His Dark Materials Part 2

Until the last two weeks or so I have been going through quite a heavy reading phase. There hasn’t really been anything lately that has taken my fancy. Well, there is, but I would need to buy them and I have so much stuff on my Kindle already, I feel reluctant to add to it. Maybe I should just delete stuff I know I am never going to read? I had a flick through it when I was off ill a couple of weeks ago and I really didn’t want anything too heavy to read. Then I discovered that I had downloaded both “Lyra’s Oxford” and “Once Upon a Time in the North” by Philip Pullman. I think I have ranted about my deep love for Philip Pullman before, particularly His Dark Materials trilogy and I was not disappointed by these.

‘Lyra’s Oxford’ was a short and sweet read, nothing too complex. I read a review of it on Goodreads where someone referred to it as ‘Philip Pullman light’, which is what it was, but it was still wonderful to delve back into the world that he created, which is why I was so pleased to discover I had ‘Once Upon a Time in the North’ to follow.

This story is about an incident which is briefly referred to in His Dark Materials trilogy about how Iorek Byrnison and Lee Scoresby meet. It is a good story, pulls you in and it is so nice meeting younger versions of characters sometimes. It helps fill them out. If you enjoy Philip Pullman and want something easy to read, I would recommend both of these. You would probably need around an hour at most to read both. It took me slightly longer due to my illness and continual naps though. The other exciting thing about ‘Once Upon a Time in the North’, is that it gives reference to older Lyra, who is currently doing her postgraduate research, specifically on Hot Air Balloon trade routes in the North, so it lets you know she still thinks about everyone she knew and lost and is trying to find out more about them. It adds a lot more depth to the books.

After reading these I decide to do some research – bearing in mind that research to me means going on Wikipedia – and I think I literally squealed in delight when I discovered that Philip Pullman is going to be writing a further novel around Lyra, known as “The Book of Dust”, and I cannot express how excited I am, and that I want it to be finished now! Lyra is once of my heroes.

I am not sure how long I can wait for it, and I know I shouldn’t say it, but I always get concerned that people will die before things are finished, for example, my fear of Game of Thrones never being finished – then again, is this the kind of story that can ever be finished? – then, there is the issue of Terry Pratchett having Alzheimer’s. I haven’t even read all of the Discworld novels yet, but I love the idea of there being an infinite amount of them I can look forward to. Even though I know that would never be possible, that is how it feels right now, but once he passes away that possibility is gone forever. It makes me sad.

Anyway, in order to feel less sad about gaps between books arriving there is a book available in Waterstones, which gives a lot of background on the worlds created by Philip Pullman in His Dark Materials books. I have been trying to talk myself out of buying it for ages. I think I am about to crack though.

Ok, next time I have a review of “Ketchup Clouds”, which, once again is a young adult novel. Hopefully I shall manage to read something else in between times…

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