Mini-Reviews: His Dark Materials #1-2, Green Knowe #1-2, Lord Darcy

HDM omnibusThe Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Publication: Knopf Books for Young Readers (April 10, 2007), omnibus / ISBN 0375847227
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating:
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Challenges: Read Your Own Books 2009 (#16)

In one sentence: Interesting book, but somehow unreadable after watching the movie.

I saw the movie before I read the book, and while normally that wouldn’t bother me sometimes the movie was so detailed and such a good adaptation of the book, it’s kinda pointless to actually read the book. (Does that make sense?) I already knew what was going to happen, plotwise, and so I was mostly bored through the whole thing. However, it had been a while since I first saw the movie, and I needed a refresher. Reading it also gave me the chance to get used to Mr. Pullman’s writing style, which is a little different from what I’m used to. Plus re-introducing myself to the story and characters got me ready for the second book, so it wasn’t all a bad experience. I’m sure if I had read the book first and then saw the movie, I would have liked it much better.

HDM omnibusThe Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
Publication: Knopf Books for Young Readers (April 10, 2007), omnibus / ISBN 0375847227
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Rating:
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Challenges: Read Your Own Books 2009 (#17)

In one sentence: Much more enjoyable than the first book, with better characters and a plot I was actually interested in.

I think I liked The Subtle Knife better than The Golden Compass because it wasn’t just focused on Lyra and her stunted emotions. It had new characters who I could actually like, like Will Parry. And it luckily had some more character growth for Lyra, who got almost to the point where I could like her. The plot was more interesting than the first book, probably because I didn’t already know what was going to happen, and by the time I got to the end I was having trouble breathing, I was so excited.

However, something about these books makes me physically tired, and so I’ve stranded myself halfway through the third book for about two months now. I’m not sure when I’m going to finish it, but I do plan to. Eventually.

Green Knowe #1The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
Publication: Sandpiper (April 1, 2002), Paperback, 192 pages / ISBN 0152024689
Genre: Paranormal, Children’s
Rating:
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Challenges: 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge (#7)

In one sentence: Not exactly what I was expecting, but not bad.

Reminds me of Frances Hodgson Burnett, except that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoy her books. The plot was by turns interesting and boring, and while I liked the more gothic aspects of it I couldn’t stay interested. The characters were quite vibrant and interesting, but I still didn’t “click” with them for some reason. What I did like, I liked a lot, but the things I didn’t like overrode them. I don’t think it’s a bad book by any means (I did give it four birds, after all), I just don’t think it’s necessarily for me.

Green Knowe 2The Treasure of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston
Publication: Sandpiper (April 1, 2002), Paperback, 224 pages / ISBN 0152026010
Genre: Paranormal, Children’s
Rating:
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Challenges: 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge (#8)

In one sentence: Liked it much better than the first book, but not enough to keep me reading the series.

Characters were fleshed out much more, and the plot itself was more interesting. The writing was a little bit more engaging, and I definitely liked the character more. Unfortunately I was slightly bored all throughout, and I couldn’t bring myself to read the rest of the series. Maybe I’m just too far past the intended reading age now? (What a depressing thought.)

Lord Darcy (again)Lord Darcy by Randall Garrett
Publication: Baen Books, ebook (2002)
Genre: Fantasy, Mystery
Rating:
Find ebook @ WebScriptions.net

In one sentence: Genre mixing at its best!

Pretty much right up there with my love for Diana Wynne Jones. Really, really good fantasy-mystery-AWESOME plot, this is collection of all the Lord Darcy stories (including a full novel) written by Randall Garrett. Excellent writing, excellent mysteries, excellent characters and entirely worth more than the piddly $4 Baen is asking for it. Can’t recommend this enough; please check it out if you like fantasy, alternate histories, mystery, and/or stories starring nobility. (You can read two stories here for free, by the way.)

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3 thoughts on “Mini-Reviews: His Dark Materials #1-2, Green Knowe #1-2, Lord Darcy”

  1. I totally agree with you on The Golden Compass. I saw the movie and absolutely loved it and Lyra’s character, so I decided to read the book. The book was very draggy in comparison. At the end I didn’t really feel inspired to continue the series–I did not care what happened to Lyra. That is the strangest child I have ever encountered in literature, for reals. Anyway, I might try His Dark Materials now after reading your review. And I will definitely try Lord Darcy–that book looks awesome!

  2. I felt the same way after reading the Subtle Knife – I enjoyed it, but I felt drained, and even though I have the third book, I haven’t touched it yet. And I will definitely have to pick up Lord Darcy – it sounds fabulous.

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