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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 (3734 )
5 star
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 (99)
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4.4 (1163 )
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4.5 (1148 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
 (93)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Geoffrey Boulder, CO, USA 12-03-03
    Geoffrey Boulder, CO, USA 12-03-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
    161
    ratings
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    10
    4
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    "The second book in a fantastic trilogy!"

    His Dark Materials, of which this is the second book, is a terrific fantasy. While aimed at younger readers, the series holds up brilliantly for adults, as well.

    In the second book, Lyra's adventure continues, as she finds herself in another world and discovers Will, a young boy who becomes her companion through the rest of the series. Lyra & Will also find other types of beings in this world, angels and witches; some are helpful, some not so. You'll enjoy taking the journey with them, and the narration -by author Philip Pullman and a full cast- helps pull you into the story.

    25 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bev Alton, IL, USA 08-28-07
    Bev Alton, IL, USA 08-28-07 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    168
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    279
    105
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    FOLLOWING
    8
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    Overall
    "Really Fantastic"

    This book is amazing - the narriator is very good as well. I loved these books when I read them - and I loved them just as much while listening. You won't be disappointed.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Graham S. Stafford 03-10-08 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    70
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    51
    6
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    "Wonderful story"

    I listen to A LOT of books on audible.com. This and Golden Compass received great ratings except for those who wrote a review. I see this often. I guess we have some literary critics who haunt audible.com. :) I found The Golden Compass and this book wonderful stories. The narration on both were great, and the music didn't bother me a bit. I'm starting the 3rd book with great expectation. If you like a well read, great stories then these books are for you.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janet Eagle Mountain Ut 10-11-07
    Janet Eagle Mountain Ut 10-11-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "Enjoyed as much as the first"

    Great second book. I love the narration in these books. Each character has it's own voice. The books really come alive.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Arnold South Freeport, ME, United States 03-04-04
    Arnold South Freeport, ME, United States 03-04-04 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
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    252
    29
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    "Another Terrific Book"

    This is the second book of the trilogy, and I thought if anything it surpassed the first with the introduction of new and compelling characters and plot developments. The actors and production are superb. Perhaps the best youth recorded book I have heard, including all of the Harry Potter books. Very highly recommended.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ann LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 09-04-06
    Ann LOUISVILLE, KY, United States 09-04-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    7
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    0
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    Overall
    "an earful"

    The second part of the trilogy is wonderfully compelling. The musical interludes between chapters are terrible -- ear piercing interrruptions to an otherwise great dramatization.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    D. Pitt NJ 08-11-05
    D. Pitt NJ 08-11-05 Member Since 2004

    Dirk

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    162
    1
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    Overall
    "Brilliant!"

    What a great story! I thought the first book was entertaining but this was even better. The cast is great and the book was enjoyed by both my 10 year old son and I. It is easy to follow and very thought provoking. I have listened to close to 50 audio books now and this is the best I have heard. I wish there were more than three books in the series. I hope they make this into a movie.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Skeph Atlanta, Georgia, United States 11-23-11
    Skeph Atlanta, Georgia, United States 11-23-11 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    75
    7
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    Performance
    Story
    "Full Cast, upsides and downsides."

    Phillip Pullman has created a rich and engaging multiverse with the "His Dark Materials" series. It's an epic trilogy with characters you can love, worry for, and rejoice with. In these full-cast recordings of the trilogy you get the added aspect of an ensemble cast of voice performers bringing many different backgrounds and talents together to create a richer world. Sometimes described as "An Atheist Narnia," the series stands out in its approach to fantasy that moves in an exciting adventure with a solid three-book arc. And Pullman himself, as the narrator, has a deep, soft narrator's voice, putting one in mind of a grandfather reading them a story. I might draw a vague parallel to a British Garrison Keillor.

    However, it has its drawbacks. I recommend listening to the book first before reading these so you can enjoy it more without being on the lookout for them:

    Pullman is a talented writer, but he does write as though he's being paid by the word. There are stretches of dialogue and description added that don't benefit the story and tend to slow it down. Some might argue that he gets a bit preachy and didactic (if I'm using that word correctly). The book, like too many fantasy series somewhat lacks a sense of whimsey, taking itself a bit too seriously for what it is. As an intermediate-level read, that can be forgiven, but one would hope for some joviality, especially in a universe (multiverse?) with talking animals. I'm not saying they all need to be voiced by Eddie Murphy, but please lighten up a bit.

    As for the full cast, while I can't express enough how much it enhanced the story, it too had its drawbacks. Some of the actors went into total maudlin melodrama overdrive in their performances that made repeat listens a bit of a chore. Some find the main character of Lyra a bit annoying to begin with, but when you actually hear her whine instead of modulating it with your mind's ear, it gets a bit more trying.

    All in all, three or four stars depending on your mood and age. I recommend the series at least once. Worth your credits.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mende Toronto, Ontario, Canada 03-28-08
    Mende Toronto, Ontario, Canada 03-28-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    8
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    "Pullman doesn't pull punches"

    The reading is exceptional. The story is one that everyone should hear at least once. It addresses the core of many peoples' problems with organized religion (or religion in general) and presents them in an exciting fantastic view of our universe.
    In Ontario certain regions of the catholic school board have banned this books. Although he is quite critical of organized religion the book does appear to leave room for spirituality (in my opinion).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deseree Eatonville, WA, United States 09-29-07
    Deseree Eatonville, WA, United States 09-29-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    111
    5
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    0
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    Overall
    "Be aware."

    Read/listen to this book before you give it to your children.

    There are warnings about religion in the reviews for this book but, that aside, there are other factors to consider. The book is not too long to listen and make up your mind about your own children.

    I enjoyed the book and believe sci-fi lovers will love this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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