‘Northern Lights’ by Philip Pullman [Book Review]

Today, on a flight to Kos, Greece, I finished listening to the audiobook of a novel that had been on my TBR list since I was a kid: Northern Lights by Philip Pullman. Whilst it didn’t explicitly count towards the 2017 Reading Challenge, I am incredibly happy that I finally got to experience the magic of this immense literary world.

Title: Northern Lights
Author: Philip Pullman
Released: 1995
Pages: 397
Category: #61 A book with a young female protagonist
Rating: 7/10


“But you cannot change what you are, only what you do.”

The first book in the His Dark Materials series begins with young Lyra Belacqua and her daemon Pantalaimon enjoying their responsibility-free lifestyle among the scholars of Jordan College, Oxford. Having been raised by educated minds, in an upper-class environment, Lyra is well-versed in the hierarchy of society, but when the strange and wonderful Mrs Coulter visits the college and develops a particular interest in the youngster, Lyra’s life changes dramatically.

In a world filled with magic, living, breathing, spirit animals, and a suspicious rise in the kidnapping of children, Lyra must utilise all her knowledge and new skills for the good of the world.

I did attempt reading this novel when I was at primary school, but I struggled with some of the more testing themes. Religion and sociology play pivotal roles in the series, and looking back I can understand why I failed to connect with the book, and ultimately was unable to finish it, as a child. The audiobook was wonderful, with a full cast of characters, and it really helped immerse me in the world. I can’t wait to continue with these books!

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