I read Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy back to back and enjoyed them immensely. I could not say the same for "Lyra's Oxford". Firstly, there is absolutely no point reading this book if you have not read "His Dark Materials" - it will make very little sense. Secondly and relatedly, any decent short story (whether part of a series or not) should be instantly readable. "Lyra's Oxford" is not. It does not add any new facade about any characters and if it reveals any upcoming plotlines, we'll have to wait for "The Book of Dust" (His Dark Materials 4) to find out. Thirdly, the story is very short and while well-written, not satisfactory at all. On a more positive note, the illustrations and extras are absolutely beautiful and probably one of the few decent things about this book. Basically, this will make an excellent present for any younger His Dark Materials trilogy fans BUT it will be probably read and forgotten in under an hour!