There was a tide of enthusiasm when Philip Pullman announced a new book set in the world of His Dark Materials, La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One. It was, in many ways, a muted affair. Rather than the cosmological battles of the original trilogy, featuring Lyra Silvertongue, née Belacqua, it was a far more modest tale of how Lyra was taken, as a baby, to her new home. This second part of the new trilogy skips ahead: Lyra is now an undergraduate, her erstwhile saviour, Malcolm, is a don and dark forces are on the move. There is much to enjoy in this new novel, and in some ways I want to be wholehearted, but I cannot. The joy of the first trilogy was transportation, to a different world of daemons and witches and armoured bears and ghosts and harpies and even things such as the sort-of-mechanical mulefa. This, like La Belle Sauvage, feels not so much like an invented world but a reflected one. In La Belle Sauvage it was flooding and eco-catastrophe. This time it is everything.