^ Yeah, that's what they say. I know that Philip Pullman is a pretty vocal atheist.
I'm only three chapters in, but I was surprised that the Catholic Church is in it albeit re-imagined in an alternate reality. Right now the only "anti-religious" stuff has been the portrayal of the Magisterium (the oligarchical replacement to the Pope) as a force for the suppression of science, so I wonder if it will be more an attack on the church than an attack on Christianity or theism per se.
As a Christian who is often frustrated with the church and ashamed at certain parts of our history, I am often pretty unmoved by authors who have an axe to grind with the church because often I share their gripes.
I like Pullman's writing enough so far, but yes, his voice is very different from Lewis's in the Narnia books, so I don't see many points of comparison so far.
Where sky and water meet,
Where the waves grow sweet,
Doubt not, Reepicheep,
To find all you seek,
There is the utter east.