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SPOILERS SPOILERS sign in here if you have FINISHED La Belle Sauvage

(44 Posts)
newtlover Sun 22-Oct-17 18:18:15

what do we think?

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 23-Oct-17 03:22:53

Liked the first half. Second half was just rubbish. Water, more water - bit of peril - change the baby - Malcolm is tired. Also the weird bit where it went a bit woo I didn't like at all. It served no purpose and just jarred with everything I remember about the world.

Really so disappointed. The best bits were meeting those minor characters we'd seen in HDM and fleshing them out a bit. Also the hyena guy was scary.

Overall I gave it a 2/5 on good reads.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 23-Oct-17 03:55:49

Also - the bit where Malcolm meets Mrs Coulter and it makes a big point of saying her GOLDEN hair. Wtf she had dark hair in HDM and that was part of the reason people didn't like Nicole Kidman as her in the film!

(I can't sleep as you can tell!)

newtlover Mon 23-Oct-17 10:40:53

presumably he is introducing us to more facets of the world though. I think the second part was meant to be wearying and timeless, I think they were in some kind of otherworldly state/place. I kept trying to connect it to bits of english folklore - the bit with the fairy was familiar, but the garden with the party, I wasn't sure if that was menat to evoke something for us or not.
Alice had the surname Parslow, which was familiar so I looked it up- it is Roger's surname, so |I wonder if they are connected. I hope he is not the son of hyena guy.

drwitch Mon 23-Oct-17 11:16:44

swallows and amazons mixed with TH White mixed with Andrew Lang what's not to like!

newtlover Mon 23-Oct-17 12:44:52

yes actually, but what as a child I disliked about swallows and amazons (the technical sruff about sailing, which I didn't understand) I liked here- Pulmann's descriptions of the boat and how Malcom used it.
I'm sure Mrs Coulter's hair colour is not an oversight! If they have disposable nappies (that jarred for me) I guess they have hair dye!

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Mon 23-Oct-17 13:59:06

The hair probably isn't but it felt weird. Like it's making a point that will need to be rectified later.

Roger is the son of one of the families in the cave. I can't remember the guys name - he's mentioned as an aside when they're introducing people. He's the son of a Jordan roofer and Ma thingies cousin.

I'm sure you're right about introducing new characters etc, and also about the weariness of the journey. But I can't help but compare it to Northern Lights with the journey in the North.

I'll probably read the full trilogy when it's out but I just wasn't that impressed. It felt like it ran out of steam.

Misty9 Mon 23-Oct-17 22:39:33

I really enjoyed it and read it in two nights... blush <yawn> I just love his writing so in some ways the overall plot is less of a concern to me. I geeked out and checked some character references afterwards: Alice is roger parslow's cousin, and Lyra writes to a Dr Polstead (Malcolm) in Lyra's Oxford apparently (I didn't even know about that short story). The next two in the trilogy are set 10 years after the end of HDM, so I'm guessing we won't see Malcolm or Alice again sad which I think is a shame as I want to know what happened to Malcolm especially.

I live in east anglia so I liked the references to eastern anglians and how they're not trusted for their mystical gyptian ways grin

HDM is going to be dramatised by the BBC apparently. Soon I think and over something like 40 episodes. I do think that might work better than the film (although personally I quite liked the Golden Compass)

BaDumShh Tue 24-Oct-17 17:08:39

Re: Mrs Coulter’s hair, apparently PP regretted giving her dark hair in HDM and wished he’d given her blonde. So maybe this was his way of correcting it?

I loved trying to make the links to HDM too. Dr Hannah is Dame Hannah, headmistress of Lyra’s school. And the Parslow reference too. I hope Malcolm comes back in the next instalment. The next one is supposed to be 10 years after the amber spyglass, so Lyra will be 21-22, meaning Malcolm will be 32-33. I wonder if it’s being set up for them to fall in love?

SayNoToCarrots Tue 24-Oct-17 17:16:45

I enjoyed it and read it in a couple of days,like a pp, but I also didn't really get that random fairy sequence of whatever it was, and also noticed a few little changes - I'm sure China was Cathay in HDM and Latin was Roman, but in this one he just gave them our universe names.

I did really enjoy Alice's response to getting pinched on the bottom in the bar.

