Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Source: Blog Tour
Release Date: 2006
Series: His Dark Materials #1
Genres: Action & Adventure, Fantasy & Magic, General, Young Adult
Here lives an orphaned ward named Lyra Belacqua, whose carefree life among the scholars at Oxford's Jordan College is shattered by the arrival of two powerful visitors. First, her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, appears with evidence of mystery and danger in the far North, including photographs of a mysterious celestial phenomenon called Dust and the dim outline of a city suspended in the Aurora Borealis that he suspects is part of an alternate universe. He leaves Lyra in the care of Mrs. Coulter, an enigmatic scholar and explorer who offers to give Lyra the attention her uncle has long refused her. In this multilayered narrative, however, nothing is as it seems.
Lyra sets out for the top of the world in search of her kidnapped playmate, Roger, bearing a rare truth-telling instrument, the alethiometer. All around her children are disappearing—victims of so-called "Gobblers"—and being used as subjects in terrible experiments that separate humans from their daemons, creatures that reflect each person's inner being. And somehow, both Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter are involved.
I saw THE GOLDEN COMPASS a long time ago on VHS but I never got around to reading the book. I was always disappointed they never made a movie sequel and I was too young to realize they were books. When the opportunity came around to finally check out this classic, I couldn’t resist.
Right away, it’s easy to get swept into the magic of the world in THE GOLDEN COMPASS. You can tell it’s really well thought out and detailed without being overwhelming, and it is totally and completely its own work. It sort of reminds me of Harry Potter, but in terms of the young hero trying to find their place in a fantastical world.
Although the imaginative writing, special settings, and awesome battle scenes of THE GOLDEN COMPASS make up the majority of what I enjoyed about the novel, the characters are amazing as well. They are all incredibly unique and easy to love (and hate) and the relationships between them feel genuine.
Overall, I was impressed with this novel and definitely enjoyed it more than the film. I would recommend this book to those who remember being interested in the movie or for anyone who has had this book on their TBR list for far too long.