Once Upon a Time in the North
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Set in a city of scientifically advanced superhuman students, but in a world where magic is also real. Kamijou Touma’s right hand, the Imagine Breaker, will negate all magic, psychic, or divine powers, but not his own bad luck. One day he finds a young girl hanging on his balcony railing. She turns out to be a nun from the Church of England, and her mind has been implanted with the Index-Librorum-Prohibitorum - all the magical texts the Church has removed from circulation.Reading order: Volume 1-13Volume SS1Volume 14-16Volume SS2Volume 17-22New Testament series For side stories: Volume SP and Norse Mythology SS should be read at some point before starting New Testament.The Shoukuhou Misaki Figurine SS should either be read sometime after NT8.The Circumstances Leading to a Certain Magical Heavy Zashiki Warashi’s Simple Killer Queen’s Marriage parody story should be read sometime after NT10.The other side stories and parody stories can pretty much be read at any time. In this new prequel episode from Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials universe, Lee Scoresby--Texan aeronaut and future friend to Lyra Belacqua--is just 24 years old, and he’s recently won his hot-air balloon in a poker game. He finds himself floating North to the windswept Arctic island of Novy Odense, where he and his hare daemon Hester are quickly tangled in a deadly plot involving oil magnate Larsen Manganese, corrupt mayoral candidate Ivan Poliakov, and Lee’s longtime nemesis from the Dakota Country: Pierre McConville, a hired killer with at least twenty murders to his name. It’s only after Lee forms an alliance with one of the island’s reviled armored bears that he can fight to break up the conspiracy in a gun-twirling classic western shoot out--and battle of wits. This exquisite clothbound volume features the illustrations of John Lawrence, a removable board game?Peril of the Pole?on the inside back cover, and a glimpse for Pullman fans into the first friendship of two of the most beloved characters in the His Dark Materials trilogy: Lee Scoresby and armored bear Iorek Byrnison. From School Library Journal Grade 7 Up?In this prequel to the "His Dark Materials" trilogy (Knopf), Texas aeronaut Lee Scoresby meets armored bear Iorek Byrnison for the first time. In this short, fantastic adventure, young Scoresby finds himself on the Arctic island of Novy Odense, a community set in an alternate past world. The rich mining company Lars Manganese is trying to control the town, Ivan Dimitrovich Poliakov is a corrupt mayoral candidate, and Captain van Breda is prevented from unloading his cargo unjustly. Scoresby takes on the captain’s cause, resulting in an Old West-style shootout. Many readers will likely enjoy this book because of its quick pace and action-filled plot, but some Pullman fans may be disappointed when comparing this short text to the trilogy. Characters are less developed, and events sometimes happen a bit too quickly. The ending is neat and tidy, though it does leave the door open for future adventures. The inclusion of documents and black-and-white engraved illustrations add a nice touch, and the board game Peril of the Pole is tucked into the back inside cover as a bonus.? Jennifer D. Montgomery, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green Copyright ? Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From Booklist Starred Review As?he did in?Lyra?s Oxford (2004), Pullman returns to the world of His Dark Materials trilogy in this story of how aeronaut Lee Scoresby meets and befriends bear?Iorke Byrnison. Pullman is as fine a writer as there is for young people,?and this?book is a small gem?literally?it?s?112 pages and the size of a paperback.?The story?begins as?Lee?s cargo balloon drifts into the Arctic, landing in the icy environs of?Novy Odense. The town is about to elect a new mayor, Ivan Poliakov, who wants to rid the?place of?bears, and Lee (along with daemon?rabbit Hester) finds himself embroiled in local?controversies. When Lee learns one of Poliakov?s allies is a vicious criminal with whom he once had a run-in, he knows he must choose sides. Beautifully crafted and spilling over with action, the novel has the feel of an old western (one can almost see Gary Cooper as Lee). Matching Pullman?s carefully calibrated prose is the book?s thoughtful?design. Everything works?together?from the sturdy,?blue cloth cover to the?the back matter, which features a miniature board game. Lawrence?s stamp-sized?ink engravings? set the tale somewhere between fantasy and history. Grades 7-10. --Ilene Cooper