The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1)
The Golden Compass - His Dark Materials, Book 1 Author:Philip Pullman In a landmark epic of fantasy and storytelling, Philip Pullman invites readers into a world as convincing and thoroughly realized as Narnia, Earthsea, or Redwall. Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. ... more »; First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems. Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the compass of the title. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved. « less
Bookfanatic reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
Helpful Score: 14
I can't speak highly enough of this book. It's the first book in the His Dark Materials series. Read it if you can get your hands on a copy of the book. It's an amazing story that's set in an alternate Earth much like our own but different in ways that are untterly captivating. This is not a book just for young tweens. Adults will enjoy the tale as well. If you enjoy sci-fi or fantasy or good story, you should read this book. This book is being made into a film so now would be a good time to read the tale.
I read this book in the sixth grade and I loved it to pieces. I gave it to everyone I knew and they loved it as well. It's magical, it's deep, and it builds vocabulary in young ones. It's science fiction for people who don't really like science fiction. It asks a number of questions and pulls readers in quickly-- a trait any good novel should have. It's great-- read it!
A lavish fantasy, this book is the first one in a series, and is a recommended reading for some school systems, but its certainly on a pretty adult level (think Chronicles of Narnia).
This book is said to have been the one that should have hit big - the "next Harry Potter". I have to say, I don't agree with that exalted review, but I did still like the book. A bit complex for very young readers, but a good prospect for pre-teens to adults. Now a major motion picture.
From the BACK COVER: It was no ordinary life for a young girl: living among scholars in the hallowed halls of Jordan College and tearing unsupervised through Oxford's motley streets on mad quests for adventure. But Lyra's greatest adventure would begin closer to home, the day she heard hushed talk of an extraordinary particle. Microscopic in size, the magical dust - found only in the vast Arctic expanse of the North - was rumored to possess profound properties that could unite whole universes. But there were those who feared the particle and would stop at nothing to destroy it. Catapulted into the heart of a terrible struggle, Lyra was forced to seek aid from clans, gyptians, and formidable armored bears. and as she journeyed into unbelievable danger, she had not the faintest clue that she alone was destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle."
An excellent start to the Dark Materials trilogy of books ("The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass" being the others). The world of the Golden Compass is remarkable and believable. A must read for anyone who loves fantasy.
This is a wonderful novel, although a bit slow in the beginning. Not for young children, except as pure fantasy, but the secondary levels really make the reader think about what is good, what is evil, and can power for power's sake ever be good? At the end, it is obvious that even good intentions taken to extremes don't necessarily result in good endings. It left me definitely wanting to read the rest of the story.