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The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

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** spoiler alert **

While I read The Golden Compass, I was absolutely sure that this was going to be one of my favorite books. I love Philip Pullman’s invention of daemons and the way they are the representation of their partner’s soul. This parallel world with daemons, gyptians, witches, and armored bears is fascinating, and I was genuinely gripped by the plot. Pullman narrates it wonderfully, too. I especially love the part when Lyra is telling phony adventure stories about Asriel to the gyptian children, and we the readers get a snippet of her story and Pullman puts an end to it with a witty “And so on.” Also, the character of Lyra—I like this bold lying midget! For a twelve-year-old, she is so strong and can take so much, and she also happens to have discovered the art of lying. :) So I was loving this; I was frantically turning the pages as I got closer to the end and I was just so anxious to find out what was going to happen. And then comes the ending and I was disspointed.

First of all, Roger’s death. It could have affected the readers much more if he wasn’t one of the dullest characters in the book. If the friendship between Lyra and Roger had developed more and if Roger had more dialogue, then can we actually mourn for his death since we have been acquainted with him for a longer period of time.

The conversation between Asriel and Mrs. Coulter: that was plain weird. Uhh, so when did they start liking each other again? Am I missing something? Before this, Mrs. Coulter put Asriel in prison, but now there seems to be a sudden change in their relationship? And I have to agree with Lyra—when they are embracing each other, it “seemed more like cruelty than love.” Or maybe all along they have been working together secretly. Hmm. Anyway, I hate these two with a passion. What kind of parents are they? Asriel betrays Lyra and kills her best friend for his friggin experiment, and both of them don’t care about Lyra’s safety even though they know she crossed the bridge to some other world.

I definitely wouldn’t recommend this to children either. There is not a lot of religious content, but the violence and as well disturbing physiological aspect is heavy stuff for children.

I’m not sure if I will continue with the trilogy as I heard that the religious aspect is going to really increase. I have read a few interviews of Philip Pullman and I personally think he is full of hot air. The fact that he is wrote a trilogy about killing God, that too for children, and hid this purpose by tricking readers into thinking this is purely fantasy is outrageous.

My rating of 4 stars is for this book alone, which is a wonderful fantasy story if one ignores the religious outburst in the last 5 pages. Overall, I liked the craft of the book and I enjoyed it.



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