Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series — The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass — are some of the strangest and most beguiling YA novels out there, with their wheeled elephants, fraught “Dust,” shapeshifting daemons that hover alongside children at all times, emotionally complex daemon-severing villains(?), knives that can cut through the fabric of universes, and a very sad God. A deeply underwhelming movie was made of the first book — and there’s a BBC series of the novels incoming as well. But now, as NPR reports, there will soon be more Materials that are His, and likely also very Dark. For Pullman has announced a “companion trilogy,” with the first book set to arrive on October 19.
The trilogy — titled The Book of Dust — will see its first Dusty Book released on October 19, 2017. This first novel takes place 10 years prior to The Golden Compass and Lyra — Materials‘ protagonist — will appear as an infant. The second two books, meanwhile, will follow Lyra as a young woman, a decade after the events of the third Materials novel (The Amber Spyglass). With this series, as the title suggests, Pullman says he really wanted to go deeper into “the nature of Dust, and consciousness, and what it means to be a human being.” Dust, in the first books, was shown to be an elementary particle indicative of a creature’s/human’s growing consciousness, and something that the Church believes to be Original Sin in particle form.
Before you try labeling this a prequel or a sequel to His Dark Materials (as I had to stop myself from doing, given that the books…sound like a prequel and two sequels), Pullman claims in the NPR article that they’re something else:
The [new] story begins before His Dark Materials and continues after it… you don’t have to read it before you read [the original trilogy] … this is another story that comes after it, so it’s not a sequel, and it’s not a prequel, it’s an equal.