'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 23 February 2018

Audiobook Review: His Dark Materials

As a mother of two small children (and another on the way!) who works four days a week, I just don’t find as much time to read as I used to.  Audiobooks have become my treasured companions during this busy time of life, particularly those in digital format.

With the simple act of plugging earphones into my phone, digital audiobooks have allowed me to continue to ‘read’ as I drive to work (listening through the Bluetooth in my car), hang out washing, cook dinner, load the dishwasher or wait for swimming lessons to finish – all those never ending and often quite mindless daily tasks. In fact, I look forward to these tasks when I have such entertainment while I’m doing them.

This last month I have finally gotten around to listening to the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman, a recommendation that my husband has been making for a solid 7-8 years now (it’s been on my list ok? I just hadn’t gotten to it yet!) but my god, once I started I could not stop! I have devoured all three books in a matter of weeks and have absolutely loved picking over each new part with my husband when we see each other in the evenings.


The audiobook series, accessed through the app BorrowBox (contact your local library to find out how)  is narrated by the author himself, and he is perfectly suited to perform such a task. With a full cast of voice actors to accompany him, Philip Pullman delivers a riveting and enthralling reading of a series that starts off as an adventure story in a world not entirely unlike our own, but swiftly branches out into a much larger and wholly unpredictable tale that will leave you gasping for more and wondering where on earth the final chapter will end up.

Though the main character is eleven at the beginning of the series and barely past twelve by the end, I would recommend this series for from around 13 years old (and then onward all the way to 100!) as there are allusions to mature themes and some levels of violence, though none gratuitous. At times confronting and always extremely thought provoking, I can see this being a series I return to again and again in the years to come.

The series begins with The Northern Lights, continues with The Subtle Knife and finishes with The Amber Spyglass.

Title: His Dark Materials
Author: Philip Pullman
Narrator: Philip Pullman
Publisher: Bolinda/Audible Audio
Publication Date: 1 December 2014
Format: Audiobook
ISBN: 9781486278343
For ages: 13+
Type: Young Adult