I am so glad I reread Northern Lights. I first read this book, and the rest of the series, two years ago, and I remember it being okay but not exceptional. Maybe I was in a better headspace this time or more prepared, but it felt like an entirely different story. The concepts were interesting, and the story moved quickly, allowing for details, wonder, and beauty without feeling slow or uneventful.
The entire concept of daemons is my favourite part of Northern Lights. The fact that your inner/true personality would be on display as a separate but tethered entity is both captivating and terrifying. I love that they change at will as children before settling into a specific animal as a young adult, and the fact that people can be unhappy with their daemons if they don’t believe they have settled into the right form. I know daemons aren’t the main focus of this story, but I found them endlessly fascinating.