Reviews: His Dark Materials
I should have liked it
Really, it had everything that I like it a book. But no matter how many times I tried (three for the record) I eventually lost interest and gave up on it. I don't know if it was the characters or just something about the way it was written, but while I got little farther each time, I always ended up simply not caring.
A Downhill Slide
I have conflicted feelings about His Dark Materials. The first book showed Pullman in fine form. There was some seriously amazing world-building, nuanced characters, and thrilling conflicts. The second was a step-down since Pullman's problematic introduction of his religious views begins here. This is also where I lose all sympathy for Lyra and her entitled demands and begin to feel sorry for Mrs. Coulter (although I do get that Mrs. Coulter really is supposed to be a sympathetic character, so kudos to you, Mr. Pullman). The third, the Amber Spyglass, is horrible. Plot and characterization are sacrificed just so Pullman could write about his philosophy and rant against the institutionalization of God. This could've been done more subtly, but his writing was so ham-handed in the third book that I write this series off as one that started great and ended horribly. I don't have a problem with Pullman's religious views. HDM is his series and he's free to introduce whatever he wants. I just wish he could've streamlined his views with his writing. My problem with the series was how it turned from suspenseful and thrilling to sermonizing and, well, dull. His Dark Materials is an ambitious series that ultimately fails because it tries too hard to be universal (it's not). I know that a lot of people like the entire series, even the third book, and I respect that. As for me, I'd like to pretend that HDM stopped at Golden Compass and ended at a cliffhanger.
The best thing Pullman did
Of all relatively recent fantasy series, His Dark Materials is probably one of those that deserves a mention as quite good. Indeed, its impossible to say Philip Pullman didn't made an efford, and shows how real fantasy authors are still existent (sadly overshadowed by shits like Twilight). Besides finding the narrative and discussion quite interesting, it also made be wonder a lot about metaphysical concepts; its almost like a philosophy book divided in three and disguised as regular fantasy. Indeed, for those interested in philosophy this will be an interesting read. Most notably, the author also truly seems to have done some research or at least accidently made many accurate/almost accurate refferences to mythology, philosophical concepts and science. That said, I would like to point out the God Is Evil thing isn't as shallow and ass pulled as many people think, though appearently most people can't be satisfied that "God" is just an old angel (leaving room for a real God, which is implied to be Dust) and that he wasn't killed, he just died. Granted, the author made outrageous statements, but weirdly the book doesn't come nowhere as anti-christian as presenting a non-militant atheist's view on Yahweh, which comes rather sympathetic with all the "betrayed by his underling" and "trapped in a flask" thing. Thus, why the hell are there so many imbeciles that don't read the frekking book and instead go around moaning "oh God Is Evil Pullman's an ass bitch kill him plz" I cannot possibly understand.