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The Golden Compass

The first book in Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" fantasy novel trilogy.

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Thought Provoking, Deep, Fascinating Book!! Must Read!

  • Jul 4, 2010

I picked up this book by browsing through the library and randomly choosing a book that I thought looked interesting, yet knew nothing about.  I had never even heard about the author Phillip Pullman.  This book took me on a literal ride and really made me think and even conduct some research after reading!  The author takes you through a thrilling magical adventure, from polar bears who can talk to a parrallel world city in the sky.  He develops the characters so well that you feel as if you are really there and have strong  feelings about the characters.  I even cried at one point when Lyra and her daemon were in the 'lab'.   The Golden Compass is the first book in a wonderful Trilogy that I highly recommend reading.  The main character, Lyra stumbles onto the subject of Dust, which is matter that flows from other worlds into hers.  The world that Phillip Pullman paints in this book is like nothing I have ever read before.  In Lyra's world people have deamons that are visible to them, materialized like a pet, part of themselves or soul.  There are bad guys and good guys, and Lyra finds out that she is unknowingly a very large part of what everyone is fighting about.  She is the only one that can read the Golden Compass, which is a truth telling device.  She can ask any question and receive the true answer.  The whole world is fighting over this little compass and the ancient prophecies that say certain things about the one who can read and understand the golden compass.   I could not put this book down!  This book is much much better than the move, so I strongly recommend reading the trilogy and do not judge the book by the movie.  I do not want to put any spoilers in this review so please go read this trilogy!  You will not regret it!

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August 15, 2010
Excellent review! I always have a hard time not giving too much away while still explaining what I like about the book. I think you've hit on a great balance here.
August 29, 2010
ty! :)
More The Golden Compass (Northern L... reviews
review by . March 28, 2010
It is difficult to find enough superlatives to describe Philip Pullman's masterwork fantasy "The Golden Compass". Heart stopping adventure pitting good against insidious evil and weak against strong, a cast of magnificently crafted characters, compelling dialogue, a child's sense of awestruck wonder and insatiable curiosity, the heart wrenching sadness of unexpected death, a healthy serving of ultra-modern science and cosmology cleverly juxtaposed against a soupçon of old-fashioned …
review by . June 16, 2010
I first read this book at age 12, and I continue to read it and its sequels (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass) every few years.  I do this because every time I read them, I pick up on new and ever-more-complicated thematic issues through my changing worldview.      The Golden Compass sets the stage for the course of the whole trilogy, but it could stand alone as well.  It introduces themes of power and oppression, and abuse of religious doctrine and authority. …
Quick Tip by . January 17, 2011
Heart stopping adventure pitting good against insidious evil and weak against strong, a cast of magnificently crafted characters, compelling dialogue and a child's sense of awestruck wonder and insatiable curiosity, Unfairly characterized as being anti-Christian (in my opinion), this is a book that should be in the classics section of libraries for many, many years to come.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
A great fantasy book. It is a good read and moves quickly.
Quick Tip by . July 05, 2010
This book is fantastic. It was great when I was younger, and it's still great now. It's a wonderfully exciting story.
Quick Tip by . June 25, 2010
Masterpiece literature. The concepts and dimensions of this book reach far beyond young adult reading. I am an adult and I am still drawn to the concepts of this book. Once you get past the Demon (daemon) aspect of this book you will love it. If you are willing to put aside old concepts of what a demon is, you will be more inclined to enjoy the book..since the official definition does not apply here.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
One of the longest and most intriguing books from my youth. Couldn't put it down, powered through the trilogy within the space of a few months.
Quick Tip by . June 22, 2010
Great characters and a truly intriguing world. The (anti)religious polemic seemed heavy-handed and unfortunate.
Quick Tip by . June 18, 2010
This book has a clever premise, and the plot is fabulously fleshed out!
Quick Tip by . June 17, 2010
Foolish material
About the reviewer
Kristin ()
Ranked #17
   I am 29 and reside in Kansas City Missouri. I have spent the past 10 years in Honolulu, Hawaii but recently moved back to my hometown KC ~ I have always been fascinated with reading and am … more
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About this book


 Accompanied by her daemon, Lyra Belacqua sets out to prevent her best friend and other kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments in the Far North.
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Author: Philip Pullman
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers, Del Rey
Date Published: April 16, 1996
Format: Originally published as: Northern lights. Prequel: Once upon a time in the North. Sequel: The subtle knife.
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