Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Another book that epitomizes me + Road Trip Wednesday

In my previous post, I discussed how Otherland is one of two series that most reflects my own reading and writing tastes.

The other series is, of course:

His Dark Materials, by Philip Pullman

I read the trilogy about eight years ago, so I can't really discuss it in heavy detail like with Otherland, but here are some of the reasons why it's awesome: (Spoilers are hidden.)

-Moral ambiguity and very flawed characters

-Religious/philosophical implications, and stakes that go far beyond life and death

-Unlike most of today's YA, the leading couple doesn't get a happily-ever-after. They both understand that there are more important things than their relationship, and are willing to sacrifice it for greater purposes.

I read His Dark Materials shortly before starting The Temple Well, and I'd be lying if I said there wasn't any influence.


YA Highway, one of the blogs I follow, does what they call a weekly "blog carnival", where they post a question and invite readers to answer it on their own blogs. I don't normally do this, but since I was discussing His Dark Materials, the answer to this week's topic came pretty easily.

The question: What non-YA character would you love to see star in a YA book as themselves?

Am I the only one who would totally read a book starring teenage Lord Asriel?

Lord Asriel is one of my favorite kind of characters, mostly because he is proof that a great character doesn't have to be likeable. He acts like a complete dick most of the time, and he takes actions that are very morally reprehensible. It's all part of his "ends justify the means" philosophy; and that's where his character takes shape. Even though you hate him, he's an effective leader and doesn't take shit from anyone. (Even when he's held hostage, he still manages to be the one in power.) And even though he has ambitions, they're the "greater good" sort of ambitions, not the "I want to be in power no matter what" kind (a la President Coin).

It would be really interesting to see teenage Lord Asriel. Not only must he have been bad-ass, but this might have been the period of his life where he began his work on experimental theology. This could be where he began to build his suspicions against the Magistereum, and perhaps he even became acquainted with Mrs. Coulter around that age. (That last one seems unlikely, but even still...)

So yes, as much as I hate Lord Asriel, I would totally read that book.


  1. ooh, he is a great complex and flawed character. It would be fascinating as a teen. Have you read Pulman's Sally Lockhart books? They're completely different, but I enjoyed them.

  2. I haven't read Sally Lockheart yet, but I've heard really good things about it.

    *adds to TBR pile*

  3. Adding to that, wouldn't a teen Mrs. Coulter be a fascinating character too? I wonder if she was as graceful and glamorous as a teen?

  4. You also have to wonder how she came to join the Magistereum. Was it always a part of her life, and if not, what was her motivation for working with them?


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