Lyra Belaqua begins her journey north again in this graphic-novel adaptation of Philip Pullman’s classic fantasy.
Twenty years after the publication of The Golden Compass, Melchior-Durand and Oubrerie reimagine the dark fantasy series through the graphic format. This installment adapts the first third of the original novel—in which Lyra leaves her home at Jordan College, finds refuge with the gyptians, and learns the truth about her parentage—leaving the rest of the tale for future volumes. The script is well-paced and deftly condenses the original text to the demands of graphic storytelling. However, the artwork is often disappointing. While the illustrations do a fine job of establishing a sense of time and place, the figures are stiff and don’t do justice to the story’s many charismatic personalities. For instance, the graphic novel’s Mrs. Coulter lacks the seductive magnetism that makes her so dangerously alluring when she first appears in the original novel. Purists may also be annoyed by details that aren’t faithful to the novel. The original text repeatedly describes Lyra as blonde, but she is a brunette here. It’s a minor complaint, but it’s hard to see why a change was necessary at all.
Best for readers new to the series, who won’t be distracted by comparisons with the original. (Graphic fantasy. 11 & up)