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“Once Upon a Time in the North” by Philip Pullman

If you’ve read the Philip Pullman His Dark Materials trilogy (“The Golden Compass” is the first of these) then I imagine you’ll enjoy this book. Pullman has been expanding his oeuvre in this universe, and “Once Upon a Time in the North” is a very short (a couple hours) prequel to the original trilogy. We get another look at the adventuring Texas aeronaut, Lee Scoresby, and we learn how he met the impressive and imposing Iorek Byrnison. It’s a quick storyline which takes place entirely in one rough arctic town – perfect for a winter weeknight read! Local politics plays a central role as the harbor town readies itself for a mayoral election, and many of the xenophobic themes from the original trilogy begin rearing their ugly heads.

Pour yourself a hot toddy and enjoy.

-Josh

A quick BTW for Pullman fans – if you weren’t already aware,  the BBC is producing a TV series based on the His Dark Materials trilogy! BBC press release

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