One of my New Year’s resolutions was to read (at least) one book each month. The book I chose for January is Northern Lights by Philip Pullman, the first book of His Dark Materials trilogy. This is not the first time I’m reading it, but it is the first time in a very long time.
It’s a young adult fantasy novel from 1995. The main reason why I’m reading this trilogy from the 90s now (besides the fact that I simply love it, of course) is that last October, 20 years after the release of the original trilogy, a new book set in the same universum came out and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!
The trilogy is full of magic and fantastic creatures, features a battle between the good and the evil over an original and rather difficult subject (which makes the book more suitable for young adults+ than kids, despite the seemingly fairy tale-ish feel, at least at first glance) and shows the main characters struggle with hard, often heartbreaking choices and decisions. It’s an absolute masterpiece in the world of young adult fiction and I can’t recommend it enough. I don’t want to spoil the plot, so this description has to be enough.
Now a little rant regarding this trilogy… there was a film made, based on the first book from the trilogy. A horrible, shallow film, which completely ignores the deeper meaning behind the story. It also looks like its creators had known how bad it was going to turn out before they even started working on it; the last scene in the book brings an explanation to some events as well as a cliffhanger to make the reader eager to jump into the sequel. And the film completely ignores it – the entire scene is cut out from the story which, as a result, ends prematurely. Wow. In contemporary cinematography not using the chance to indicate that there’s something more to await clearly means that even the creators know that no one’s going to fund filming the sequel. I’ve always preferred books over films, and this title is one of those stories that were ruined in their movie versions the most. It’s even more surprising and disappointing when we look at the cast. So many prominent, famous, acclaimed actors – Daniel Craig, Nicole Kidman, Ian McKellen and Christopher Lee are only some of them – and they managed to produce such a flop! That deserves some kind of a medal, almost.
Anyway, I’m going to enjoy this winter afternoon with a lovely book, some hot chocolate with marshmallows and Christmas gingerbread biscuits (have I made too many? it’s the end of January… hmmm…) 🙂