Mark Reads ‘The Amber Spyglass’: Chapter 1

In the first chapter of The Amber Spyglass, WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Amber Spyglass.

Well, hello Readers! I’ve always wanted to figure out a way to involve the existing fandom of something I’m reading/watching while I am still working my way through that particular show or book. I’m happy to announce that I can finally do that!

During the course of reading The Amber Spyglass, I’ll be working with, the largest Philip Pullman fansite and community EVER. They have all been wonderful to me, and we came up with some neat ways for those of you who have read this series to continue to enjoy The Amber Spyglass without having to worry about spoiling me.

First of all, each week BTTS will host a themed discussion wherein you may discuss this week’s chapters in a spoilery fashion. This week, please visit the thread in their beautifully designed forum for chapters one through five. In the coming days, I’ll be announcing a contest running simultaneous to this with BTTS where you can win a signed copy of The Amber Spyglass. UM VICTORY.

In the meantime, you should probably check out the real image that the new banner is cropped from. Just sayin’.

Ok, last book of the His Dark Materials trilogy, so I’m going to make these predictions AWESOME. Shall we?

Mark’s Totally Beautiful and Always-Right Predictions For The Amber Spyglass

  1. Ok, it’s pretty obvious that Mrs. Coulter’s people have Lyra, so that’s part of my prediction. The other half: She is not going to destroy her as she told Lord Boreal. I predict she is using her for another purpose to further herself.
  2. Will is going to use the subtle knife to kill someone or something before chapter ten.
  3. We will learn why this trilogy is called His Dark Materials and it’s going to tie together these objects that Will and Lyra have in their possession. (The alethiometer and the subtle knife.
  4. The amber spyglass will enable a person to see from one world to another.
  5. I’m guessing that Pullman will show us exactly three more parallel worlds in addition to our world, Lyra’s world, and Cittágazze.
  6. We will get to see inside of Lord Asriel’s fortress and we will learn that he houses a secret weapon in the fight against the Authority.
  7. Lord Asriel will die by the end of the book.
  8. We will FINALLY learn why the Authority absolutely must be killed and why Lyra must kill “destiny.”
  9. Will is going to successfully kill the authority.
  10. Ok, I’m willing to admit that this is probably foolish to guess about, since I literally cannot understand the mechanics of how it works, but Will, Lyra, and Dr. Malone will somehow re-create The Fall but instead choose to “embrace” the concept of sin without feeling shame.
  11. Dr. Malone will die by the end of the book. (I HATE TYPING THAT. But after the end of The Subtle Knife, I honestly don’t think anyone is safe. Also, I will never heal from the death of Lee/Hester. I’m sorry, that is just so traumatic.)
  12. Ok, I am absolutely not sure about this, but why not further make a fool of myself? Somehow, Mrs. Coulter will “redeem” herself and choose to ultimately turn against the Church.
  13. We will discover more versions of the Church/Magisterium in other universes.
  14. I think we will get the first appearances of doubles. By that, I mean versions of people in different worlds.
  15. We will find out where Specters came from and if there are indeed versions of them in other worlds. (Or if they are the same thing but called something different.)
  16. Will is going to be reunited with his mother.
  17. We will learn the identity of the pale-haired man. Oh, and he’s going to die.
  18. I will finally learn more conclusively than in the first two books why Christians apparently hate this series. (It’s been remarkably tame so far.)
  19. There will be people. (I WANT ONE EASY PREDICTION.)
  20. At the end of The Amber Spyglass, all the windows to the worlds will be closed and no one will ever be able to travel between then again.

WELL, THAT WAS FUN. Also, do you know how awkward it is that one of the characters is named Will? I had to rewrite sentences that started with, “Will will do this,” because it looked terrible. THANKS, PHILIP PULLMAN. Just kidding, I love you can we be friends.


Okay, well I was sort of right? Damn, I am seriously unprepared for this novel.

I wouldn’t have guessed that we’d see Mrs. Coulter right off the bat, but Pullman has a penchant for taking my expectations and drop-kicking them off a cliff into a pit of nightmares. Even more interesting is the way in which he gives us almost no information at all, and yet I feel as if he’s communicated an entire volume worth of information to me.

