Book Reviews of The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1)

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1)
The Golden Compass - His Dark Materials, Book 1
Author: Philip Pullman
ISBN-13: 9780345413352
ISBN-10: 0345413350
Publication Date: 3/30/1997
Pages: 368
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating:
  • Currently 3.9/5 Stars.
 459

3.9 stars, based on 459 ratings
Publisher: Del Rey
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

68 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
Helpful Score: 9
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!
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
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.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 190 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
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."
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
There's something about the golden age of scifi that really appeals to me, and this story hearkens back to that era. There's a romance to it. It took me a few chapters to get into it, but the strength and stubbornness of the central character, the child Lyra, finally sucked me in. I'm told this volume is much better than the other two, but I'm more than willing to find out for myself. It's been awhile since I've had a book keep me up past my bedtime.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 170 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I actually only picked this up to see what has the fundamentalist censor-y population in an uproar. Read it in one day, it was completely engrossing. I really enjoyed it and recommend it if you want a fun, colorful fantasy read. I'll definitely read the entire trilogy. If you like this genre, read it and be happily entitled to your own opinion on any religious references. Books are not dangerous, people (especially censors) are.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The biggest problem people will have with this series is its attacks on Christianity.

One thing such critics will fail to remember, however, is that this is a BOOK. It is open to interpretation, and of course, the right wingers will feel that their religion is attacked by this book. They will label it with works like "blasphemy," "heresy," and "lies," forgetting that it's fiction.

The author is an atheist. His views no doubt influence the book's plot, and the book as a result was obviously meant to ruffle some feathers.

However, I can choose to waste energy being horrified and offended by a BOOK, or I can enjoy the well-written story, the interesting fiction and the unique concepts brought into light by Philip Pullman.

My advice for this book's readers? If you're a Christian of any sort, please don't let the 'implications' ruin your enjoyment of a well-written series. Remember that at the end of the day, you have control over your thoughts and beliefs.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 88 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a great book! It is very intricate and you have to pay attention to understand everything. I find it rather amusing that the evil party in this book is "The Church." Personally, I don't mind that. I think that the author being against the Christian idea of God is GREAT! Some people, like Christians, think this book is perverted. I think all the Christians are perverted.
Don't pay any attention to any of the Christian comments and just read the book and then come to your own conclusions.
I believe in the freedom to read whatever is out there and then come to your own conclusions. I believe in the freedom to write whatever one wants without being criticized by one group of people. Don't just be a sheep and follow what someone else has to say.
Also read about how the Christians, in the past, have tortured and killed many peoples and made daemons in to what they are thought of now. I also think it's rather amusing that the author has named the helpers daemons.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 636 more book reviews
I enjoyed this much more than I thought I would, but I did greatly enjoy the movie, too. Honestly, I thought the movie was a very good adaptation of the book with things that weren't all that majorly changed.
The whole religious controversy wasn't that profound until the end of the book and even then, so far, it didn't seem all that much more blasphemous than most other fantasy series. I mostly wanted to read this to find out what happens next, so I'm very glad that I'm read them consecutively in one volume. And I wanted to know what shape Pan ends up!
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 37 more book reviews
The first of the Dark Materials fantasy trilogy, this volume presents the beginnings of the cosmic adventure in which a young girl from Oxford, Lyra, takes on the forces of evil and their desire to capture the souls of the very young. The three books have been controversial, and Pullman accused of all kinds of blasphemy, but they are fascinating explorations of the presence of evil in the universe and ultimately how love is the answer.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 17 more book reviews
Amazing beginning to a soon-to-be childrens classic. This series is better for teens and adults even - as it deals with some topics in a more adult manner. My husband and I were hooked on these from the first page onwards.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 12 more book reviews
I read and loved this book when I was younger, I think reading it at an early age influenced my imagination to this day. Something about the idea of having a shape-shifting little animal that follows me around every where one goes is captivating for most all younger readers, and is still appealing now, to be honest. It's for ideas like this that I like reading adventure stories for younger readers, as most adventure books aimed at older audiences tend to get too serious.

This book improves with the age of the reader, though I wonder if I would like it as much if I hadn't read it when I was younger. The details are consistent, something I always look for in fantasy stories. Action scenes are described well, paced decently and engaging. Characters are, indeed, consistent, convincing, varied, and, most important, lovable.

