A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lee risks his life to stand up for what he believes is right.
Violence & Scariness
Several shootings with injuries and deaths; a tense gun battle.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Lee lusts after two women.
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A fair amount of mild swearing: hells, damns, ass, bastards, and the word for a female dog used correctly.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Smoking, drinking, and drunkenness.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that there is some mild swearing, as well as gunfights that include injury and death.
Is It Any Good?
This, like its predecessor, Lyra's Oxford, is a brilliant author at play. Having created one of the greatest fantasy epics, His Dark Materials, both Pullman (like Tolkien before him) and his many fans are reluctant to leave the vivid world and marvelous characters he created. So here he offers a little backstory: the first meeting of two of readers' favorite characters: aeronaut Lee Scoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison. The series is so rich that there is a possibility for many such little tales, as many as the author cares to make.
In addition to the rip-roaring, action-packed story, the book itself is a pleasure. A hardcover the size of a paperback, it fits comfortably in the hand or coat pocket. Creamy paper bound in rough cloth is filled with little woodcut illustrations, documents, news articles, and even a related board game tucked into an envelope attached to the back cover. The care that went into creating this shows -- it's a gift for Pullman's devoted readers.
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Our Editors Recommend
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