Like the first book in the series, Philip Pullman's The Subtle Knife is fast-paced and compelling. Also like the first book, I found myself skimming through blurb quotes and award listings to see if anyone ever really thought this was a kids' book. Because dammit, it is unqualifiedly not. I don't even know what kind of bizarre, twisted criteria could make somebody think that it was. Other than an under-aged protagonist, there is nothing at all to even begin to suggest kidlit in this series. The vagaries of the publishing world are entirely beyond me, I'm afraid.
Anyway, though: Good book. It continues all the good stuff about the first book, while also introducing several new twists into the series, which is moving in an entirely unexpected direction. I'm very interested to see where things go from here, and have already begun the third book.