An apprentice clockmaker facing failure...a writer with a story he can't control....a girl whose courage will need to match her kindness...a prince whose mechanical heart is winding down...a clockwork knight with murderous tendencies...and a doctor who just may be the Devil.

Their stories come together piece by piece in this chilling tale where nothing is as it seems, but like the gears of a strange and wonderful clock, everything fits together.
In my second year of university I took a fantasy course, and this book was supposed to be one of the books we read, but it never ended up happening. I hate to admit it but I am not really a huge Philip Pullman fan. I have read The Golden Compass, and it just did not do anything for me. I do not have a big urge to read the rest of the trilogy. I am not sure why I picked this book up considering my feelings on his other writing, but it was on the TBR pile and I thought I would give it a try.

I will admit it, for such a short book and for such a young reading level, being labeled as for ages 9 to 12, I thought that this book was very thought provocing. What would happen if you were a storyteller who had a story in a dream, wrote it down, but were not sure how it ended until one of your story characters walked into the bar you were reading in. What if you were an apprentice to a great clockworker and it was your turn to prove to the world what you were capable of, but for the first time ever there is nothing new to go on the clock. Or, if you were a little girl with a big heart facing a dangerous situation. What if all these things were parts of a story, and there was an evil doctor who was going to bring all the people that seem unrelated together.

In a way, this is a book about books and how sometimes the fiction can become the reality so you should be careful what lines you put to the page. This book is only 107 pages, a book that you can easily read in one sitting, but a lot happens in some very short pages. Welcome to your darkest fairy tale.


For Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series, I picked up The Subtle Knife before Northern Lights (i.e. The Golden Compass). I don't have much enthusiasm for Northern Lights but love The Subtle Knife. The Amber Spyglass feels like a very odd book; I would recommend reading it for its oddness at the very least... it was a bit too grown up for me when I read it, or perhaps I was disturbed by the characters growing up...

Sounds like an interesting book. I love His Dark Materials with my favourite being either Northern Lights or The Amber Spyglass (my husband likes The Subtle Knife best). I would suggest you try and give the other two a read at some point as the different books strike a cord with different people.

I will probably read the other books after I see the movie. That's what I am hoping anyways. :)

I'm not high on Pullman either, but I read this a year or so ago and actually enjoyed it quite a bit.

I LOVE this book. But then again, I love everything Philip Pullman. Great review!

I thought this book was very crafty. I think I might try and read more of his non-His Dark Materials books, then I might like his books.

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Since I was a little girl I have been fascinated with books. Early photos show me with a book in hand, even if it was not exactly my reading level... My first word was a made-up word meaning 'book', actually. I suppose I had my priorities at an early age... Over the years my interest in books has become one of the defining features of who I am as a person. You can probably call me a bookworm. While I have other interests, reading will always be the one I talk about the most, even if I am not focusing on it as much as I used to.