Author: Phillip Pullman
First Published: July 1995
Series: His Dark Materials #1
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook
My Copy: Physical copy
My Rating: 8/10
This book is beautifully written, with great descriptions and world building. Lyra lives in a world similar to ours, but is different in little, subtle ways.
Lyra is quite young, compared to other female protagonists in the YA genre these days. She's around 12-13, and she's already as determined, as wilful and as courageous as - let's say - Katniss. Even though she's only a young girl, don't underestimate her! The lengths she goes to find the truth and save her friend are astounding. She is also a girl of many talents. Her biggest one is: telling lies. Ironic, no? Equipped with the aleithometer (i.e. the truth-o-meter), she gets to ask any question and it will tell the truth. Lyra lies a lot. And with fluency. She rarely stutters when coming up with a lie, and that's what gets her out of sticky situations.
There are a couple of religious themes in this book. The Magisterium (The Church) is the main ruling body. There's also something called the Dust, which is ominously referred to throughout the whole book, and we only really find out what it is in the last chapter. No spoilers here!
It was a little difficult to keep up with the number of characters introduced in this book. I found myself mixing up Iofur and Iorek when I wasn't paying attention! Did that happen to you? Anyways, even with a huge number of characters, each played an important role in Lyra's journey north. Not everyone was a friend - some foe - but there were many who opted to help Lyra.
This is a captivating book that is suitable for anyone who likes some good fantasy. It's a little different from the fantasy books we read nowadays (with bloodshed and love triangles and wars), but Northern Lights focuses on Lyra's search for the truth and her thirst for adventure.
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