I’ve come to adore the way he writes about the physical world around his characters; it’s this playful, loving style of syntax and use of vocabulary to give us colors, feelings, and mental images full of rich detail. I’ll always appreciate just how wonderful this story is, but never forgets that he has to make us believe this world. He accomplishes that through his attention to detail. He contrasts the forest of pines and the valley rhododendrons with the creepy horror of the cave that Mrs. Coulter now occupies. What makes this all the more effective is just how unsettled we feel when we realize we actually don’t know what Mrs. Coulter is doing out here with just Lyra and herself. Of course, I had expected that the Specters had invaded Will and Lyra’s camp to take out the witches protecting her, and then Lyra herself was captured, to be brought back to Mrs. Coulter’s possession. But I quickly realized that there was no one else with this woman in the holy cave. Why? Why wouldn’t she have anyone with her? Why is she pretending to be a holy woman in this manner?

It’s also a chance for us to see how Mrs. Coulter uses her manipulative charm to get what she wants. We meet (briefly) a local village girl named Ama; she brings Mrs. Coulter food and gifts, believing her to be a holy woman, but she has arrived this time with her father and some reservations of her own. The village is well aware that there Mrs. Coulter has a young girl with her, and that this young girl was not ordinary in any sense.

Mrs. Coulter turns on that frightening charm in an instant. It’s honestly like there’s a switch in her head that she flips on and off without any sort of preparation. God, it is just so creepy. It doesn’t help that when Mrs. Coulter shows Ama Lyra’s sleeping body, the golden monkey dæmon is also being affectionate towards Pantalaimon. HOW DARE YOU TOUCH HIM, YOU DIRTY APE. But was this affection real or an act? I actually cannot tell.

I definitely wanted to believe that Mrs. Coulter was doing something to harm Lyra. She makes some sort of potion in the cave and slowly feeds it to her daughter right as she starts to wake up; it causes her to fall back asleep. So…she’s keep Lyra asleep for the time being? Seriously, why?

But this confusion is only natural. This is the first chapter of the book. I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t know what Pullman has planned. However, a new sensation creeps into me: What if I’ve gotten Mrs. Coulter all wrong? We learn that her dæmon is “discontented.”

He didn’t like what she was doing here in the cave, and when he tried to express his concern, she brushed him away.

Okay, what??? I know that dæmons can and do express themselves separate of their owners, but I’m lost. Isn’t her dæmon generally pretty hellbent on being a conniving, sneaky asshole? So if her dæmon is upset with her, what does that mean in terms of her own behavior? Pullman describes the monkey’s actions as “skepticism,” immediately after this revelation, which throws yet another wrench into this. Shit, what could this dæmon possibly doubt?

…she wondered what in the world she thought she was doing, and whether she had gone mad, and, over and over again, what would happen when the Church found out. The golden monkey was right. She wasn’t only hiding Lyra: she was hiding her own eyes.

WHAT?!?!?!?!!? I MEAN. That sounds like a fairly tacit acknowledgement that Mrs. Coulter is doing something the Church would not be all too happy with. Of all people, she is doing something like this? She’s hiding Lyra??? And what on earth does Pullman mean about Mrs. Coulter “hiding her own eyes”?

Oh, this is gonna be so good.

This short chapter ends with what I’m guessing is Lyra’s dream sequence while she’s kept asleep by her mother. She is some other world, described as “the end of all places and the last of all worlds,” and there are beings with her, ones without faces or names. Are they imprisoned as Lyra believes? Are these actual ghosts?

Surprisingly, Roger is here. He says this is the world of the dead. And he is very afraid, unsure if he’s done something right or wrong.

I’m inclined to believe that even if this is a dream, it’s actually real. I think this is a real place. So now is there a possibility to get Roger back from the dead?

Oh, I am so terribly excited.

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
This entry was posted in His Dark Materials, The Amber Spyglass and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to Mark Reads ‘The Amber Spyglass’: Chapter 1

  1. Brieana says:

    Also, you en't prepared but that's a given.

