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Review – The Golden Compass


Unfortunately, I know I won’t do this book justice. I bought this book after hearing that this book, even more so this trilogy, is excellent. My fiance swears that he was the one who recommended them to me, but I do not remember that. Perhaps I’m already developing selective hearing?

Anyway, I was in Borders and saw that they had the whole trilogy in one book. That works great for me; I’ll just plow through the whole thing at one time, rather than reading the trilogy piecemeal. The only unfortunate part about this whole deal is that three books rolled into one does not make for a user-friendly book. It’s a whopping 933 pages, so it’s pretty hefty even though it’s a paperback. But I’m enjoying this trilogy so much that I only stop to rub the pain in my wrist every once in a while. 🙂

This book, His Dark Materials, is one of the books I’ve chosen for the chunkster challenge. However, in order to give you a better idea of the books individually, I will review each book as I finish it. However, I’ll keep reading until I’m through with the trilogy.

The Golden Compass is about a twelve-year-old girl named Lyra and her daemon, Pantalaimon, who live in a parallel universe. Daemons are physical manifestations in the form of an animal of a person’s soul. Lyra goes on an adventure when her friend is kidnapped. She is determined to find her friend and her uncle, who has disappeared. That’s the bare bones of the story.

One of my favorite things about the writing is that the author does not stick to having us see things merely from Lyra’s point of view. Rather, we are treated to snippets that foreshadow what will happen as the story moves along, and we are entrusted with information that not even Lyra is privy to. (I can’t remember the name for this and a quick Internet search did not help.) It is this offering of extra pieces of the story that make reading the story that much more exciting. For example, very early on, we find out that Lyra will betray one of her friends, though not on purpose. I was intrigued! Who would she betray? How would it happen? And even better…I didn’t even see the betrayal coming.

My only complaint is that Lyra is awfully smart for her age and a couple of times I’ve questioned whether a child her age would have the same maturity, but the plot moves along at such a clip that I don’t have too much time to wonder about this.

So far, this trilogy has mesmerized me much quicker than Harry Potter did. It was a little frustrating starting out, though, because the world that Pullman creates is fairly complicated in that it does not resemble the present day, so it took me 20 or so pages before I got into the swing of things. Once I caught on, though, I didn’t want to stop reading!

Rating: 90 out of 100.

PS I’ve started reading The Subtle Knife, and somehow it’s even better!! 

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7 Responses to “Review – The Golden Compass”

  1. chartroose

    I loved those books, and each one is better than the first. The ending of the trilogy is touching and true.

    I don’t know if you can still do this, but somewhere on the web you can take a short test to find out what your daemon is. Mine is a spider. Check it out.


  2. chartroose

    Here’s the website:


  3. Literary Feline

    I am looking forward to reading this series. I’ve seen the movie, The Golden Compass and enjoyed it. My husband’s read the trilogy and said that he liked the first two books, but the third one wasn’t quite as good. Thanks for the great review!


  4. jeane

    Mine was a raven.


  5. Marcia

    This is on my must read list. I hope the trilogy is as good as the buzz! Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it.


  6. What’s Your Daemon? « Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?

    […] reading my post on The Golden Compass, Chartroose left a comment that there’s a site that will tell you what your daemon would be. […]

  7. Review - The Golden Compass « Book Addiction

    […] reviewed by: Raych at books i done read, Darcie at Reading Derby, Vixen’s Daily Reads, Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?, Dewey at The Hidden Side of a Leaf, Care’s Online Book Club, bookchronicle at Adventures in […]

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