This was just a mess. The story begins straight after the last one but takes the problems I had from the second book and dials them up. Characters go places for no real reason except for ‘plot’. Honestly what was the whole point of going to the land of the dead? And the reason for such came from nowhere and was never explained. I was bored for most of it. Even the exciting bits were fairly meh and made not much sense either.
Mrs Coulter was the strangest. She went from the genuinely scary character in the first book to being besotted about Lyra and changing her whole viewpoint. Now this could be good and interesting but it felt unearned and jarring. Lyra and Will weren’t bad, and some of their emotional moments were quite good but were let down by the meandering plot. I actually quite liked Mary’s story but again it didn’t really do anything except give us a bit more detail about Dust but it took up like a quarter of the book.
And the end. Oh my god the end. Still makes no sense to me. I’m not quite sure what the author was on about. The whole series got more like a sledgehammer to the head in relation to his feelings about organised religion but I have no idea what he was trying to say with the end. You know the bit I’m talking about. Did I read that part correct? I don’t know, that was pretty messed up when you think on it. Maybe if I’d read this when I was young I would be seeing this series very differently but I thought it got worse as it continued. Don’t get me wrong, there were some great moments here but they were lost in a manky stew of a plot.
Not sure now if I’ll bother with the new series.
2 stars out of 5