Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Title: The Golden Compass
Author :  Philip Pullman
Pages:  399
Series: His Dark Materials

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 compass of the title. 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.

My thoughts on this book:

Lyra was a juvenile who's part in the Jordan College was an enigma to me. At first, I was intrigued by the regard of the Master of Jordan College with her and treated her with utmost care even though she was a savaged brat versus an uncle who took her for granted. I hated her for her attitude, hey, I was raised with a family who respect elders and follow orders, but loved her courage. I don't adore her. But I adore the story, how it was written and the continuous excitement I felt while reading the book.

It was political, even attacking the Catholic church, but hey, it was just all fictional. If you don't know reality from fiction, you better not read.

I love the part when Lyra was captured by the bears and tricked the king to challenge Iorek. That was amazing! It was carefully thought, as bears cannot be tricked (unless if they act as human, which the King did!). I equally loved the part where Lyra was asked to prove that she was a daemon, and all the parts where she consulted the golden compass.

Then I watched the movie afterwards. It was very concise. It made some direct insinuations to point the Magisterium as the culprit, which the book did not. So you really have to dig a little deeper. The book was better. But the movie has convinced me that I really disliked Lyra.

Overall, I gave this book 5 star out of 5 because it kept me interested up to the end and made me think as to what would happen in the sequel.

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