February 20, 2012

Latest Read: The Golden Compass

Here are the basics ...
Book: The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1)
Author: Philip Pullman
Websitehttp://www.philip-pullman.com/
Category: Children's (sorta Young Adult?) - Fantasy








My thoughts ...
Short summary: The book is set in a parallel universe very different from our own.  The world is controlled by a division of the Church, each person has a daemon (animal-formed, shape-shifting manifestation of one's soul), children are being stolen by "Gobblers" and everyone is afraid of a mysterious substance known as Dust.  Enter Lyra Belacqua who is at the center of it all.  Her best friend gets stolen and her father imprisoned, so the book follows her journey as she tries to save them both and figures out her role to play in all of this.  (Note: I did the best I could with the summary; it's a bit hard to explain without giving too much away.) 

The good:  The world the author creates is extremely detailed and well-thought out.  It incorporated a lot of religion, science and morality (good vs. evil).  In some ways, it reminded me books like The Chronicles of Narnia or A Wrinkle In Time.  I also really liked the idea of everyone having their own little daemon so that people never felt alone (although I personally think I'd want my privacy sometimes!).  Plus Lyra was a good protagonist - strong and resourceful but really young.  

The bad:  Even though the book was good, it felt more like a children's book than a young adult book. And as much as I liked Lyra as a character, I couldn't get into her view as the protagonist, if that makes any sense.  But I think it has a lot of to do with her being an 11 or 12 year old in the book.  I love fantasy but I actually kind of missed the romance that comes with most of the YA fantasy books I read (probably doesn't help that I re-read parts of The Iron Fey all the time) and I'm just used to an older POV. But these aren't really bad things to me, just personal preferences. 

Do I recommend?:  If you like adventure filled fantasy stories and the protagonist/POV isn't a factor for you, then give it a try.  Once the book picked up and especially during the action scenes, you definitely feel the urgency of the characters and the journey they're on.  I think the book is worth a shot for fantasy readers. 


Happy reading! 

3 comments:

  1. She gets a love interest in the second book! She gets older too and it gets better! haha I promise.

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  2. Haha I believe you! I'll read the next one!

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  3. I read this a long time ago, and I read all three books back to back - it was pretty good. I don't remember much of the details though, but I love the daemons!

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