THE GOLDEN COMPASS (His Dark Materials, Book 1) by Philip Pullman [Review]

The Golden Compass Book

The Golden Compass is the first book in an outstanding trilogy by Philip Pullman. For those of you that saw the movie don’t be fooled into thinking this is a children’s book. The books are actually much darker than the movie. The story takes place in a world much like our own but with just a few differences. For starters, each person’s soul is a living animal called a ‘daemon’ that never strays further than a few meters from their body. A person’s daemon can tell you a lot about their personality. For example, if your daemon is a snake, you’re probably not the type of person I’d want to do trust falls with.

The focus of the story is a young girl named Lyra Belacqua. Lyra doesn’t know her parents and has spent her whole life being raised on the college campus of Jordan college. Her uncle, Lord Asriel, checks in on her from time to time, but is mostly busy with his own research. Her world quickly changes when a series of events lead up to Lyra leaving home and going on an adventure to rescue her friend. She makes new friends along the way and gets help from some unexpected sources. Lyra realizes that the key to unlocking her past and her present all have to do with a secretive thing called “dust,” which seems to play a part in everything and everyone.

Something about Lyra reminds me of Scout from “To Kill a Mockingbird” and I think that’s part of what endeared me to the character from the start. She’s smart, spunky, and will do just about anything for her friends. I also really enjoyed how dark the story could get at times as well as its skepticism towards god and religion. This is a book that will surprise you, even if you’ve already seen the movie.

Buy The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman on Amazon by clicking here.

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