  2. Ryan Lohner says:

    On my first reading, I actually had a bit of physical revulsion when I realized I was reading Mrs. Coulter's point of view. It's like if Harry Potter had a chapter narrated by Umbridge.

    By the way, the "his dark materials" thing is actually explained in the first book, before the title page. It's a quote from Paradise Lost.

    • flootzavut says:

      HAH! That is SO EXACTLY what it is like, have all the upvotes 🙂 brilliant analogy. Did Mark ever do that for a review during HPOOTP? Mark, if you need to redo any of the OOTP reviews, you must use this idea. Just sayin'. Awesome 🙂

  3. Darth_Ember says:

    Forever unprepared.
    I'll say I smirked a bit at some of your predictions, but not why or which.

    Also, I like Ama.

    Plus, Roger… it is both intriguing and heart-wrenching to see him again.

  4. Kathleen says:

    AJHAJKDHJAHDJAHOIDJLKJKLJDIJSLAKMAIJDJ THE BANNER IS AWESOMESAUCE. Also, you en't prepared, but you know this already. And those predictions are fabulous. Oh, such unpreparedness…

  5. Kira Wonrey says:

    The new banner is fantastic! And I love your predictions.

    This chapter is great, but when I first read it, I remember it confused me a lot…

  6. Jamie S says:

    I really do love these prediction posts. But I miss when you'd go over your last predictions and compare them to the actual book. (Unless you did this and I missed it?)

    • Jaya says:

      That's a great idea! I've gone through the predictions on our thread over at and counted up how many Mark got right/wrong, take a look!

    • RoseFyre says:

      If he did it I missed it too! Yes, I want Mark to go back and tell us what he got right/wrong from his last predictions post too. 😀

  7. pennylane27 says:

    Mark, I love the banner. I adore your predictions.

    And I don't know what else to say. I remember being as confused about all this too. What exactly are Mrs. Coulter's intentions? And even if they were good, I don't think that keeping your daughter asleep for god knows how long is a good thing.

  8. Raphael says:

    The epigraph poems are different in the American and British versions, too, from memory, which gives twice the scene-setting epigraphery. Hah, it's late and I started writing 'The epigraph poems aren't prepared'… damn pervasive slogan.

  9. stellaaaaakris says:

    ZOMG! Your new banner and partnership are so cool!

    Did you read the poems in the front of this book? I don't completely remember what they were about, but they certainly set the mood.

    Also, I find the way daemons act as translators odd. How can part of your soul understand verbal languages that you don't? Lee knew languages Hester didn't (Lee, Hester… :'( ) and Mrs. Coulter and Ama let their daemons do most of the talking and then they understand one another. What are we, us wretched people without daemons, supposed to do to understand people who speak other languages? The whole thing kinda reminded me of the Disney Pocahontas movie when she "listens with her heart" and then she and John Smith understand each other perfectly.

    The audiobook of this is so awesome. The ghostly/dream section has a cool, echo-y feel. But Roger's fear made me so sad. (Fun fact: spell check is accepting "echo-y" but not "Roger's." Apparently Roger is not allowed to possess fear.)

    • ferriswheeljunky says:

      The poems are beautiful – I love the John Ashbery one.

    • rumantic says:

      I guess that the daemon thing isn't so much a direct verbal translation as more like the kind of non-verbal communication daemons can have with their owners. So they sort of exchange thoughts rather than words which can be translated into meanings.

    • Ellalalalala says:

      Pocahontas is forever my role model for transcending the language barrier through the medium of song! Mad props to her!

    • GCSKAS says:

      I love the audiobook version! The audiobook version of this book is what got me into audiobooks in the first place. I now have The Golden Compass on my ipod, and I love it.

  10. muzzery says:

    Oh god the image of Pullman exhibiting his drop kicking skills is DEEPLY HILARIOUS.

  11. pennylane27 says:

    Oh and I just went over to that thread and there are summaries of the next chapters and I just squealed in joy because there were a lot of things I had forgotten and now I'm thinking I need to reread this book and boy this is going to be an interesting week.

  12. Ronni says:

    En't prepared. Times a MILLION.

