The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman

8 Sep

The Shadow in the North (Sally Lockhart Trilogy, #2)The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

For some strange reason, I picked up the second book in the series thinking it was the first! Duh!

I really wanted to like this one. A woman protagonist who is independent, unconventional and a detective in Victorian England – all the ingredients seemed to be just right for me to go ga-ga over it. Unfortunately, I just didn’t like it. It started off fine – all the characters are likable and strong and complex enough and hook you right in.

The mystery itself, though, was not very convincing. The metaphysical levels, greed & commerce and the politics don’t mesh well enough for me. And the romance seems a little too mature for a young adult book. And the sad parts are a little too tragic. Nuh-uh, didn’t like.

Going to give the other Sally Lockheart books in the trilogy a miss until a time when I have too much time on my hands and will read anything and everything, even if I don’t like it. Sigh!

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5 Responses to “The Shadow in the North by Philip Pullman”

  1. Yelbakk September 16, 2010 at 6:47 pm #

    I remember reading the Sally Lockhart books. And I remember a feeling of let-down after reading the first two. I loved Philip Pullman (still do), but these first two SL books were sub-Pullman-standard. Number three in the series was a good one, and then there was a spin-off in which Sally Lockhart has a cameo of sorts. This spin-off – The Tin Princess – was truly fun to read. A cloak-and-dagger style action story, well written and gripping.

    • stargazerpuj September 16, 2010 at 9:12 pm #

      I feel more let-down because I’m reading the Dark Materials series by Pullman, which I love so far. Sally Lockhart I’m really sad about.

  2. Yelbakk September 16, 2010 at 10:36 pm #

    His Dark Materials are awesome! A friend suggested I should read the books, and I was hooked after about page two. (That friend had the audacity to only give me the third book two weeks later! TWO WEEKS! Incredible!) I loved those books so much that, in fact, I wrote my master’s thesis about them. I even plowed my way through some Milton and Blake for my comparative analysis…

    • stargazerpuj September 17, 2010 at 6:02 pm #

      Interesting – writing a thesis on the Dark Materials! And comparing with Milton and Blake – that must have been a fun thesis to work on.

      • Yelbakk September 17, 2010 at 7:41 pm #

        “Fun” doesn’t even begin to describe it.
        Well, it was fun. Really, it was. The reading, the thinking, the research. The actual writing, however…
        But the topic was something I had really wanted to cover. I had read HDM when I took a class on Blake, and in one particular lesson something in my head just went *bling* and I realized that I had a specific Blake-related thought just when I read HDM. So there must have been something Blakeish in those books. I wanted to find out what exactly that was. Including Milton was, then, just a matter of course.

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