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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. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The first book in Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" trilogy is an excellent fantasy style novel for both adults and kids.
The complexity of the characters, as well as the mythical/mysterious details of the world in which the story takes place is what makes the story so appealing.
In The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman shows us a world quite like ours, and the girl Lyra and her daemon Pantalaimon who live in it.
Calling this a children's book is not really fair. Or should I say that I wouldn't want people to get the wrong impression about the maturity level found within this amazing book. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Michael T.
Phillip Pullman's tale of a strong, bold young woman who takes matters into her own hands is a wonderful tale. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Elizabeth
Excellent fantasy of magic, parallel worlds and intelligent bears...oh, and a little girl, too.Published 25 days ago by S. Wagner
The Golden Compass was definitely not for me. At all. It was too young for me. Or I was too old for it. Either way, I just did not get it. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Angie
This book is a fantasy fiction story, if you can keep that in mind, it is a really good story about a young girl and her daemon, as they journey to save a friend and find her dad. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Aunt T