I would recommend this book to any young reader or any adult reader in want of something fun and less complicated.

Now I remember why I named my childhood pet guinea pigs Lyra and Pan.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Intriguing. Artfully told.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Young adult and wonderful-- first of a triology of power and strange magic.
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While the genre of this series usually says teenager, I disagree completely. It is a great series, thoroughly absorbing, but aimed at an adult reader.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
Own the original story that is now in movie theaters everywhere!

Excerpt from back of book: "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...Captured 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..."
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Great book. Easy read. Interesting and different story. I can see this being the next Lord of the Rings type movie. Hard to believe its Young Adult (ahem..in my 40s)...more sophisticated than the Harry Potter books.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 275 more book reviews
"The Golden Compass" is stunningly original, beautifully crafted, and thrillingly told. It is a masterwork of fantasy and storytelling that heralds the arrival of a classic.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
A great book for older kids and adults-very well written fantasy about a girl and parallel worlds and the conflict it causes.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 366 more book reviews
this isbn is for the abridged version
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 27 more book reviews
Some books improve with age--the age of the reader, that is. Such is certainly the case with Philip Pullman's heroic, at times heart-wrenching novel, The Golden Compass, a story ostensibly for children but one perhaps even better appreciated by adults. The protagonist of this complex fantasy is young Lyra Belacqua, a precocious orphan growing up within the precincts of Oxford University. But it quickly becomes clear that Lyra's Oxford is not precisely like our own--nor is her world. For one thing, people there each have a personal daemon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied:

As for what experimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. She had formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with the movements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, but that was guesswork, really. Probably the stars had daemons just as humans did, and experimental theology involved talking to them.

Not that Lyra spends much time worrying about it; what she likes best is "clambering over the College roofs with Roger the kitchen boy who was her particular friend, to spit plum stones on the heads of passing Scholars or to hoot like owls outside a window where a tutorial was going on, or racing through the narrow streets, or stealing apples from the market, or waging war." But Lyra's carefree existence changes forever when she and her daemon, Pantalaimon, first prevent an assassination attempt against her uncle, the powerful Lord Asriel, and then overhear a secret discussion about a mysterious entity known as Dust. Soon she and Pan are swept up in a dangerous game involving disappearing children, a beautiful woman with a golden monkey daemon, a trip to the far north, and a set of allies ranging from "gyptians" to witches to an armor-clad polar bear.

In The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman has written a masterpiece that transcends genre. It is a children's book that will appeal to adults, a fantasy novel that will charm even the most hardened realist. Best of all, the author doesn't speak down to his audience, nor does he pull his punches; there is genuine terror in this book, and heartbreak, betrayal, and loss. There is also love, loyalty, and an abiding morality that infuses the story but never overwhelms it. This is one of those rare novels that one wishes would never end. Fortunately, its sequel, The Subtle Knife, will help put off that inevitability for a while longer.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 67 more book reviews
Very good book. In ways it reminds me of the Harry Potter series in the fantasty aspect. The story peaked my interest enough to want to read the other two books of the series.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 112 more book reviews
The book is well written and certainly grabs the imagination. I'm saving the trilogy for my grandaughters to read.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 56 more book reviews
Overall a decent book, though I don't really like the last chapter or two. Still, it is a book that is easy to read, and flows exceptionally well most of the way throughout. At around 400 pages, it holds its quality most of the way through, but it feels like it is setting up a sequel that doesn't flow directly from the first book. I have not read the second book, so it is hard to describe what I mean about how it sets up the sequel.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 16 more book reviews
another teen must read
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
A favorite book! Lyra is not your typical protagonist, but she's captivating. The story is thrilling and I picked up the 2nd and 3rd books immediately.

