorek wasn't even in this book at all. He was, hands down, my favorite character in The Golden Compass, so I missed him dearly - though I know it wouldn't have made much sense to have him in this story.

Maybe it was just that this book felt so disconnected from the first? There were so many questions and so much magic in the first book that I genuinely couldn't put it down. I was desperate to learn what happened next. With The Subtle Knife, I felt more like I was trying to rush through it to get to the end because it wasn't keeping my attention much at all. I don't know.

Not to say that it wasn't interesting at all. It was interesting and it was creative still. I didn't dislike it so much as I just didn't... like it. Ah, this is a bit confusing I realize. But at least it left us on a cliffhanger so I could anticipate the final book in the trilogy. My hope is that it will redeem how I felt about this one.

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llewellareads's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5


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beca_reads's review

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adventurous medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

2.0

I ended up not finishing this book, it goes on for way to long and I found it oddly confusing. 

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zombiezami's review against another edition

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adventurous dark funny mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

4.5


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cana_merula's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional mysterious medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

The second book in this series takes the story to higher stakes. I love how the universe got expanded through the connection of the different worlds. The different plots were all interesting, even though some were more slow paced. The last two chapter broke my heart and this was the first in some time that I cried because of a book. I think that shows the writing skills of Philip Pullman and I knew this would be quite dark for a children's book, but I still wished for a more hopefull ending. But definitifly worth the read and I'm excited for the last one!

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beccasbookcase's review

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adventurous dark emotional mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot

4.0


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dandelions's review

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adventurous challenging dark emotional funny hopeful mysterious sad tense slow-paced
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0


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ceallaighsbooks's review against another edition

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adventurous mysterious tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

“You ever spend any time among the witches?”
“Yes,” said Grumman. “And among academicians, and among spirits. I found folly everywhere, but there were grains of wisdom in every stream of it. Not doubt there was much more wisdom that I failed to recognize. Life is hard, Mr. Scoresby, but we cling to it all the same.” 
 
Even though I still liked The Subtle Knife, it didn’t have a lot of what I loved so much about the first book—namely the specific world building that had been present in Lyra’s world. I also thought that this book felt a lot more quest-y than the first book, even though Lyra was definitely on a quest in Golden Compass, it didn’t have the same feel, perhaps because there was a stronger use of fate or destiny in this book along with seeking magical objects to fulfill prophecies, etc. 
 
It’s also interesting that Pullman introduced a second main character of the trilogy in this book in the form of Will—a human from “our” world. I actually really liked Will, I sympathized with him a lot and liked his contrast with Lyra. 
 
Something else I liked about this book were the dark academia vibes surrounding Lyra’s experience at the museum as well as her encounter with Dr. Malone. I really liked the story element connected to John Parry as well. 
 
There were still some problematic elements carried over from the previous book. Neither Mrs. Coulter nor Lord Asriel got any more interesting or sympathetic. I still didn’t like a lot of the colonial themes and the white savior trope that continued in the character of Lord Asriel and to an extent in Lyra and Will…. 
 
There were also some choices Pullman made vis a vis the story’s plot in this book that left me confused…. especially regarding Dr. Grumman and the witch? Idk. I still liked the book (and the quote I quoted from it at the top of this review is one of my favorite quotes of all time now 🥰) but it just didn’t answer any of my questions leftover from the first book. Which is why I immediately started Amber Spyglass when I finished reading it even though that wasn’t my plan. 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 
 
“It was difficult to tell them the truth when a lie would have been so much easier for them to understand.” 

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