"The Subtle Knife" is book 2 in the "His Dark Materials" series. I found myself a little more captivated by this book than I did the first book in the series, "The Golden Compass," but I think that's because this story was entirely new to me whereas I had seen the movie for the first book.
In book two we meet Will, a boy from our earth, who's despretely trying to find his father. He's a tough kid, he actually murders someone at the beginning of the book, and he needs every ounce of strength he has to face the challenges on his journey! He discovers a hole between worlds and travels to another one, where he runs into Lara, the heroine from book one. The two of them team up to learn more about dust and to find Will's Dad.
As they search they encounter a mysterious knife with strange powers. They have no idea just how powerful the knife is, and we only learn morea about that towards the end of the book. Will becomes the barrer of this knife, a role that does eventually lead to a tragic reunion with his father.
While Will and Lara go about their own adventures we also follow the adventures of our old frends Serefina Pekkala and Lee Scoresby. Each has their own adventures in this book and each person will play an important role in helping Lara and Will. I really liked both their characters in the last book so I was excited to see them play prominant roles in this one!
I mentioned in my review of the first book that I know the Christian community was up in arms when the "The Golden Compass" was made into a movie. After reading the first book I really didn't understand it. It wasn't really any different than many other fantasy books I've read. Now that I've read the second book I'm beginning to see the issue that many Christians have with the series.
Lord Asriel is attempting to take on the ultimate force of good, or, God. Now, it didn't really bother me that the church is portrayed as corrupt in this series because I'm well aware that many church's ARE corrupt, but taking on God? I don't see this as going great places. I enjoyed the fast majority of this book, but I'll admit I'm a bit leery to read the end of the trilogy, where the big battle is supposed to happen.