The movie they made of this story was pretty awful - they tried too hard not to offend anyone, so they ended up pleasing no one. Stick to the print; it's got action, adventure, mythology, and philosophy, all rolled into a fantastic story!
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
I saw the movie before I even realized there was a book. And, while I enjoyed the movie, I enjoyed the book much more.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 48 more book reviews
Nice children's story that adults can really read into if they want. If you're an adult looking for something to fill the adventure void Harry Potter has left I'd pick up Pullman's series. It has alot of room for interpritation, debate and speculation, much like Potter.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 18 more book reviews
First book in a series, a good young adult reader. Takes a few to orient to the rules of this world, but I enjoy that. This book really has no ending and the three books do not stand alone by any means. That is where the trouble lies... the remaining books are not as good and do a poor job of trying to tear down religion. Not a difficult argument to discount for a critical reader, but those with religious convictions will want to at a minimum make sure that pre-teen readers see the shortcomings in the author's anti-religious stories in the later books.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 18 more book reviews
A literary treat for those who enjoy a little sci-fi/fantasy.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 21 more book reviews
After watching the movie (which I thought was kind of dull), I tried out reading the books. The first book is better than the movie, by quite a bit, but still at times it felt like it was "work" to read. The second book was even worse and then the third book I skipped most of it. The first book is worth reading the second and third are not.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 201 more book reviews
This is the best of the Dark Materials books, but I still found it problematic. Character motivations are erratic at best, for example. Perhaps as a kid's book, but I wasn't all that impressed.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 222 more book reviews
Fast-paced interesting fantasy book about a brave girl who battles evil. Unlike other reviews that consider this book anti-God, I didn't consider it as being against religion. If it was, it was so subtle it went right over my head! Although this is geared toward young adults, I think many adults will enjoy it,too. I am not a big science fiction or fantasy fan,but I liked it.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 8 more book reviews
If you enjoy young adult fantasy, you will love The Golden Compass. Pullman takes you on a journey that makes you keep turning the pages.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 2 more book reviews
The first book in a Young Adult trilogy that was really great.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
Loved the whole series! Will be a movie soon.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 24 more book reviews
These books are amazing - of you haven't read them yet, why not?!
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 244 more book reviews
Good book for middle schooler and above & adults. About a young girl, brought up in a college, in an unknown alternate universe, who discovers that she's the center of a struggle between two factions.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 3 more book reviews
An amazing start to the His Dark Materials trilogy, which follows the young girl Lyra as she searches for her kidnapped friend and ultimately becomes the center of a cosmic struggle.
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Great book! Only caveat is to have the next in the series on hand LOL
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on
How anyone could compare this world to Narnia is beyond me. I found it sad. Pullman seems bitter.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Lyra Belacqua is conent to run wild among the scholard of Jordan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle....born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. As she hurtles toward danger in the cold, far North, young Lyra never suspects the shocking truth; she is alone, is destined to win or lose, this more than mortal battle.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Althought this is a children's book, I found it very interesting. It's a wonderful fantasy story.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 155 more book reviews
I think I must have missed something in this book. I never had a profound epiphany, no deeply philosophical thoughts, no life changing moments. It was just a book. And I'm not sure it was even a good book. I was entertained while reading it, but not enough to continue the series. I am curious about the movie though.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 72 more book reviews
A young girl has an adventure traveling to the mysterious North to rescue her uncle. Slight fantasy. Good moral of faith and friendship.
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A fantasy adventure.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 55 more book reviews
This is the story of Lyra, a little girl for whom things work out just the way she wants. This book is somewhat too perfect for me, things work out a little too well with not many adverse affects. I also don't get the whole philosophical ideals behind Dust and all. The beginning of the book was much better than the end in regards to the fanciful.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 211 more book reviews
Great adventure for adults or teens.
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First of a trilogy and my favorite of the three. The second is darker and the third, while it does wrap up the details, is VERY anti-religion and seems to be full of the author's "issues". These are not as apparent in the first two books. Just a caveat.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 87 more book reviews
love this series -- ya fantasty
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 44 more book reviews
a great fantasy
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 93 more book reviews
A awesome fantasy adventure.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 8 more book reviews
My daughter didn't like this book, but it is a verry good one.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 32 more book reviews
Pretty boring. This doesn't even begin to compare to Harry Potter at all.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 909 more book reviews
His Dark Materials - Book 1
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Being made into a movie!! Out by the holidays!!
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Being made into a movie!!!
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 20 more book reviews
First in Fantasy Trilogy
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 40 more book reviews
