Book: The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman

Often, you can figure out where a piece of writing is going by asking yourself “What does the author want to be true?” Pullman wants The Church to be evil. And thus you have a series in which The Church is pure, unvarnished evil.

Story-wise, the series isn’t bad, but there are definitely moments in which I had to stop reading and ask “Seriously? You think God is responsible for all that? WTF?”

This book is clearly the second of a trilogy, and feels weak. It’s chock-full of setup, in which Pullman ties up loose ends from the first book (the body count is shockingly high by the end, and not just faceless minions, but characters I knew and liked) and puts some guns on the mantle so that they can go off in the next book.

In addition to the “that could have had more to it” moments, I was actively disappointed in how the entire-book arc of “Will is looking for his father” ended. Really, Pullman? Why even bother?

But I still plan to read the next one, partly because it’s already been lent to me and partly because I want to see if the third is as good as the first was.