  13. monkeybutter says:

    So, do you get partial credit for #12 because Mrs Coulter is afraid of the Church finding out about her cave? And do you have any thoughts on the epigraphs? Oddly enough, "For Empire is no more, and now the Lion & Wolf shall cease" pinged with my dreams of ASoIaF ending with no kingdom and lords squabbling and oppressing their smallfolk, replaced by a series of anarcho-syndicalist communes. The Blake excerpt about revolution is terrific and hopeful, and the Rilke and Ashbery are beautiful and wistful.

    As for the actual chapter, I love that Mrs Coulter and her daemon are out of accord. When Lyra first muttered Roger's name, I thought it was because she still felt guilty about delivering him to Lord Asriel. Even though Roger's miserable, I'm so glad Lyra gets to see him again!

    • bibliotrek says:

      replaced by a series of anarcho-syndicalist communes

      Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!

      • Hokuto says:

        Hah! Westeros WISHES it had something as organized and definitive as a farcical aquatic ceremony. … although that'd probably leave the ironborn in charge, and NO THANK YOU PLEASE.

  14. fakehepburn says:


  15. Partes says:

    There will be people.

    Stop reading ahead and cheating Mark, there's no way you saw that coming. Have you got an Alethiometer?

    I love the description of the forest and cave; it's somewhere that I can picture with amazing clarity, and I get the feeling that it'll stay with me as a location for a long, long time. There's something beautiful yet unsettling about the place which I think suits Mrs Coulter well. One of the prettiest places on the outside, but further in there's a creepy monkey and a kidnapping. Definately her as a character, mereckons.

    Incidentally, there's a line I love in this chapter. Love.

    A novel answer occured to Mrs Coulter as the daemon's understanding filtered into hers. She could tell the truth. Not all of it, naturally, but some. She felt a quiver of laughter at the idea[].

    Mrs Coulter, STOP BEING SO INTERESTING. Siriusly. I want to hate you but find myself fascinated and wanting to see more inside that twisted head of yours. Not fair.

  16. Avit says:

    Mr. Oshiro, I suggest you forget this silly nonsense about reading books over the internet and become a professional prognosticator instead. Rake in the cash! What isn't accurate is still entertaining, eh?

  17. Maya says:

    A+ on the new banner right there. And thanks for the link to the forum- I'd never heard of the site before and their design is absolutely stunning! Can't wait to read your reaction to this one- this was one of the few books I legitimately cried through as a child.

  18. pica_scribit says:

    As someone mentioned above, the phrase "his dark materials" comes from the poem "Paradise Lost" and is quoted at the beginning of the first book:

    "Into this wilde Abyss,
    The Womb of nature and perhaps her Grave,
    Of neither Sea, nor Shore, nor Air, nor Fire,
    But all these in their pregnant causes mixt
    Confus'dly, and which thus must ever fight,
    Unless th' Almighty Maker them ordain
    His dark materials to create more Worlds,
    Into this wilde Abyss the warie fiend
    Stood on the brink of Hell and look'd a while,
    Pondering his Voyage; for no narrow frith
    He had to cross."

  19. Didgy says:

    I ADORED the description of the area and the cave. It was right there in my head, every last. That is how you show, rather than telling. SMeyer, take note…

  20. Becky_J_ says:

    My life felt incomplete… and I never quite new why. Then, when I read this review, I realized that it was because no one had ever called that damned golden monkey a dirty ape before. THANK YOU FOR COMPLETING MY LIFE.

    Also, there will be people.

  21. kara says:

    its very interesting that you like the chapters opening description, mark (and didgy) – i was in a writing class at the beginning of the year and the teacher picked it out as "purple prose". i guess whats purple to some isnt purple to others?

  22. cait0716 says:

    I think it's interesting that you think this series has been tame wrt Christianity. So far we've got characters wanting to kill God and telling us that eating from the tree of knowledge was actually a good thing. That's a big challenge to pretty much all of Christian mythology. Pullman has set up his heroes to kill God. That's plenty controversial.

    • Shay_Guy says:

      It's worth noting that Jewish interpretations of Genesis 3 are rather different from Christian ones. For instance, the doctrine of original sin is absent entirely.

