His Dark Materials is my Harry Potter

Last week I said that I don’t fall in love with book characters, but there is one exception that comes close: I fell in love with Lyra and Will in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy.

This isn’t news to regular readers of my blog; I’ve talked before about how this trilogy broke my heart and put it back together again as a teen, and Lyra and Will were at the heart of that. I loved them as people, and I loved their relationship, and I loved the entire world.

Imagine my excitement, then, when last week Philip Pullman announced that his long-awaited Book of Dust will actually be another trilogy, which will return to the world of His Dark Materials and add to both the beginning and the end of the story I already adore. All three books will have Lyra at their heart (YES!): the first will describe how she came to Jordan College, and the other two will follow her life as a young woman after the events of His Dark Materials.

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Such excitement can only be expressed with a double fist clench!

This announcement triggered all sorts of excitement in me, as well as a bit of a realisation: His Dark Materials is my Harry Potter.

Even though I was the perfect age for Harry Potter when it came out, I never got totally caught up in the furore of it (largely because it was so popular and I was a teenage hipster). I enjoyed the early books, but as I got older I was less and less bothered by them, until I gave up halfway through the fifth book and haven’t returned to the series since. I didn’t go to midnight book launches, I didn’t dress up as the characters, and I certainly don’t reread the books (or rewatch the films) on a yearly basis like so many do.

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Yes, Harry, I’m sorry.

Still, I do regret that I missed the Harry Potter boat, and I’ve often wondered what I’m missing out on, but since Pullman made his announcement, I think I’m getting an idea of how Harry Potter fans felt during those heady 10 years.

I’ve returned to His Dark Materials again and again over the years (I even made my boyfriend read it, and he almost never reads fiction). Following the announcement of the new books, I put the publication date in my diary (19th October, guys), and treated myself to a brand new hardback edition of the entire trilogy so I can reread the series again before the next book comes out. If there’s a late-night launch, I’m there, and I would definitely take the next day off work to read it. In short, I am fan-girling hard over this announcement, and I feel a little like a teenager again.

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Isn’t it beautiful?!

I know I’m not alone in this excitement, so if you’re a fellow Dark Materials nerd like me, I hope you’ll enjoy the book frenzy there will be about this over the next 8 months (and beyond). And if you’ve already been through this before with Harry Potter, please let me know how you cope with the impatience.

Have you ever experienced book frenzy over a particular book or series? I’d love to hear about it with a comment down below!

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