The Golden Compass
BlurbNorthern Lights, known as The Golden Compass in North America, is a young-adult fantasy novel by Philip Pullman, published by Scholastic UK in 1995. Set in a parallel universe, it features the journey of Lyra Belacqua to the Arctic in search of her missing friend, Roger Parslow, and her imprisoned uncle, Lord Asriel, who has been conducting experiments with a mysterious substance known as "Dust". Northern Lights is the first book of a trilogy, His Dark Materials. Alfred A. Knopf published the first US edition April 1996, entitled The Golden Compass. Under that title it has been adapted as a 2007 feature film by Hollywood and as a companion video game. Pullman won the 1995 Carnegie Medal from the Library Association, recognising the year's outstanding children's book by a British subject. For the 70th anniversary of the Medal, it was named one of the top ten winning works by a panel, composing the ballot for a public election of the all-time favourite. Northern Lights won the public vote from that shortlist and was thus named the all-time "Carnegie of Carnegies" on 21 June 2007.
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OK prose, but terrible plotting and characters. So many of the ostensibly critical characters (in the world) are either deus ex machina for some specific threat the characters are facing, or blatant ego-stroking for the completely self centered mains. The story is written in third person, but from such a skewed perspective and rationale that it sometimes seems it's a mythical tale told after the fact by the mains about themselves. Besides this, some of the morality is just bizarre and inconsistent. The Church is self-evidently evil because they're subtly censoring scientific institutions (which is only demonstrated once in the whole series) and they sponsor a creepy, child-exploiting antagonist. Fair enough. But the main character sees the distant messiah (her father) kill her best friend for a remarkably similar "scientific" purpose, then he time travels and starts amassing a secret army, and she STILL sees him as a hero. WTF is going on in this story? The whole thing is riddled with motivated reasoning. "We're good, so the insane things we're doing are good." A truly disturbing book if the heroes were not written ironically. Every major event and decision screams #raisedbynarcissists.
A very creative and funny adventure in an alternate universe with a lovely character named Lyra. The author successfully creates a fantasy in a universe where reality is very distinct from ours. The tone of mistery is balanced with action and intrigue and very amazing characters and their "deamons". This book has the correct pace to display the events in the storyline, not being too fast, not too slow! A real accomplishment!
A very creative and funny adventure in an alternate universe with a lovely character named Lyra.
One of the best young adult fantasy series I've read. Even though it's aimed at kids, I think adults can get something out of it too.