  23. AnonAndi says:

    First off, when I saw your new banner all I could think was "AAHH! Beautiful, wonderful, old books!" That banner is pretty rockin'.
    Secondly, oh Mark. I read your predictions and they're awesome! Mostly because, OMG UNPREPARED! ~*I see much key-smashing in your future.*~

    • flootzavut says:

      Keysmashes and headsplosions incoming – DUCK!

    • Jaya says:

      Make sure you look at the whole image too! I agree it is delightful (even though I directed its creation, so I may be a little biased…) Wonderful old books are lovely.

      • AnonAndi says:

        I did get a look at the whole picture and it's really fabulous! If you're the one who directed it's creation then I've got to say, great job!! 🙂

  24. arctic_hare says:

    – Sweet banner! 😀 I love it.

    – All of your predictions are right.

    – Except for the ones that are wrong.

    – Okay, seriously, there's one I will spoil for you that's absolutely correct. There will, indeed, be people.

    Also, I will never heal from the death of Lee/Hester. I’m sorry, that is just so traumatic. RIGHT? This is how I feel too.

    We will find out where Specters came from and if there are indeed versions of them in other worlds. (Or if they are the same thing but called something different.) We know that already, Mark. They're called Dementors.


    – You really en't prepared.

    • flootzavut says:

      "Okay, seriously, there's one I will spoil for you that's absolutely correct. There will, indeed, be people."

      I can't believe you spoiled him!!!!!!!!!!! <span class="idc-smiley"><span style="background-position: -48px 0pt;"><span>:p </span></span></span>

      (PS maybe it's just me, but I feel like saying "OMG, you spoiled Mark!" in an "OMG, you killed Kenny!" way. Anyone??! Or is that just me??)

      ETA: clearly just me… eep!

  25. knut_knut says:

    I just read back on your Subtle Knife predictions and you predicted one of her allies would die 🙁 YOU FORTOLD LEE'S DEATH! (even though you were talking about new allies, I think….) Anyway, you are truly Trelawney/ The Alethiometer come to life as a person. Fact.

    I LOOOOOOOOOOVE the way Pullman describes the forest! I want to go there and fall asleep! <3 But Mrs. Coulter will be there so maybe not…

  26. @maybegenius says:

    Yeah, I find it easiest to just go with the flow when it comes to Pullman. You can't know. He will cold-clock you with his bag full of WHAT WHAT WHAT IS THIS WHAT.

    I shudder every time the monkey touches someone else's daemon, I swear. Creeper.

  27. muselinotte says:

    There will be people
    How do you get this right every single time. You really are a ~*tru seer*~

    Like others have said before me, Pullman is really a master at building worlds before my mind's eye… he SHOWS us his worlds so well…
    I actually have nearly forgotten all of what happens in TAS, which makes re-reading with you so exciting for me.

    One thing that I already noticed in TSK, I might have forgotten what happens, but as soon as I read a certain part, the worlds build in front of me exactly the way I used to see them.
    Fascinatingm how the brain constructs these thing in the same way, again and again 🙂

  28. flootzavut says:


    Though I en't sayin' bout what, naturally 🙂

  29. sabra_n says:

    Maybe "hiding her own eyes" is some UK equivalent of hiding your head in the sand?

    Anyway. As regards the predictions? One of them made me laugh and laugh, but I'm not telling you which. 🙂

    Now I wish I could embed the clip of Wendy Watson yelling at dirty apes, but it doesn't seem to be on YouTube. TRAGEDY.

    • flootzavut says:

      "Maybe "hiding her own eyes" is some UK equivalent of hiding your head in the sand?"

      Speaking as a UKian – not one I've ever come across. We use hiding one's head in the sand too.

    • echinodermata says:

      Automatic upvote for The Middleman.

      • cait0716 says:

        Truth. I wonder if we can ever convince Mark to watch The Middleman. He would love it.

        • sabra_n says:

          It's on the Suggestions page, second page if you organize by rating. You can vote for it there. 🙂

          (Mark, you would adore this show. I'm telling you. :P)

          • cait0716 says:

            I have voted for it there. Sadly, it's got a pretty small following – even smaller than Firefly. So it's not getting many votes, and I can't vote more than once. 🙁

  30. flootzavut says:

    "it’s this playful, loving style of syntax and use of vocabulary to give us colors, feelings, and mental images full of rich detail."

