The second volume of the graphic adaptation of Pullman’s modern classic follows Lyra's adventures into frozen lands.
Hewing faithfully to its source material, this sophomore interpretation trails headstrong Lyra Belaqua and her shape-shifting daemon, Pantaimalon, as they venture into the frozen north to seek out a villainous group that has been abducting children and severing their connections to their daemons. Aided by a mysterious coven of flying witches, a curmudgeonly armored polar bear, and an airship captain, Lyra endures bloody battles and uncovers shocking secrets as she learns the truth behind the kidnappings and mutilations. Dreamy watercolors organized into neatly ordered panels lend themselves well to the fantastical setting, creating a sense of sweeping cinematic scope. Pullman's original magnum opus is heady and dense, and it may prove challenging for some; this adaptation, with its visual accessibility, can help those struggling with the novel’s complexity achieve an understanding without watering down the intricacies. This being only the second volume of three—and concluding with a cliffhanger—readers can expect a yearlong holdup before reaching the novel’s conclusion. While this may be a bit much to ask, those who have the patience should be pleased with Melchior-Durand and Oubrerie's interpretation.
An engaging adaptation, but some may wish to wait until all three volumes are available. (Graphic fantasy. 11 & up)