Before you wonder why J.K. Rowling didn't include a page on Harry Potter brushing his teeth (and there are seven books), Philip Pullman would announce the publication of the "Book of Dust". The untitled first book should hit the shelves on October 19, but don't expect a big-screen adaptation in the immediate future. (Chris Weitz's "The Golden Compass" fell a bit below box-office expectations.) However, Pullman's next trilogy would renew interest in His Dark Materials trilogy. There couldn't be a better time.
Pullman revealed that the "Book of Dust" would show Lyra Belacqua's childhood before readers first met her in Oxford. This must be an interesting excursion into the past, as they would be curious about the first encounter between Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter. They were Lyra's parents, and readers didn't have a clue while reading "The Golden Compass" (or "Northern Lights" if you happen to be a British fan). They were fascinating people, if not charismatic figures to the members of the Magisterium. Both have hidden agendas. Pullman didn't intend a prequel, even thinking of other stories that would fill the gaps that divided readers. (Some were disappointed, as they wanted to know more about the characters in the trilogy. On the other hand, there were readers who didn't like how many theories were rammed into the plot of "The Amber Spyglass", the final book in the trilogy.) Let's talk more.
Many see similarities between Pullman and Rowling, as Lyra was depicted as a quasi-Eve while Harry was seen as a young Jesus Christ in a magician's wardrobe. Rowling was wise not to delve into that part of the discussion, wanting to keep the series as a fantasy series for readers of all ages. It worked, as "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" could be another multi-million franchise. Jack Thorne penned "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child", which took place several decades after the events in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows". It won't end there. On the other hand, Pullman took a sharp turn in "The Subtle Knife". The author, who studied at Exeter College, Oxford, never hid his atheist beliefs. The Magisterium would be seen as the ultimate authority which favored opinion over facts. It might remind some readers about Trump's election campaign.
Not a few readers were turned off by Pullman's attempt on describing his religious views in a subtle way while some would like a yarn. If he stated his atheist stance, then "His Dark Materials" might not have a large following. Nonetheless, it should offer more than that were described in the book. This should bring the readers to the enigmatic nature of the Dust, which seemed to be the origin of everything. It shouldn't be mistaken with the atom, as Pullman would use it as a representation of everything standing between absolute authority and those who constantly reassess established ideas. There won't be any doubt that the Dust would turn into a less mysterious source after the release of "Book of Dust", and Pullman should be more eloquent of his religious stance (or the less use of it). One thing was clear, though. There would be bravery in admitting your wrongdoings and making up for it.
There shouldn't be any comparison between the literary abilities of Pullman and Rowling, though.