Reviews

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman

nice_young_man39's review against another edition

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

3.75

aussiejp's review against another edition

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adventurous dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

pookage's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional mysterious 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? Yes

3.0

clrouse's review against another edition

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

5.0

b00kh0arder's review

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5.0

To quote Sir Philip (though if this quote turns out to be mis-attributed I apologise, butI'm pretty sure I've either seen or heard Pullman say this in an interview) "Logic is a good servant but a bad master." (Not sure the Vulcans would agree but that's another story.) The Secret Commonwealth is book about the dangers of dogamtic thinking of any kind (theme that are as relevant now as they've always been); a book that's gownup with its protagonist.
(And after where this book leaves us, I'm longing for volume three!)

wilkinson297's review against another edition

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4.0

This is going to sound strange...and is a review of both Books in this series

I've never read His Dark Materials Trilogy (shock)...update...I did after reading this book
Yes I'm late to the party
I was intrigued by the description of Dust so got the first book and loved it
So I knew nothing of the previous adventures when I read these books(ok a little)
I give this book 4 stars....cause I hate the cliffhanger ending
I find the writing is better in this series than in HDM
And keep looking for the next in the series

bookssweetbooks's review against another edition

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

4.5

Started off slow and I was wondering where the morals were going to come from, and to some extent I’m still wondering. When I first read his dark materials I enjoyed the surface level story- the older I get the more I enjoy trying to understand what the morals were or the deeper meaning. I read those stories as an 11 year old, Lyra’s age. Now 20 I am the story for what it is, I wonder whether in the future I’ll be able to see deeper. 

aliceisobel's review against another edition

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4.0

As with The Subtle Knife, this book reads like the middle of a story rather than a book in and of itself, but I’ll always enjoy Pullman’s writing. About 600 pages in I realised there was nowhere near enough space left in the book to tie up all the loose ends and finish the story, but I’m glad it finished the way it did. Thank god I didn’t read this in 2019 when it came out because having to wait 4 years for the next book would have been terrible!!!

pkll201's review against another edition

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challenging medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

1.25


Why I don’t like the secret commonwealth 

  • relies too much on coincidence rather than well crafted story - why do all of these people just happen to cross Lyra’s path??
  • Don’t like the whole Malcolm and Lyra dynamic - creepy because he knew her as a baby?? Also hinted at it in the prev. book which is even worse. Feels like a clumsy self-insert tbh
  • Why are there so many people without daemons when it seemed to be so rare before. Seems like everyone can separate without it killing them. The witches would have definitely heard about it if there were this many people. 
  • I don’t understand how a daemon could fall in love with someone else if it is the other half of a persons soul. There is no explanation given for how this happens at all. 
  • Clunky dialogue at times
  • Why have they all of a sudden gone from calling them experimental theologians to scientists? It feels like Pullman just couldn’t be bothered to keep up the language established in His Dark Materials
  • Not sure about the rape scene tbh, was it really necessary? Lazy plot device
  • Ending was abrupt without leaving a cliffhanger?

Gets above a 1 because I did finish it

ilete's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark reflective medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25


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