Summary

The thrilling second book in Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, read by the author and a full cast.
In this stunning sequel to Northern Lights, the intrepid Lyra Silvertongue and her daemon, Pantalaimon, find themselves in a shimmering, haunted other world – Cittagazze where soul-eating Spectres stalk the streets and wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky.
Here she meets twelve-year-old Will Parry, a fugitive from a third universe. Will has found a small window between Cittagazze and Oxford that brings him into this strange new realm.
Will's father, an explorer, disappeared years ago, but recently some odd characters have started asking questions about him, and now, having accidentally killed one of them, Will is wanted by the police.
Armed with the subtle knife, a tool that cuts any material (including that which separates universes) and Lyra's alethiometer, the children set out to find John Parry, with adults of various stripes in desperate pursuit.
©1997 Philip Pullman (P)2014 Audible, Inc.
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Critic reviews

"Read by Pullman himself and a full cast including Julian Glover and Stephen Thorne, this is glorious listening." ( Sunday Express)
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Regular price: £17.19

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kirsty on 06-01-08

Great book... but why the changes?

I've read 'His Dark Materials' trilogy in print and bought the audiobooks so I could listen and knit at the same time. It's great to hear Pullman's narration and the voice actors playing the characters are really good.

Just one complaint: why the Americanisations? Pullman did not write 'sidewalk' and 'traffic circle', he wrote 'pavement' and 'roundabout'. A minor but very annoying point.

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96 of 101 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Christopher on 21-06-13

Superb narration to a great sequel

The Subtle Knife is a great sequel to The Northern Lights. If you liked the first, you will love this one just as much, if not more. This book expands on Lyra’s world from the first book, and introduces several others and the possibility of infinite worlds. It concentrates mainly on our human world though which is parallel to Lyra’s.

Story – 4/5

This is probably my favourite of the 3 books. My only criticism relative to the first book was that it was too short. It doesn’t take away from the story at all; it just didn’t last very long and left me wanting a lot more (a bit picky really I know)

Although the world expands into something more complex, Phil still writes in a way that makes it very simple to understand and follow

It takes you on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster; there are funny moments, sad moments and some very heart-warming ones. Very unusual for a YA book but I prefer it this way. This just shows how good the character development is, as we end up genuinely concerned for what happens to them.


Performance – 5/5

As with the first book, it is still Phil Pullman with a cast of voice actors – which is absolutely superb. If you are reading this review to see if all the books are good before delving in (I do the same), you will not be disappointed with the consistency and high production value of the performance.

All other audiobooks I have read have been with a single person acting all of the voices. Although a lot of them are excellent, nothing compares to have females doing females and males doing male voices. This contrast in each voice also allows you to relax more when enjoying the story and not worry about who is who in a conversation.

Overall – 4.5/5

Warning – If you are easily offended by little ‘digs’ at Christianity, you may want to not read these stories. They are subtle and mostly happen in the 3rd book, but I would consider this book to Paganism what Narnia is to Christianity. That aside, they are very good young adult fantasy books.

Definitely suitable for adults – I am a 27 yr old man

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By James on 07-01-15

Subtly brilliant!

The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman is a subtle brilliant listen. Lyra meets Will Parry in an alternate Oxford. They join forces together and discover a world where Spectres attack adults and do not bother children. In this world, Will fights to win the subtle knife, a knife capable of cutting through every bond. Will and Lyra then journey together to find Will's father. Once again narrated by Philip Pullman and a brilliant cast of actors, that brings even more life to a great story.

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