Coffeeandcrochet Tue 24-Oct-17 19:29:12

I loved it. The second part reminded me of Ishiguro's The Buried Giant, which is hardly surprising since they both take inspiration from Spenser.

I really enjoyed the focus on politics and personal freedom, through the eyes of Malcolm and Alice.

drwitch Tue 24-Oct-17 19:36:34

Loved the fairy bits reminded me so much of reading my granny's very precious copy of the blue fairy book and Arthur Rackams illustrated book "East of the Sun, West of the moon". Which the 3 guesses thing worked in real life!

DC1 "Can I have a new phone?" Me "Yes if you can guess what item of food is hidden in my bag"

Gruach Tue 24-Oct-17 19:53:21

I don't know ... It lacked the huge, swooping majesty of HDM. And was just so episodic. (I wasn't keen on Voyage of the Dawn Treader either.) Unlike the reviews I've seen I preferred the pre-flood chapters. The detail was a nice underpinning for an evolving story. I had trouble believing in the parade of characters they meet on the river and didn't feel PP fully committed to any of them.

But the daemons were stupendous, the pseudo Hitler-youth terrifying (how prescient), and Alice. Oh my! Now I want to read HDM all over again. For about the seventh time.

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 24-Oct-17 21:23:14

Agree about the pre-flood chapters being better. Was shock at the league of St Alexander stuff and loved Alice, but was a bit meh about the fairy Island but and the underground garden.

Did we ever find out who it was that they were using Malcolm to draw out. It got mentioned after the dinner party but I don't think it got mentioned again. Or I read part 2 too quickly and missed it.

DianaPrincessOfThemyscira Tue 24-Oct-17 22:11:14

Rafa - no I don't think so. I have a hazy memory of someone in Northern Lights - from the party? - and I'm going to start re-reading. I'll update if I find anything!

I'm glad others felt the same as me, I was beginning to think I'd just missed loads of it out and should read it again!

RafaIsTheKingOfClay Tue 24-Oct-17 22:55:24

I reread all but the last 2 chapters of Northern Lights the other week and I don't remember it. Although I wasn't looking for it.

I feel like there's still a book between this one and NL. Maybe it'll be covered in the next two even though they are set later.

CowPatRoberts Thu 26-Oct-17 16:39:10

Can anyone explain to me why Bonneville was beating his daemon outside the priory that time?

Gruach Thu 26-Oct-17 16:42:57

Self hatred ...

BaDumShh Thu 26-Oct-17 16:45:51

I understood it as a form of self-harm.

CowPatRoberts Thu 26-Oct-17 19:33:58

I got that aspect, was just surprised he did it in a place where it was bound to be heard!

CowPatRoberts Thu 26-Oct-17 20:03:49

Also- slightly off topic guys- I'm trying to think of a good title for a HDM blog, any ideas would be very welcome!

MoNigheanDonn Fri 27-Oct-17 19:30:58

Finally finished (Its iamdivergent, outlander namechange).

Ok so it took me about 3 days to read part one, then I didn't read for a couple days and now finished part two in an afternoon. I really enjoyed some parts of it and others were creepy...did Bonneville rape Alice at the end...blood on her leg?

Lyra's Oxford is a good short story, but it really is short. Only a long chapters worth tbh. Malcolm is in the story and Asta too obviously, just in passing but they are there smile Really looking forward to Volume 2 - wonder what it will be called and I assume it will be released this time next year.

Hope the BBC series gets cracked on!

MoNigheanDonn Fri 27-Oct-17 19:32:59

CowPat how about something like The Rusakov Theory?

newtlover Fri 27-Oct-17 22:04:28

yes, I wondered that about Alice.

PurpleStarInCashmereSky Fri 27-Oct-17 22:13:35

Could the man they wanted to tempt Malcolm with be the horrible man with the snake daemon from HDM? The one who can move between Lyra's and Will's world and steals the aleitheometer?

I also preferred the pre flood parts. I echo what people said about the weirdly episodic nature of the second half. It was a bit tedious how they kept being betrayed or let down.

The hyena man felt a bit supernatural towards the end. How did he follow them after getting his daemon disabled, losing his boat and being stabbed? He was described as a shadow in the corner of their eye. Like he had supernatural powers.

I also felt the ending was a little rushed. I would have liked that to be lingered over a little more. A bit more reflection and tying up of ends.

Overall I enjoyed it. Read all at once over an afternoon/evening.

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