Published September 22nd 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers (first published September 10th 2015)
Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College, with her dæmon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle—a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, and a mysterious substance known as Dust. As she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win—or to lose—this more-than-mortal battle.
The stunning full-color art offers both new and returning readers a chance to experience the story of Lyra, an ordinary girl with an extraordinary role to play in the fates of multiple worlds, in an entirely new way.
Stephane Melchior and Clement Oubrie sticks close to Philip Pullman's original text, introducing Lyra Belacqua, a young orphan at Jordan College, Oxford. Both Melchior and Oubrie do a fine job of picking key scenes that highlight Lyra's spunky nature, while also adding much-needed backstory for both Lyra's life and the complexities of her alternate universe.
Melchior and Oubrie's version of the story progresses quickly, moving Lyra along through milestones points and key relationships throughout the book. Due to both formatting and characterization choices, some key relationship development is overlooked - e.g. we can see that Lyra is entranced by Mrs. Coulter, but a lack of dialogue denoting as such, leaves their interactions feeling a bit superficial - however, it really shouldn't be noticed and/or bother young readers and old fans.
On a personal note, I wasn't a huge fan of Oubrerie's illustrations. He does a fantastic job with each character and the overall scenes; I think I'm just not a fan of drawings that emphasize the lines. I like my art slightly bolder/cleaner. However, this is absolutely a personal preference, and doesn't take away from the magnificient overall product.
All in all, both the graphic novel (and the hardcover!) are worthy editions to add to any Pullman fan's shelf. Highly recommended for younger readers who are looking to get into the Dark Materials series, and older fans who want to expand their collection.