Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials, Book III

2000, 2003 Laurel-Leaf edition
Philip Pullman
The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials, Book III
Original price $6.99, purchase price $2.40
Slightly worn paperback

One hundred pages into this, I was about ready to quit.  Another one hundred and I was at least interested in Mary's stay with the mulefa (wheeled elephants, sort of).  The second half of the book had its moments.  But I didn't care about

  • Will's story arc
  • Anything with Lyra's parents, whose characterisation fluctuates wildly, not just compared to the first two books but within this book
  • The trip to Deadland (although we briefly get to see Lee)
  • The stuff with "God" (not really God)
  • Father Gomez's failed attempt to kill Mary
  • The wimpy bitter gay angels
  • "Lyra" the girl who bore little resemblance to the spunky gal from the first book
Ironically, the best writing is for Will and Lyra's "falling in love."  It doesn't seem believable, especially since they're two rather emotionally stunted twelve-year-olds, but if you can overlook that, it's touching, as is their separation, even if I think they'll be better off without each other (she especially).  I could point out a lot of other flaws, like that Will and Lyra wouldn't see children their own age as "little," but no matter.  Let's call the series a failed opportunity at best, and move on.

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