HIS DARK MATERIALS IS NOW AN HBO ORIGINAL SERIES STARRING DAFNE KEEN, RUTH WILSON, ANDREW SCOTT, AND LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA!
The unforgettable His Dark Materials trilogy that began with The Golden Compass and continued with The Subtle Knife, reaches its astonishing conclusion in The Amber Spyglass. These modern fantasy classics have been hailed by Entertainment Weekly as an "All-Time Greatest Novel" and Newsweek as a "Top 100 Book of All Time"
Throughout the worlds, the forces of both heaven and hell are mustering to take part in Lord Asriel's audacious rebellion. Each player in this epic drama has a role to play—and a sacrifice to make. Witches, angels, spies, assassins, tempters, and pretenders, no one will remain unscathed.
Lyra and Will have the most dangerous task of all. They must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone and from which there is no escape.
As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—comes to depend on Lyra and Will. On the choices they make in love, and for love, forevermore.
A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Whitbread Award
Winner of the British Book Award (Children's)
Published in 40 Countries
"Masterful.... This title confirms Pullman's inclusion in the company of C.S. Lewis and Tolkien." —Smithsonian Magazine
"Pullman has created the last great fantasy masterpiece of the twentieth century. An astounding achievement." —The Cincinnati Enquirer
"War, politics, magic, science, individual lives and cosmic destinies are all here . . . shaped and assembled into a narrative of tremendous pace by a man with a generous, precise intelligence. I am completely enchanted." —The New York Times Book Review
"Breathtaking adventure . . . a terrific story, eloquently told." —The Boston Globe
Don't miss Philip Pullman's epic new trilogy set in the world of His Dark Materials!
** THE BOOK OF DUST **
La Belle Sauvage
The Secret Commonwealth
Excellent recording, but be warry if you're religious
The real magic of this book is the recording. Each character is voiced by a different British actor, so instead of one voice, as is typical for most audiobooks, Lyra trills in the voice of a little girl, and Iorek grumbles in a low voice with an entirely unique accent.
The tale is very exciting, full of Pullman's inventions, from the quircky Galivespians to the bone-chilling Spectres. Occassionally, though, the adventure is a little overplayed - eleventh hour saviours are only exciting when they come once in a while, not once a chapter. Some of the villians, such as Mrs. Coulter, while entertaining, are not at all believable. However, over all, the adventure was thrilling, and (unlike some of Pullman's earlier books) tempered with genuinly interesting literary ideas and parallels to everything from the Bible to Shakespeare. At the end of the book, I found myself crying for the fate of Lyra and her friends - in my opinion, the mark of a good book!
A warning, though. This is not a children's book. I tried reading this book when I was about 11, and didn't understand half of it, got bored, and put it away. When I tried again at 17, it was deep, beautiful and powerful. The concepts in this book are just a little too dense for children, and by the second half of the book, Pullman is no longer writting an adventure story - he is writing about ideas and concepts.
However, despite what his fans might say, this book IS offensive to religious people, especially Catholics. As a liberal, but observant Catholic, I was not troubled, but it is clear that Pullman does not understand the distinction between the Church of the Counter-Reformation, and the Church of the 21st Century. He doesn't even try to explain why so many people find organized religion a comfort and ballast in their lives - everyone who is religious in the book is either vain, power-hungry or discustingly submisive. We never see a brave Christian martyr or a kind, faithful Jew- despite many oppotunities for them to appear. While his book certainly offered an intersting arguement for aethism, it was weakened by his utter scorn for organized religion, which made some of his arguements seem petty instead of intelligent. If you are okay with reading something you don't agree with (which you SHOULD do anyways, because it will broaden your mind and strengthen your faith) listen to this recording. If not, don't.
Superbly written, but not a children's book
This is one of the most excellently written series I have ever read; however, the theme of the book is, in my opinion, highly controversial and is not truly children's literature. It would be hard to deny that the book is at least anti-established religion, and some religious persons may find themselves offended by the material. I suggest that adults read or listen to the novel themselves before passing it on to their children.
I DECLARE THIS THE GREATEST BOOK EVER WRITTEN
... because it is. It tops even the first two books in the trilogy, which were absoloutly perfect. The Amber Spyglass goes well beyond that. The characters are deep and amazing, from the innocent, lovable Lyra, to the passionate and resoloute Lord Asriel (who, I might add, is my favorite character :D), Philip Pullman has created a wonderful cast, including some very outlandish beings. This book has everything; science fiction, fantasy, romance, religion (or lack of it), war, and great sacrifice on the part of all the main characters. The unique portrayal of God as the Authority, a powerless, aged angel is extremely thought provoking. But without doubt the best part of these books are the deamons, a person's concience manifested into an animal. The deamon can change it's form while it's human counterpart is a child, but fixes on a shape representing their personality come puberity. It is amazing how Lyra and Pantamalion change, and eventually reach the end of childhood, and their great and tragic destiny. I have deamon envy, and I'm proud of it! Five stars! Long live the Republic of Heaven!