La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust #1)

[Artwork ^ the property of David Fickling Books (Penguin Imprint) and Knopf Books]

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I really don’t know how informative of a review this is going to be as I sit here like a hyper fangirl, unable to type because all I can think is ‘YAAAAS.’

[Trigger Warning: Sexual Assault/Rape Scene, though not very in-depth, still feel the need to warn those who could still be affected]

Okay, let’s give it a go!

If you haven’t read HDM (His Dark Materials), this is a prequel/sequel to it. We’re given the story of Malcolm (and Alice!) and his fantastical journey.

Honestly, I love almost everything Pullman writes, there’s something about his prose that makes my cold little heart so happy.

I’ll break it down in Pros and Cons so that way I can try to be more critical/helpful.

Pros:
– Though it makes it better in a way to have read HDM first, it’s not really necessary you could say [I would argue though that if you hadn’t, you would think this is a crazy amount of stuff to do for a baby]
– Malcolm is a precious nugget who I want to feed chocolate chip cookies too with a glass of milk.
– Alice is pretty cool, I really like her honestly
– It’s a sit on the edge of your seat kind of book for like 3/4 of the book.
– The children are clever, they’re smart and feel real
– I love that someone made fun of the little boat and called it Sausage. [*gigglesnorts*]
– The order of St. Alexander is terrifying but easily feels like something we would face even in our world.
– Pullman makes you invested in everyone
– More Lord Asriel
– Unnerving Mrs. Coulter
– Dr. Relf and Oxley Street are so intriguing!
– He really knows how to give us some creepy antagonists.
– Everything he writes is amazing and I just wanna read this book over again.

Cons:
[- If you haven’t read HDM some elements might be confusing]
– We didn’t get enough Lord Asriel
– He could have fleshed out Bonneville more
– Would have been also nice to get some more stuff on Oxley and Dr. Relf, especially because the next book is propelling us ahead 20 years.
– I felt a little slighted by the ending concerning Malcolm (and Alice!)
– I think it would have been good to expand on St. Alexander more but knowing Pullman, this could easily pop up in something else!
– You really just wanted to give poor baby Lyra some diaper ointment half the time
–  I didn’t think that the last violent scene was necessary in some ways.
– As good as it is, if you’re a HUGE HDM fan, it’s still not HDM, it’s new, it’s going to be different. [But I loved it so very much as a huge fan of HDM myself.]

So there we have it, five cups of coffee for that amazing read!

Also!!! Here’s an extract from Book of Dust #2

[***It is also available for pre-order and comes out in October (the pre-order thus far is cheaper on Waterstones for fellow UK peeps and like Amazon, they will match the lower price, but, also you know, Amazon will probably lower their price too, either way, just passing on the info!***]

 

8 thoughts on “La Belle Sauvage (Book of Dust #1)”

  1. even tho i bought one of the waterstones editions iove srtill not read it! I havent seen many reviews of t which i guess hadnt encouraged me toi read it? ill try now tho bc u have me more interested. hdm was such a great read when i was yung

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “if you hadn’t, you would think this is a crazy amount of stuff to do for a baby” honestly, I’ve read (and reread and reread and reread and loved) HDM and I still think it’s super super extra. but also I just wanna wrap all the kiddos in blankets and cuddle them and feed them, so. stop making them fix the messes that Authorities, i.e. adults, made. (which is actually a scarily accurate analogy to our world, come to think of it 👀)

    I actually didn’t know that the next book does a timeskip, that’s definitely disappointing since I love reading about these precious adventure children – and it’s been a while so I don’t even remember the details of the ending, but I *do* remember a sense of dissatisfaction for sure 😅 though I might’ve chalked it up to just being the end of another awesome book?

    anyway, terrific review, I agree on so many points!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You do have a point with it being super extra regardless! 😂

      I have to concede to you about the ending I think I was just being selfish and being all ‘gimme mooooore!!’

      I only found out about the time skip prior to reading this, but I hope Malcolm is still awesome! And I hope we both love the second one 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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