    Yes – one of my favourite things about the series is how beautifully realised Pullman's worlds are. As a writer, I aspire to writing that is this evocative. (ETA: a friend read my current draft of a work in progress… I nearly made him cry – whoop! *evil author laughter*)

    (BTW, as a Christian, I personally don't hate the books, although evidently I disagree with Pullman on several issues.)

  31. barnswallowkate says:

    There's a wallpaper that comes with Windows (I think 7?) that is rhododendrons and a waterfall and every time it comes up on my desktop I think of this chapter and get a little creeped out. Mrs. Coulter even ruins pretty flowers!

    Aha, here it is:
    <img src="; width="600">

    I don't trust her or that damn monkey for a second.

  32. theanagrace says:

    Mark, and everyone, just in the event that the edition you are reading doesn't have the little quotes before each chapter I will add them here. For today's chapter, "The Enchanted Sleeper" we have the following quote;
    ". . . while the beasts of prey,/ Come from caverns deep, Viewed the maid asleep. . ." William Blake.

    If someone could let me know if every book has the quotes above each chapter, then I won't post them each day. I just worry that some don't. 😀

    • Rachel says:

      I know the omnibus edition has that and the lantern slides. Can't remember if the other editions do or not.

    • RoseFyre says:

      My version doesn't – it's the original American edition, I think, since I know I bought it when it had just come out.

    • muselinotte says:

      Mine doesn't… I got some cheap US edition.
      It would be most awesome if you could post them… or is there a source where one could find them?
      I will give internet hugs galore! 😀

      I intend to "edit" my copy accordingly ^^

  33. Kiryn says:

    Just a question, but does anyone know what book Mark is going to read after he's done with "The Amber Spyglass"? Or does anyone have a link to where I could go to find out? I know he's going to be reading The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings at some point, and since I haven't read that series in forever, I'm going to read along with him, and I want to make sure I can plan ahead to procure my copies.

    • arctic_hare says:

      He's going to be tackling The Hobbit right after HDM, actually, followed by LOTR and then Sandman. Beyond that, he hasn't decided/announced yet.

  34. Raenef says:

    I just found this site, recommended from a friend. Great, entertaining reviews! I can vicariously relive reading the book for the first time through them.

    Strap in for an amazing story!

    • flootzavut says:

      If you want the experience of reliving Harry Potter vicariously, then I would highly recommend Mark Reads Harry Potter, too. Obviously depends if you read/liked them, and it won't be the same reading when the community is not reading along, but the number of people who said essentially that – that it was like reading HP again for the first time – well… there were a lot!

      But anyway,yay for newcomers to the Mark Reads community. It's pretty amazing what's been spawned from a challenge to read Twilight… 🙂

      • BradSmith5 says:

        To think that Meyer's "great masterpiece" started all of this. I suppose Mark will have to get his own booth at a Twilight convention someday to show his gratitude. 😉

  35. Brieana says:

    " you can win a signed copy of The Amber Spyglass. UM VICTORY."

    That is awesome! I don't even have an unsigned copy of The Amber Spyglass! Yes, this is my favorite book trilogy and don't even own them! Sadness!

    Actually I did once have TGC, but I lent it to a friend. I'm guessing she got stuck in one of the first few confusing chapters. I didn't like that book cover anyway so it's cool.

  36. BradSmith5 says:

    I got excited when I saw the description of the bear den––I thought that we'd be catching up with Iorek! But then ol' Coulter pops out of the cave and dashes my hopes. Where in the worlds is my furry pal!? Don't tell me his story is done!? I just read through all of "The Subtle Knife" and he didn't show up once! 🙁

    I'm gonna predict that Coulter will die, even though I'm a bit confused about everything else. I mean, I have no idea who I should be rooting for. Asriel? Authority? The witches? Lyra? I have no clue. That's why we need to get Iorek back in the story; with him around, I know what side I want to be on. RRRRAWR!

