The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2)

 
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3.7 (10)
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The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials #2)
Genre(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
July 22, 1997
ISBN
0613095049
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Here is the highly anticipated second installment of Philip Pullman's epic fantasy trilogy, begun with the critically acclaimed The Golden Compass. Lyra and Will, her newfound friend, tumble separately into the strange tropical otherworld of Cittàgazze, "the city of magpies," where adults are curiously absent and children run wild. Here their lives become inextricably entwined when Lyra's alethiometer gives her a simple command: find Will's father. Their search is plagued with obstacles--some familiar and some horribly new and unfathomable--but it eventually brings them closer to Will's father and to the Subtle Knife, a deadly, magical, ancient tool that cuts windows between worlds. Through it all, Will and Lyra find themselves hurtling toward the center of a fierce battle against a force so awesome that leagues of mortals, witches, beasts, and spirits from every world are uniting in fear and anger against it. This breathtaking sequel will leave readers eager for the third and final volume of His Dark Materials.

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10 reviews

 
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(1)
 
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(1)
1 star
 
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Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
4.1  (10)
Characters 
 
3.5  (2)
Writing Style 
 
3.5  (2)
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Sudden Religious Elements
Overall rating 
 
2.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
2.0
Writing Style 
 
2.0
The Subtle Knife sees Lyra venture into another world ravaged by spectres that prey on adults, leaving the world's children unsupervised. There she meets a boy named Will, a boy who also found his way to this other world. I loved the introduction of Will as he's from our world and had a relatable take on all the strange events. The book starts with sections from Will's perspective and we learn that he's mother is mentally ill and men are after Will. In his escape, he stumbles through a door to the other world.

When Will and Lyra first meet they are terrified of each other. Lyra sees that Will has no daemon while Will is scared of Pan. The children learn to trust each other and go to Will's world in hopes of learning more about Dust and learning more about Will's lost father. There they meet a physicist named Mary Malone who has unknowingly been studying Dust. We learn more about what Dust actually is which very interesting.

Back in the other world, which becomes the pairs base of operations, the children explore an ominous tower in the centre of the city. They find an old man who tells them all about The Subtle Knife, a dagger which can cut doorways into other worlds. He claims Will is the next guardian of the knife but before he can give it to them another boy comes to claim it. He fights with Will, cutting off two of Will's fingers with the knife. Eventually, Will manages to kill him and take the knife.

In our world, an old man takes a frightening interest in Lyra and her alethiometer. He manages to steal it and together Will and Lyra struggle to reclaim it. With the knife now in Will's hands, they manage to use it to get the alethiometer.

We also follow Serafina Pekkala, the witch clan queen, as she tries to help her clan and learn about why the Church is so interested in Lyra. Along the way, she helps Lee Scoresby while he searches the scientist and explorer Stanislaus Grumman.

I enjoyed this book but the series suddenly brought in religious elements, with angels and 'The Authority'. I found this strange because it wasn't mentioned as prominently in the first book. But I enjoyed the book, especially learning more about the other worlds and Lyra's destiny.
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The knife that cuts through Worlds!!
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
The Subtle Knife is the dazzling sequel to the Northern Lights. In this book we meet a new main character, Will. He stumbles upon a portal through to another world, where he meets Lyra and Pan, our courageous heroine from the Northern Lights, and her daemon. This book swaps between different perspectives of different characters, mostly only Will and Lyra but there a few others that have a say in this book.

Lyra journey is not at a end when Roger dies, it is truly only beginning, with its focus on a type of matter called Dust (in Lyra's world). In this book Will obtains a knife that can cut a hole into another dimension. This knife has its advantages but with it come its disadvantages., they are hunted.

Full of war, love, adventure, enemies and friends, this book is truly out of this world.
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Leaves You Wanting More
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Ched28

Philip Pullman outdoes himself with The Subtle Knife. It is one of those books that definitely leaves you wanting more. You get introduced to a new character right away, a boy named Will. He's faced a lot of hardship, but he is one of those people that you love immediately. There is a lot of perspective changes in this book, but it's something that you really don't notice.

