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Philip Pullman

Philip Pullman is a marvelously witty and brilliant author whose versatility is just remarkable.


This is a so-far uncompleted trilogy consisting of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. I believe they're loosely based on Milton's Paradise Lost, and deal with a war against God. Caught up in this struggle is Lyra Belacqua, who has only her daemon, Pantalaimon, her wits, and a curious instrument everyone seems to want called an alethiometer. It measures a strange particle called Dust, and brings her into the conflict. Later, she meets up with Will, a boy who accidentally killed someone and now carries the Subtle Knife-- a knife that can cut through any substance, including connections to worlds.


This is a Victorian trilogy with spirited Sally Lockheart as the protagonist. It consists of Ruby in the Smoke, Shadow in the North, and Tiger in the Well (?) and there's another book loosely connected called The Tin Princess.


This is a pseudo-gothic tale, somewhat disorganized, but delightfully implausible. The story is told from myraid points of view, but the tone mocks Victorian sentimentalities. The story includes a nice bit of suspense along with a good deal of humor.


This is a shorter horror story, done with a great deal of style and atmosphere. Black and white pencil illustrations by Leonid Gore perfectly complement the spooky tone.


Set in a vague Asian country long ago, young Lila wants to grow up to be a firework-maker, just like her father. Her father wants her to get married. Lila, rather than face that dire fate, runs away to find the secrets of firework-making, meeting any number of funny characters and allies along the way.

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