Old 09-26-2002, 08:13 PM
His Dark Materials

This is a book that is not too popular but I think very well should be. It is a trilogy of books (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass) and in my opinion, although I do love Mr. Potter very much, it is much better. It was recommended to me by a friend who told me it is better than my favorite book in the world, Lord of the Rings. Considering the fact that this friend had never read Lord of the Rings, I was skeptical. The fact that the cover of the first book, The Golden Compass, has a cover that consists of a little girl sitting on a polar bear and looks very much like girly/kiddie book didn't help at all. But I had faith and started reading it. And I am glad.

First of all, don't expect a kid's book. It is very violent and bloody, especially in the second book, The Subtle Knife. Some of the main characters don't even make it to number 3, The Amber Spyglass, which adds to the drama and suspense. Harry Potter had a certain surprise death in Book 4, but it's not near as good as in this one.

The plot is straightforward and doesn't take any wrong turns (i.e. the characters having a certain idea, going to great lengths to prove it or go through with it only to find out they were wrong and end up back in square one) and mostly everything you see is important to the plot in some way. It's about a girl named Lyra who lives in a world where every single person has a daemon--the animal form of themselves, sort of like a pet that is spiritually connected to them and can talk to them, and being separated results in great pain/death. Lyra discovers she must go on a long journey away from her home at a school, but before she goes she is given a golden compass--called an alethiometer, it supposedly tells truth, and has 36 symbols around it and three arrows, but Lyra is unsure of what exactly it does, she only knows that to use it requires great skill that not everyone has. But what Lyra doesn't know is that she, eventually, will have to make a decision, and that decision will decide the fate of the entire universe.

Many twists and turns occur, many new characters are introduced, and many exciting and unexpected things happen that never cease to astound--read this book, especially if you are a fan of Harry Potter or fantasy of that sort. You will not be disappointed.
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Old 09-27-2002, 12:12 PM
Christopher Hitchens gave the whole series a rave in the last issue of Vanity Fair, You might want to check it out.
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Old 01-16-2004, 10:45 AM
I'm reading and loving Northern Lights (UK title for The Golden Compass) at the moment. I picked it up when His Dark Materials came third in the BBC poll to find Britain's favourite book (LOTR won, I was so surprised )

I'm dying to pick up The Subtle Knife and will probably do so this weekend.
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Old 01-16-2004, 01:12 PM
I loved the first book. It was exciting and thought-provoking as any adult fiction. I couldnt wait to get onot the next books and that was where I was dissapointed. There was simply too much going on for a trilogy. The a uthor had a ton of ideas, set-pieces, storylines and characters are flowing in and out of each other. This sounds great but the a uthor just cant hold out. The last book is unbearable.

The Golden Compass- 9/10

The Subtle Knife- 6/10

The Amber Spyglass- 3/10
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Old 01-16-2004, 09:23 PM
Who is the author?
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Old 01-20-2004, 11:43 AM
^It's by Phillip Pullman

I just finished Northern Lights and I loved it. I'm going to buy The Subtle Knife tomorrow as it is my day off work and I'll have some time to really get into it. I can't wait.
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