Lyra is also in this book, and she stands her ground once again as one of the youngest, yet stronger female heroine's in book history. Her journey continues, but this one is to find the meaning of Dust, and to protect the life that she has loved for so long. You get to see a lot of old faces, and new faces, as well as new worlds.

Pullman weaves an intricate story of comrades, love, hate, and adventure in the exciting second installment of His Dark Materials trilogy.


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The Adventure Continues for YA Readers Everywhere!
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by GRgenius

Lyra is back again in this second installment of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, but this time she is not alone!  Will Parry, a young gentleman from one of the worlds beyond her own, kills a man (accidentally) as he is trying to escape the police raiding his house.  What they are looking for, he can only guess.....but he has a sneaking suspicion it has something to do with his father's work which was eerily similar to that of Lyra's (newly revealed) father.  This young pair set off on a fast paced adventure of traveling through worlds, discovering others that are looking into the Dust phenomenon, and escaping the clutches of those that seek to stop them on their quest.  The cast of characters also grows to include Sir Charles who has been traveling between the worlds as well, playing both sides in this crucial game; Serafina Pekkala returns as she searches for Lyra and aids Lee Scornsby in his time of need; and two wayward angels, Balthamos and Baruch, who are waiting to take the young travelers to Lord Asriel, both the last and first place they wish to go.

If you made it through the first book (congratulations!) in tact, I would definitely recommend continuing on as the story keeps getting better and better leading up to a most climatic end (at least until the final installment).  Happy Reading!
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Continuation of the magic
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Connie



In the second book of His Dark Materials trilogy, we are introduced to Will who lives in our world. He lives with his mother (his father having disappeared on an expedition years ago) who others believe has mental issues. Will comes into posession of the Subtle Knife, which allows him to open and close "windows" to other worlds. He soon meets Lyra, and together they journey to discover more about dust. This second installment is also very entertaining and kept me hooked to the end.
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Not as good as the first.
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Springhair

In this second book of the trilogy, Lyra meets Will, another boy who has found his way into the mysterious world between worlds. Together Will and Lyra gain control of The Subtle Knife, a magical artifact that can cut the barrier between worlds. Mrs. Coulter is still after Lyra, and the worlds are gearing up for a battle of magnificent proportions. Can Lyra and Will save the day before its too late?

Although I liked the first book in this trilogy, this one didnt really do it for me. I mostly read it to find out what the ending was. And it ended in a cliffhanger, so I didnt even get that satisfaction. Although it is a fairly good book, do not read it if you dont plan to continue the series.
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I cut right through it-no pun intended
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by carmen

Well, I wouldn't say these books have replaced any books on my shelves, but I sure hope to add them there as soon as possable!
The Subtle Knife is the second installment in Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials series. It is an excellent-No, fantastic-No! Outstanding continuation of the first book, The Golden Compass! You just can't put them down. I sure couldn't! I'm on the final book now, The Amber Spyglass, and it is awesome! Thrilling and mesmorisingly tastefull!
Blah.
Just read them,

Carmen
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Pretty Good
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Janine

I thought this book was pretty good. It's not as good as the first one though. I like Will a lot, he's a great character and he goes great with Lira. I love the situation in which he meets his dad. But the witch ruined it of course. The witches are great character too.
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A great sequel
Overall rating 
 
4.0
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by Nurin

Lyra has somehow left her world and now is in another world. During this time she meets Will who is a young boy from this other world who is a murderer. Because no one in this world has a daemon Lyra has to pretend than Pantaliomon is just a pet.
When Will becomes in possesion of a magical knife which can cut through anything they sett out to leave the vengeful people whose brother wanted the knife and was then killed to due to his lack of it.
This book is really good and all followeres of the His Dark Materials books will love it.
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His dark Materials- trilogy
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
0.0
Writing Style 
 
0.0
Reader reviewed by daisy

I loved all three books, and couldn't put them down. I read them back to back in about 1 1/2 weeks. They're well written, suspencefull, intriguing, and heartfelt. Yes I wept, and even dare to say that these have replaced harry potter on my shelves.
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