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The Book of Dust (Book of Dust Series) Paperback – 19 October 2017
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- Item Weight : 718 g
- Paperback : 624 pages
- Product Dimensions : 15.3 x 3.9 x 23.4 cm
- ISBN-13 : 978-0857561084
- Publisher : David Fickling Books (19 October 2017)
- ISBN-10 : 9780857561084
- Language: : English
- ASIN : 0857561081
- Reading level : 12 - 16 years
- Best Sellers Rank: #86,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Top reviews from India
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Set in the alternative world of Oxford, where the church holds iron fist and the relation between rationality and religion are in bitter terms. The book is the prelude to the original magnum opus His Dark Materials so it gives a lot of detailed characterization. I accept the fact that the book is a voluminous reading of 550 pages almost but the energy and drama of the plot especially the 2nd part will ensure complete dedication.
About the content, Lyra Silvertongue is one of my favorite characters is high fantasies, since I first read His Dark Materials in early 2000s. So, I was psyched to read the whole origin story and loved it too.
The only bummer was that they marketed the book as "darker than the original books". It isn't the case.
Look forward to an adult Lyra's adventures.
Top reviews from other countries
While a separate and enjoyable story in its own right, several of the themes and characters have a lot more meaning if you have read the original trilogy, which I think will be more important as the series progresses (with the next books taking place after His Dark Materials, while this takes place before). That said, even a fairly rudimentary memory of the original story will more than suffice to equip readers for La Belle Sauvage, as we are thrown into the midst a catastrophic flood that seems set to alter the course of history in this alternate version of Britain.
The plot of the book itself is simple enough, but a lot of Pullman's strength lies in his character work and careful implementation of deeper themes and ideas into his stories. I believe the latter is lacking here, perhaps intentionally so as (much like Northern Lights) this is the first book in a trilogy and so serves more to simply introduce us to the major characters involved. In this, it does very well as grow gradually more attached to protaganists Malcolm and Alice as they experience numerous trials and develop as characters. I personally can't wait to read more about them, and how they tie into Lyra's world.
The scope of the book may be less ambitious than fans of the series were hoping for, but I'm glad Pullman chose to start the new trilogy on a small scale so readers could really get to know the new characters before the next books start tackle more complex themes. I loved it and cannot wait to read to more.
The answer for this book at least is somewhere in between. The hero is Malcolm, a boy working at his parents' inn and helping out with oddjobs at the local nunnery. Malcolm is a nice, unassuming lad who makes a good central character as he is immediately sympathetic. He reminds me of Will, the hero in the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy. Some of the characters from the main series appear here, including Lord Asriel and Mrs Coulter, although not in major roles. Lyra, the star of the original novels, has plenty of page time but is only a small baby so doesn't get to shine in her own right.
The novel is exciting and bowls along at a good pace. The problem is that, as with any prequel, you know where it is heading. That takes away some of the tension because you know things have to turn out in a certain way. To really succeed, these books would need to find some sort of compelling subplot that doesn't have an immediate link-through the original series and thus hasn't already been spoiled for readers. There isn't that here. However, it is only the first book of three and it's quite possible the story will build and improve throughout the series, which was the case in the original as well.
It's certainly a good fantasy adventure and one you'll enjoy reading if you like this genre. It isn't outstanding and it isn't in the same league as the original set of books - but there is potential. I'll certainly want to read the next ones.
It's OK, but for me, it wasn't great. It is undoubtedly well written, but I wonder if I was expecting too much from it after having enjoyed His Dark Materials so much.
Maybe I need to wait for the other books that are yet to come..... its hard to say.
What I do know is that at the moment, I'm not planning to re-read this, whereas I've read His Dark Materials numerous times.