The Subtle Knife

by Phillip Pullman


Reviewed by Ruby

In the first book we started in a world like out own, but different; in this book we start in our world with a boy called Will.  He is trying to keep his mother safe, because there are enemies looking for her, but there are also enemies in her head.  While keeping her safe he is also trying to find his father, an explorer who disappeared years ago. With his mother hidden, Will finds his father's letters before the men after his mother do, but in doing so he accidentally kills one of them.

Desperate for a place to hide, Will stumbles across a window into another world. It is there that he meets Lyra. She came into this world by crossing the bridge Lord Asriel created at the end of the first book. She lost him in the fog and ended up there on her own.  Together they discover that there are only children about. The adults are all hiding from the Specters that plague this world. These spirits feed off of the souls of the adults, leaving them indifferent to everything around them.

Will brings Lyra into his world to see if she can find more information about Dust. Unfortunately they get tangled in the beginnings of a war Lord Asriel is waging a war against sin and God.

Things get a lot more complicated in this book. I thought I knew about Lord Asriel, but I still can't figure out if he's a good guy or bad guy. Maybe he's just the lesser of two evils. There are a lot of things going on in this book with the witches and the angels and Dust and everything.

This book is on the same level as the first one. The style isn't as annoying, but it's not as interesting.  It is also extremely anti organized religion, since the church officials are the main antagonists. So if that bothers you, you will not like this book.

Grade: B