Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The Subtle Knife

While reading this book, I was really confused about the title.  In the second book of the His Dark Materials trilogy Will's subtle knife wasn't introduced for a long time and although I like the story I think that the title of this book could have been better.  It kind of distracted from the story that during the beginning I was always wondering how a knife would play into the story.  I also didn't think that the characters were really well developed.  Mary Malone just walked through the tent in the middle of the story and that was it.  We didn't know much about her and then she just walked away and that was it.  And what happened to the other characters?  I guess I will have to wait for the last book to get those questions answered.  Other than those things, I thought that this was a great story and Lyra has really intrigued me to want to read more.   The first two books in this trilogy had really suspenseful endings.  It was as though the story stopped mid scene and I was left hanging, so I can't wait to get the next book!

Rating:  *****


  1. Remember, Mary is the scientist in the lab who decided to leave because she saw that the dark matter is "alive." I think you'll have a better appreciation for her once you read the 3rd book! It is one of the most amazing books I've ever read.
    -Sam B. from Cincinnati

  2. The middle book of a trilogy can be a little bit frustrating. The good part of that is you are reading them when they've already all been published, so no long wait for the next in the series to find out how it wraps up.

    For similarly lush and satisfying worldbuiding, I would recommend a series called The Foundling's Tale by D. M. Cornish.

    They are also three books: Foundling, Lamplighter, and Factotum. I love His Dark Materials very much, and I am not sure why The Foundling's Tale is not as popular - I think it is really just as good. The world he makes is also so different but in some ways very similar to ours, so it feels easy to enter but very wonderfully disorienting.

    The audio books are good for this one too, I did both: read them and then later listened to them too. [I am an illustrator and love listening to books as I work]

  3. Now that I am in the middle of the third book, I do think that Mary is better. She is somewhere now instead of just nowhere. I will look at The Foundling's Tale and probably read it, but my to read list is huge and it might take a while. When I do read it, though, I will write a review and post it.