The Golden Compass By Philip Pullman
Our Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5 out of 5 stars)
Reviewed by: Hilary Habegger
The Golden Compass was made into a movie in 2007. It wasn’t a hit in the USA but was a Blockbuster in the UK. The movie intrigued me so I picked up the book.
The Golden Compass (aka The Northern Lights in the UK) is the first in a three part series called His Dark Materials. With a fan base that rivals that of Harry Potter it gathered quite the following in Great Britain but is relatively unknown here in the US. The book follows Lyra Belaqua who is an uncivilized liar and schemer, but also a fierce and true friend in her search to rescue her kidnapped friend Roger and the other children taken by the Gobblers. With the help of her daemon, the alethiometer, and other colorful characters she sets off on a journey to the North where she uncovers the truth about Dust, elementary particles that are conscious. She is thrown into a war of high politics where any misstep could be utter disaster. Set in a world very similar and yet unlike our own it is a book about friendship, love, and destiny.
I enjoyed this book very much, not just for the story, but how it gets you to think. It is correctly listed as a Fantasy/SciFi book. It takes you and immerses you immediately in political, religious, and cultural conflict as well. However, the book and the series go deeper than Harry Potter does. The themes and conflicts in the novel are complex, just like the characters’ behaviors and motivations. Easily a book for a young adult with a high readers’ comprehension, but also appealing to others as it has layers on the surface it’s about a girl who goes on a journey to rescue her friend, but there are other more subtle and not so subtle nuances. A great read for anyone who wants to go on an adventure; or for anyone who likes books to linger with you long after you are done reading them. This is the book for you!
Don’t just take my word for it here are some reviews from GoodReads. Also if you like Ed Sheeran, he said “His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. I personally think that’s the greatest love story ever told.” You may also be interested to know it is going to be a TV series on the BBC. If you can’t tell, I love this book.