Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This isn't a kids series

I am not quite convinced this is a kid's series.  Like a few of the layers in the Simpsons, I am sure that quite a bit of this book would escape the average 12 year old reader (since this is billed as young adult fiction).  That being said, I am really enjoying this series and this book leaves on a cliffhanger that had me at the library on my break yesterday taking out the final book in the trilogy. 

This book delved further in to some character development, but also put Lyra's story on the backburner a bit.  I was a bit disappointed with her character development because she was a much more meek version of the girl that we saw in the Golden Compass.  I was surprised by how much she deferred to Will in parts of the book - withdrawing from the use of the alethiometer unless they were looking for answers together.  Taken together, the first book is more about Lyra, and this second book is more about Will.  I missed reading about Lee, the aeronat, and Iorek the amoured bear.  However, it was interesting learning about Will's past, and the coincidences that bring Will and Lyra together, and the different forces of light and dark that impact the telling of this story.

It will be interesting to see how the Amber Spyglass plays out.  Perhaps that focuses more on their story together, especially since Adam and Eve have been suggested in the upcoming battle between light and dark, and the obvious pairing would be Lyra and Will.  These are sophisticated novels, and they are entertaining, and they are quick reads.  It is a complex set of worlds and beliefs - this is why I have a hard time seeing this as young adult reading materials.  I think of CS Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia and I think of young adult, even if the themes are also complex and Jungian in nature.  In a way I see Lewis' novels somewhat like the Simpsons - you appreciate different layers and symbolism more as you gain more life experience.

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