Title: Northern Lights
Author: Philip Pullman
Series: His Dark Materials #1
When Lyra’s friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him.
The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies – and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.
Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to find something yet more perilous waiting for her – something with consequences which may even reach beyond the Northern Lights…
This was a re-read of an old favourite inspired by watching the BBC adaptation. I really forgot how detailed this was. We get so much world building, it also subtly shifts in meaning based on the age of the reader. It is one of those books that can appeal to any age, younger children seeing it as a fun adventure with magical pets, adults seeing the allegory, the darkness connecting to the emotions differently. I think I enjoyed this so much on my re-read because I have a lot of memories attached to this book. I could remember what bits excited me when I read it as a child, but there were also bits I had forgotten, details that had slipped my mind and it was fun to experience it again.
I don’t know how much someone who does not have that connection to it would enjoy reading as an adult. I think it is one of those books you just have to try, if you are an avid middle grade reader I am sure this will live up to expectations.