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Title: The Golden Compass - His Dark Materials Book One
originally published as His Dark Materials 1: Northern Lights

Author: Philip Pullman

LOC Call No.: PZ7.P968 G0

LOC Subjects:
Missing persons -- Experiments -- Fiction.
Kidnapping -- Fiction.
Arctic regions -- Fiction.

Additional Subjects:
Series -- Fantasy -- "His Dark Materials"

Source: borrowed from Bingham Powell

Rating: a straight-through read once past a sticky start

Readings: 10/1/96

What a surprise! My friend Bingham lent this to me, insisting that I read it. The cover art makes it look like a children's book (in fact, it was originally published in Great Britain as a children's book), but it turned out to be one of the most creative pieces of fantasy I have read in years. Like several of my favorite works of fantasy (e.g. the Prentice Alvin series by Orson Scott Card, the Deryni series by Katharine Kurtz, The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis), the plot uses the premise of an alternate reality that is just similar enough to our own reality or timeline to make you wonder, "What if?" I also enjoy it when a writer is not afraid to mix fantasy and religion (e.g. the Deryni series by Katharine Kurtz). Pullman only touches on the Church in this book, but hints that future volumes of the trilogy will delve more deeply into the subject. The first few chapters can be a little confusing if you aren't paying attention, but the main character is just as confused as the reader in some respects. Keep at it and you will be rewarded with a rich, creative story that will leave you impatiently waiting for the second book in the series.

Page created 10/5/96.
Last updated 03/17/03 at 14:33.

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