cbr14bingo Snake Level two
Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass is a dark read and The Subtle Knife is even darker. Therefore, when either is in a graphic novel format, you are not only reading the dark you are seeing the dark. In all its nasty glory. The theme of religion becomes more center stage, and the violence of all worlds comes to a bloody ending (and start and middle) in this adaptation by Stephane Melchior. The Subtle Knife is not an easy read, and the content, and concepts not for sensitive readers.
The story is simple, we continue the story of Lyra and her search for her father and what she must do to either stop him or help him. Some old friends come into play, but new ones are made. Old enemies become bigger enemies and new ones are made. Children are not “sweet and innocent” and cats have an interesting loyalty. We see a physical growth to Lyra, as well as a spiritual one, but she is also still the naïve child of before. Yet, losing her innocence quickly. We find what the Subtle Knife is and what it can do. And what its future for Lyra and her friends means. If you know the novel, you know the graphic novel. However, I do recommend reading the books back-to-back as I was only a few weeks apart and found it difficult to remember some people. Unfortunately, I cannot locate book three, The Amber Spyglass in a graphic novel format, so have the novel ready.
The biggest difference between the novel and the graphic novel is of course, illustrations with Thomas Gilbert as the illustrator. If you found the images of The Golden Compass disturbing, you will for certain find the images of the sectors, zombies, children “possessed” by hate, fear, and anger. Blood is no stranger, body parts cut, pierced, and beaten are neither. There is a perverted sensuality (such as an angel is shown being tortured while in the nude) with most of the “erotic” areas covered, but no question what is being hidden, and in fact sometimes the female form is shown. There is also a scene where a female character basically mounts a male character, having their daemons literally intertwining on the floor.
And here is where Snake category comes in. The male character has a snake daemon. He is a snake-like evil character, the woman also is the negative stereotype of a snake. Even those who are supposed to be good, are not completely immune to the darker natures. The Western symbol of a snake comes into play: liars, theft, cruelty, evil. Especially evil is followed as the idea of the Church and Secular come into play. The religious aspect is a darker interpretation of what we know as Christianity, using some of the language (there are Angel, devils, and even a nod towards Eve).
Obviously, the whole series is not for everyone, therefore, know your readers.