Saturday 28 March 2015

His Dark Materials Readalong - Lyra's Oxford

As part of the #HDMReadalong, I reread Lyra's Oxford by Philip Pullman. It was an odd experience to reread something I haven't read in a very long time. And with my memory, I knew bits but not all of it.

The book is a collection of things. One short story, a map of Lyra's Oxford, a postcard and leaflet of a cruise ship.

I remember getting very excited when this first came out and devoured it very quickly. This time round, I tried to take it slow. I read it within 3 days.

The story - Lyra and the Birds - was different from what I remember. First of all, it was MUCH SHORTER than I remembered. And when you read it and compare it to the rest of the His Dark Materials trilogy, it doesn't seem to fit. It takes after the events of the series, but Lyra doesn't feel like she's aged and it seems odd to me for some reason.

There are hints to the mysterious Book of Dust that Philip Pullman has been working on for YEARS (pages 46 and 47), and I get the feeling this was meant to be a tease for Book of Dust that would becoming out in a year's time, but Book of Dust took longer to write so, when we get news on this getting published, it might be a good idea to reread this.

The postcard written Dr Mary Malone to one of her nun friend, Angela Gorman, gave tiny details about her, but it was the postcard she picked which was interesting. It showed four locations, which have huge importance to the series as a whole.

The leaflet of a cruise ship is the only thing I don't understand. If someone could tell me it's importance, that would be great as I haven't the foggest.

While this was a lovely book and a nice reread, I'm unsure over how I feel about it. It feels like it's hinting to something that hasn't happened yet. Plus, I feel like it's a tiny bit of a con. When this first came out, it was £9.99 and all it had was a short story of 40-odd pages and some titbits, which seems like a ripoff to the fans of this series. But you can get it secondhand now for not that much so that's ok.

All in all, I'm not sure if this is a worthy addition to the series. Maybe reading Once Upon A Time In The North will change my opinion...

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