The first title in the Dark Materials trilogy, now newly repackaged. Content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College with her daemon familiar Pantalaimon by her side, Lyra Belaqua is jarred by the arrival of her fearsome uncle. Soon, she's drawn into a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans, and armored bears, never ...
The first title in the Dark Materials trilogy, now newly repackaged. Content to run wild among the scholars of Jordan College with her daemon familiar Pantalaimon by her side, Lyra Belaqua is jarred by the arrival of her fearsome uncle. Soon, she's drawn into a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans, and armored bears, never suspecting the shocking truth.
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Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers, New York, NY
I am currently reading this book (actually series) for the second time and it is still amazing. It is not trying to encorage bad things about god at all (this is a fantasy, this would never happen!!). In my opinion it is good for all ages 5th grade and up.
Dec 21, 2009
Breathtaking in Imagination
I was absolutely captivated by this novel. Philip Pullman is not at all frightened of big ideas, as evidenced by his leap into themes of destiny and theology (to put it in very general terms). Many of the more mind-boggling revelations are saved for the later books in this trilogy; what Pullman does SO WELL in the first book is to reel in the reader with an intricately, precisely built world that is just slightly different from our own. In this world, bad things are being done to children who are disappearing from the streets, and Lyra Belacqua, an orphan raised by the Scholars of Oxford, wants to find out what, and why. Pullman lays the groundwork of this world so effectively that the reader feels it like a physical blow when it is revealed exactly what these bad things are.
I am a longtime reader of the fantasy genre, and I was pleased to find that I was continually surprised by each new turn of events, and I was not able to predict the outcome of the novel. Part of this was because the breathless pace of the book left little time to try to guess where it was taking me, and the other part is simply because Pullman is not so transparent as to give obvious tells.
I highly, enthusiastically recommend this novel. I cannot believe it took me so long to discover this series. It has been a long time since an author tackled such heavy subjects with such power and daring.
Oct 13, 2009
This is a great read!
The Golden Compass is a novel i would recommend to children or young adults. Phillip Pullman really captivated my attention with his mythical creatures known a Daemons and with his vivid details on things.
After i read The Golden Compass it instantly became my all time favorite book!
Mar 1, 2009
The Golden Compass was a great book. Many people have tried to say that it is an atheist book and that Christians should not read it. I disagree. I found that it was a good novel and your religion did not matter when reading this book. Everyone should read it at sometime in their life.
Feb 13, 2009
Someone might try to describe this book to you by telling you a little about it's plot. It's got some classic archtypes, and it's got a great deal to do with loss of innocence. It's basically about a little girl trying to save her friend. Along the way she meets new friends, including talking polar bears and gypsies. And you might think 'Oh, it's just another children's book.' And you'd be completely wrong.
THE GOLDEN COMPASS (which was released in the UK under the title THE NORTHERN LIGHTS) is typical Pullman-- intelligent writing, complex characters, fascinating world. It's everything a good children's book ought to be. It's a great read no matter how old you are.
Lyra is a really interesting character. At first, she is bratty and almost completely unlikeable. But by the end of the book, I adored her. She is brave, resourceful, clever, and resilient.
This is a book that I find myself reading once or twice a year. It's got a gripping story, dynamic characters, and is superbly written.
I'd recommend this book to anyone who likes Pullman's other books, a good fantasy story, and to anyone who's looking for something good to read now that Harry Potter has wrapped up.
Publishers Weekly, 1999-07-12 Pullman's masterfully rendered fantasy-adventure, the first in the His Dark Materials trilogy, captivates from the start on this vibrant audio production. As narrator, the British author is swift and sure, inviting young listeners along for a most intriguing story. Young Lyra Belacqua and her daemon companion Pantalaimon leave their sheltered life among the scholars and caretakers at Oxford University to find Lyra's best friend, Roger, who has been kidnapped. Lyra's quest leads her to the Far North where she encounters battle-ready witches, talking polar bears and a team of evil scientists who plan to perform a hideous experiment on Roger and the other children they have captured. But worst of all, Lyra learns that her fearsome Uncle Asriel and the mysterious Mrs. Coulter (who had tried to befriend and kidnap Lyra) are at the center of the child-demon investigations. With the help of the kind Gyptians, Lyra is able to outsmart her enemies and rescue Roger. The cast of actors enact a breadth of characters, from headstrong Lyra and her excitable, impatient daemon to the superior and sharp-sounding Lord Asriel. The villains, dramatic voyages and fantastic creatures are certain to hold listeners' attention throughout the hefty recording. The production is also available in trade packaging, in three separate installments. Ages 9-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 1996-02-19 If Pullman's imagination dazzled in the Victorian thrillers that culminated with The Tin Princess, in this first volume of a fantasy trilogy it is nothing short of breathtaking. Here Earth is one of only five planets in the solar system, every human has a daemon (the soul embodied as an animal familiar) and, in a time similar to our late 19th century, Oxford scholars and agents of the supreme Calvinist Church are in a race to unleash the power that will enable them to cross the bridge to a parallel universe. The story line has all the hallmarks of a myth: brought up ignorant of her true identity, 11-year-old Lyra goes on a quest from East Anglia to the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate Roger and her imprisoned uncle, Lord Asriel. Deceptions and treacheries threaten at every turn, and she is not yet certain how to read the mysterious truth-telling instrument that is her only guide. After escaping from the charming and sinister Mrs. Coulter, she joins a group of "gyptians" in search of their children, who, like Roger, have been spirited away by Mrs. Coulter's henchmen, the Gobblers. Along the way Lyra is guided by friendly witches and attacked by malevolent ones, aided by an armored polar bear and a Texan balloonist, and nearly made a victim of the Gobblers' cruel experiments. As always, Pullman is a master at combining impeccable characterizations and seamless plotting, maintaining a crackling pace to create scene upon scene of almost unbearable tension. This glittering gem will leave readers of all ages eagerly awaiting the next installment of Lyra's adventures. 100,000 first printing; $250,000 ad/promo. Ages 10-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly, 2002-09-16 Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy now appears in sophisticated trade paperback editions, each title embossed within a runic emblem of antiqued gold. The backdrop of The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book I sports a midnight blue map of the cosmos with the zodiacal ram at its center. The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass carry similarly intriguing cover art, and all three titles offer details not seen in the originals: in Compass and Knife, for example, Pullman's stamp-size b&w art introduces each chapter; Spyglass chapters open with literary quotes from Blake, the Bible, Dickinson and more. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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