  37. Tilja says:

    I was expecting a longer list of predictions =( You forgot to try to predict the two sides of the war, how they'd fight, what would be their stance, who'd win or take advantage over who, anything that has to do with the adventure part of the war to be fought. So far, Pullman has never forgotten to take into account the fighting sides and the fights between people from one or the other side. I thought you'd give some predictions on the fighting itself as well as the general concepts of the story. Remember that this books aren't just about the big theological concepts but also about people fighting people over them. Knowing so many of the different kinds of people in each side of the fight, I really thought you'd be giving us some more battle predictions for this book. I hope you have some, and if you don't, at least that you'd add more along the way. It'd be so nice to see those as well as the rest.

    This chapter was, like the beginning of TSK, very disconcerting coming from the previous book ending. Pullman know how to disengage one book from the other and insert even more parts on the story just by changing the point of view so swiftly. It's like he's telling you "Nope, that is not how it's going to be, no matter what your ideas are. You are never prepared." You just have to love his story telling skills.

    Also loling over Will willing his will to make a decision over where to go next xD I had thought about that a lot.

    Mark, you en't prepared.

  38. crimsongirl says:

    I haven't read any of HDM personally, except for checking out Wikipedia for the summaries (I'm such a cheater guys) but I think "hiding her own eyes" just simply means she is in denial. Like she /doesn't/ want to acknowledge what she is doing. Mrs Coulter is simply lying to herself/trying to convince herself to keep doing whatever it is she's doing that makes her uncomfortable.

    Of course maybe there is an actual spoilery answer to this? Who knows. Oh, Mark if you were kidding, sorry. I take everything over the internet literally if there aren't smilie faces. 😉

  39. plaidpants says:

    Yay! I'm back! I've been so busy with work this summer that I haven't been able to keep up, so I just had to finish the 5 last chapters of the last book all in one sitting. I felt so far behind, even though it wasn't that long!

    Anyway, I'm interested to see where this story goes. Something about this series hasn't caught me yet, I'm not exactly sure what it is. For HP and the Hunger Games, I just felt as if I were more invested in the characters and interested in what was happing. I don't know what that same feeling hasn't emerged now, but maybe I just need to wait to finish the series and see how I feel as a whole.

  40. Mauve_Avenger says:

    I was sick today, and didn't write much in the way of notes anyway, but I did want to mention one thing.

    " The cave lay some way above the path. Many years before, a holy man had lived there, meditating and fasting and praying, and the place was venerated for the sake of his memory. It was thirty or so feet deep, with a dry floor: an ideal den for a bear or a wolf, but the only creatures living in it for years had been birds or bats."

    Headcanon engaged. I wantneed this to be a reference to John Parry's life before he settled down with the Yenisei Pakhtars. Given how Pullman writes detail, I really wouldn't be surprised if he'd intended it to be read that way. Not that it would matter to me if he hadn't.

    • Brieana says:

      When I saw you that quote with the bolded bit, I thought to myself "Oh. Is there a 'presently' in this chapter?"

      • Mauve_Avenger says:

        LMAO. No, based on the information I gathered from before, it looks like the general trend is that Pullman doesn't use 'presently' in the early chapters. I'm just hoping that his use of five of them in the last book (I think my notes on that chapter actually said "omg whyyyyyyyyyyy?") got the attention of his editors.

        One thing I wonder is if the way he writes the novels has to do with that trend. I found a documentary about the books this weekend (which is unfortunately spoilery for the rest of the book as well as another book or two that're on Mark's docket) where he said that the idea of "Lyra and her daemon…" only came to him in the fourteenth draft of the first chapter. He absolutely refused to move on to writing the next chapter, because something about that first chapter wasn't right until he the moment he added the word "daemon." The way he talked about it made me think that perhaps he scrutinizes the beginning chapters a lot more than the middle and end ones.

    • Darth_Ember says:

      Not enough years, I think. Will is what, twelve? No portion of twelve years can really count as 'many' in that regard, I think.

  41. Ellalalalala says:

    I have nothing to say about this chapter except DIE IN A FIRE MRS COULTER'S MONKEY.

    Mrs Coulter, she can go too.

    Seriously, too creepy.

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