DO NOT BE FOOLED! Our family listened to the audio of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife - enjoying the action, while still having an uncomfortable feeling in the gut. When we got to the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass - we stopped listening. For the Christian - this is NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY. The entire series is about "killing God" in the author's own words. The third book in the worst - but all are bad....trying to set the trap to ensnare kids into the fantasy world of believing all this stuff. No, the demons, witches, spectors and talking animals didn't freak us out. It was the out-and-out lies of an athiest author that turned us off. So, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN....DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 40 more book reviews
DO NOT BE FOOLED! Our family listened to the audio of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife - enjoying the action, while still having an uncomfortable feeling in the gut. When we got to the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass - we stopped listening. For the Christian - this is NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY. The entire series is about "killing God" in the author's own words. The third book in the worst - but all are bad....trying to set the trap to ensnare kids into the fantasy world of believing all this stuff. No, the demons, witches, spectors and talking animals didn't freak us out. It was the out-and-out lies of an athiest author that turned us off. So, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN....DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 40 more book reviews
DO NOT BE FOOLED! Our family listened to the audio of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife - enjoying the action, while still having an uncomfortable feeling in the gut. When we got to the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass - we stopped listening. For the Christian - this is NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY. The entire series is about "killing God" in the author's own words. The third book in the worst - but all are bad....trying to set the trap to ensnare kids into the fantasy world of believing all this stuff. No, the demons, witches, spectors and talking animals didn't freak us out. It was the out-and-out lies of an athiest author that turned us off. So, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN....DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 40 more book reviews
DO NOT BE FOOLED! Our family listened to the audio of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife - enjoying the action, while still having an uncomfortable feeling in the gut. When we got to the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass - we stopped listening. For the Christian - this is NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY. The entire series is about "killing God" in the author's own words. The third book in the worst - but all are bad....trying to set the trap to ensnare kids into the fantasy world of believing all this stuff. No, the demons, witches, spectors and talking animals didn't freak us out. It was the out-and-out lies of an athiest author that turned us off. So, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN....DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 40 more book reviews
DO NOT BE FOOLED! Our family listened to the audio of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife - enjoying the action, while still having an uncomfortable feeling in the gut. When we got to the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass - we stopped listening. For the Christian - this is NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY. The entire series is about "killing God" in the author's own words. The third book in the worst - but all are bad....trying to set the trap to ensnare kids into the fantasy world of believing all this stuff. No, the demons, witches, spectors and talking animals didn't freak us out. It was the out-and-out lies of an athiest author that turned us off. So, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN....DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 40 more book reviews
DO NOT BE FOOLED! Our family listened to the audio of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife - enjoying the action, while still having an uncomfortable feeling in the gut. When we got to the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass - we stopped listening. For the Christian - this is NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY. The entire series is about "killing God" in the author's own words. The third book in the worst - but all are bad....trying to set the trap to ensnare kids into the fantasy world of believing all this stuff. No, the demons, witches, spectors and talking animals didn't freak us out. It was the out-and-out lies of an athiest author that turned us off. So, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN....DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 40 more book reviews
DO NOT BE FOOLED! Our family listened to the audio of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife - enjoying the action, while still having an uncomfortable feeling in the gut. When we got to the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass - we stopped listening. For the Christian - this is NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY. The entire series is about "killing God" in the author's own words. The third book in the worst - but all are bad....trying to set the trap to ensnare kids into the fantasy world of believing all this stuff. No, the demons, witches, spectors and talking animals didn't freak us out. It was the out-and-out lies of an athiest author that turned us off. So, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN....DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES.
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This book was specifically written to undermine children's Christian World views. He targets children at an age when mature discernment abilities have not yet been reached. His books talk about killing an Angel that states he is God. He takes scripture and twists it into pervertedness. I would not recommend reading this book unless you want to read the book in order to know what is in the book in order to combat his methods of attempting to destroy God in the minds of his readers.
reviewed The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, Book 1) on + 40 more book reviews
DO NOT BE FOOLED! Our family listened to the audio of The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife - enjoying the action, while still having an uncomfortable feeling in the gut. When we got to the third book in the trilogy, The Amber Spyglass - we stopped listening. For the Christian - this is NOTHING SHORT OF BLASPHEMY. The entire series is about "killing God" in the author's own words. The third book in the worst - but all are bad....trying to set the trap to ensnare kids into the fantasy world of believing all this stuff. No, the demons, witches, spectors and talking animals didn't freak us out. It was the out-and-out lies of an athiest author that turned us off. So, IF YOU ARE CHRISTIAN....DON'T BOTHER WITH THIS SERIES.