by Phillip Pullman
"Having slipped through a newly formed astral portal, the intrepid Lyra finds herself in the beautiful, haunted world of Cittagazze--a city where soul-eating Specters walk the streets and the wingbeats of distant angels sound against the sky. But she is not without allies. For young Will Parry, in search of his father, has stumbled into this strange new realm via a magic gateway.
Together the enlightened pair forge ahead on a perilous journey between worlds teeming with witches, angels and sorcery--and uncover a deadly secret: an object of extraordinary and devastating power. But with every step, they move closer to an even greater threat--and the shattering truth of their own destiny..."
~from the back cover of The Subtle Knife
I was first introduced to this series over the radio. The program was done just after the His Dark Materials series was completed and the final book released to the public. A priest had read the novel and was shocked by the author's "treachery against God and the Church". He was calling for the author's excommunication. All of this excitation of course lead me to want to read the series to see for myself what the controversy was over. On my way home I stopped in and bought a copy and let me tell you, reading this series became my reward for finishing my university homework each night. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this series. There was just enough adventure and excitement to keep me moving through the pages. Of course, the author does explore conventional religion, so if you are sensitive about religious issues keep your mind open. If you're working through a crisis of faith these novels might help you to explore your questions.