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The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials, Book 2 | [Philip Pullman]

The Subtle Knife: His Dark Materials, Book 2

In this stunning sequel to The Golden Compass, the intrepid Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted otherworld, Cittagazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another's, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.
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Publisher's Summary

In this stunning sequel to The Golden Compass, the intrepid Lyra finds herself in a shimmering, haunted otherworld, Cittagazze, where soul-eating Specters stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies: twelve-year-old Will Parry, fleeing for his life after taking another's, has also stumbled into this strange new realm.

On a perilous journey from world to world, Lyra and Will uncover a deadly secret: an object of extraordinary and devastating power. And with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat, and the shattering truth of their own destiny.

Listen to the rest of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series.

©1997 Philip Pullman; (P)Random House, Inc., Listening Library, A Division Of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The superb production of this fascinating fantasy epic makes it a heart-thumping listening adventure." (AudioFile)
"The story gallops with ferocious momentum [and] Pullman is devilishly inventive. (The New York Times Book Review)
"More than fulfilling the promise of The Golden Compass, this second volume starts off at a heart-thumping pace and never slows down." (Publishers Weekly)
"A resoundingly successful sequel." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3866 )
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  •  
    Caroline Seattle, WA, United States 12-25-07
    Caroline Seattle, WA, United States 12-25-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    3
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    "absolutely fantastic"

    What a relief to be able to *read* a story that appeals to us athiests. Not only is this a wonderful series with amazing characters, and a fascinating new approach to childrens lit, it's not bogged down with the same ol' C.S. Lewis style religious drivel. I didn't feel the creepy sticky undertones of christianity trying to reach out from between the words and snatch me up. Instead it is blatantly obvious and a very nice change.

    Plus the narrating team is amazing!!! Really, a good time for all.

    And if the kids can't handle their faith being challanged a bit, then how can a parent feel safe even letting them leave the house.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maryanne Dexter, OR, USA 05-10-07
    Maryanne Dexter, OR, USA 05-10-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    216
    16
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    "Loved this book - not for children"

    I loved these 3 books. But I agree with Keri from Colo and another review. This book is not for impressionable children who are still developing their moral and religion beliefs. I am not a Christian btw, but still found some of the anti-established religion messages to be disturbing as this is listed as a children's book

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cool Liz 06-26-09
    Cool Liz 06-26-09 Member Since 2009

    Starr Crystal Animations

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    291
    16
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    "A wild and imaginative book!!!"

    If you could set aside the fact that the supposed good guys are hunting GOD! Then this is a great book. I wouldn't even have guessed that the "authority" aptly named by the author, was GOD but because I read something another reader wrote had me looking for it.
    Sometimes I think it is better for one to read a book before a comment??? Because in a way, that comment spoiled it for me. I loved the movie and wanted to books. I even have all 3 in hard cover and sealed as a collector's item. So I was glad to find audio books of the movie.
    I had't, then to me, the "authority" would have been the head of their church order like the Pope or the one behind him.
    Still it is a great listening and the descriptive writing leaves you seeing rather than listening to the story.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bernadette Kent, WA, United States 04-26-09
    Bernadette Kent, WA, United States 04-26-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    2
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    "Well...Pretty Good"

    I really enjoyed the second book, but I felt guilty continuing onto the third because it is somewhat sacriligious. I did enjoy the characters though and the discriptions, if it wasn't for the reversed roles of good vs evil I would have continued onto the next.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Lea Hutchinson 12-05-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "His Dark Material"

    This is a combined review of the trilogy “His Dark Material” by Philip Pullman.

    I just finished these books. I very much wish I had not started. The first two books (“The Golden Compass” and “The Subtle Knife”) are not particularly well written. Not bad, but not great either. However, extensive character development and situations promise a climactic third book (“The Amber Spyglass”). Talk about broken promises! In the end neither the characters nor the situations are relevant to the story and the first two turn out to be a vacuous waste of time whose only purpose is to lure the reader in to reading the third book of this disjointed trilogy.

    I am FAR from zealous about this stuff, and thought those who condemned JK Rowling’s Harry Potter books were overreacting at an irrational level, but these books are another matter indeed.

    They are truly the most virulent, blasphemous, and obscene things I have had the misfortune to stumble upon. They are effectively the literary equivalent of offering candy to a child to lure them away for some sinister purpose. In fact, that is exactly what one of the characters does in the first book.

    The depth of anger and hatred dished out by Mr. Pullman in his anti-God fervor stunned me. The world has not seen this level of extremism since the Nazi’s ravaged Europe. And I do mean anti-God, not anti-religion. His characters literally demonize and seek to destroy God.

    Having wasted my time and polluted my brain with this trash, the only good that can come of it is to warn off everyone I can.

    So… Be Warned! These books are Pullman’s platform for a many hours long rant of his malevolent hatred of God, and just about anything else to do with objective morals. Any person believing in a higher being, or even the absolutes of right and wrong, should consider this a MUST MISS!!

    4 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorian 02-07-10
    Dorian 02-07-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting, But Lame"

    I've read all three of the books in this series. For a while it looks like it's going to be a great story, but then comes the lame part. I suggest you stop after the Golden Compass. You are not going to like the ending of this trilogy.

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kory San Antonio, TX, USA 01-04-08
    Kory San Antonio, TX, USA 01-04-08 Member Since 2005
    ratings
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    208
    2
    Overall
    "Not as good as the first"

    Author begins to make the church into the villian

    0 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mariana Walterboro, SC, USA 11-22-06
    Mariana Walterboro, SC, USA 11-22-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    13
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    "God haters rejoice!"

    This trilogy is indeed diabolical. The temptation- a captivating nicely written story- but beware of the message- the world view that the book is advocating is that God is really an evil angle that is just pretending to be the Creator. The devil’s revolt was actually the work of good angles and God should be killed. There is absolutely no discussion or attempt to show a different viewpoint. The evils of the church are the evils of god. period! I listened to the very end hoping that there was going to be some discussion or debate, but no. In the end, this is a bigoted narrow-minded hateful worldview that is pretending to be humanistic. And of course there is no possible way to see things differently! If you think this is just a bit or harmless fun and should not be taken seriously, be careful. Messages like these may work on your subconscious reasoning. Analyze the message carefully! If you hate God this is the book for you.

    4 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Indianapolis, IN, USA 01-30-10
    Sara Indianapolis, IN, USA 01-30-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
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    "Too much"

    The Golden Compass was an intriguing story, with a clever female protaganist and imaginative elements that fascinated me. This led me to listen to The Subtle Knife, which let me down. Pullman introduced Will, the male accomplice to Lyra, and made her look like an incompetent fool that generally followed Will around. I thought that the idea of flipping the monotheistic theology on it's head with the false God was an interesting idea and I was not afraid of reading the books for that reason, but Pullman's hate and negativity ended up ruining a great fantasy and left me in a slump. I can't get myself to read the third book, especially after reading reviews of it. My advice is to stop with the first book, the second book will bring you down. I love Harry Potter books - yes there are some non-Christian writings in it, but it's not hateful. Who wants to teach children hate? Pullman does!

    0 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Williamsport, PA 09-22-07
    Amazon Customer Williamsport, PA 09-22-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
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    21
    4
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    "NOT meant for Christians"

    This is the second book in the series and the author's beliefs begin to be known. Christian parents should not allow their children to read.

    2 of 33 people found this review helpful
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