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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3)

4.06  ·  Rating Details ·  208,847 Ratings  ·  6,379 Reviews
Lyra and Will, the two ordinary children whose extraordinary adventures began in The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, are in unspeakable danger. With help from Iorek Byrnison the armored bear and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must journey to a dank and gray-lit world where no living soul have ever gone. All the while, Dr. Malone builds a magnificent amber spyglass. ...more
Hardcover
Published October 2nd 2001 by Turtleback Books (first published October 10th 2000)
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Jose
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Bekah I wondered this same question. I assumed that, just like with Lyra needing to "invite" her death to her in order to see him, there was something…moreI wondered this same question. I assumed that, just like with Lyra needing to "invite" her death to her in order to see him, there was something similar with Will needing to be able to know and feel his daemon before he could actually see her. He didn't know what she felt like until she was pulled from him in the land of the dead. We can also speculate that Will's father, being an adult, had his daemon appear because it was settled, whereas Will's may not have appeared because he lacked the connection with dust? (Again, just speculation, but the difference between an adult and child may be part of the reasoning and seemed fairly rational to me).

I also considered the notion that Will, being the knife-bearer may have gave him some sort of exemption from developing daemons, deaths, or any other form of inner-outer manifestation that other worlds may have. The Guild masters that made the knife traveled to many of the other worlds and though the book never mentions them having or not having daemons after traveling around, I think the knife, being a major piece of a person's fate, could reasonably exempt them from easily developing daemons.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Paul
Jan 19, 2008 Paul rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Maciek
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

-T.S. Eliot

Warning: Contains spoilers.

The Amber Spyglass is the final volume in His Dark Materials trilogy.

I really enjoyed Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass as it is titled in the US), the first volume of the trilogy. Pullman introducted us to a fantastic world of great scope. It was suspenseful, the presented world was enchanting, and Northern Lights was pregnant with interesting ideas and concepts - that's why I chose to read al
...more
Brad
My entire review could be this: Phillip Pullman's "The Amber Spyglass" is one of the poorest closing books of a trilogy ever written.

But I feel compelled to continue. At one point, I actually stopped reading "The Amber Spyglass," put it down and vowed not to finish, but I wanted to be able to slag off the book with authority, so finishing became a must. And I even had a slight hope that Pullman could save his series

I did finish, but it never got any better.

Mulefa? Gallivespians? Iorek Byrnison
...more
mark monday
Mar 03, 2011 mark monday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i just decided to copy-and-paste a response i wrote regarding this book in one of the GR groups. that is inexcusably lazy. so sue me! also, it is full of SPOILERS.

- i think one of the most unique things about this book is the fact that one protagonist is a liar and the other is a murderer. not only is that uncommon, particularly in YA lit, it is transgressive. i like how the tools that help these two in their amazing adventures are ones that are normally displayed by villains. and without their
...more
Corie
Sep 18, 2007 Corie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone over 12
If you haven’t read the ENTIRE three books, please don’t read any further. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you because the ending is so endearing and…..lasting, that I would HATE to take it away from you.

I absolutely fell in love with Lyra. Didn’t you? She was the sister I wish I would have had growing up. She was myself as I played with all of my brothers in the mudfields, she was the daughter I’m sure every woman would yearn to have. In my opinion, Philip Pullman was brilliant in his creation
...more
Manny
- George, wake up!

- Ungh... what time is it?

- I think about four am. You were having a nightmare.

- Mmmn.

- Hey, you're shaking. Come over here. It's alright. Do you want to tell me about it?

- Ann Coulter and Satan jump into the void and pull him down with them. The evil archangel.

- I'm sorry?

- Ah, it doesn't make much sense, does it? But it did in the dream. It was even noble and tragic. I think.

- What else happened?

- Well, I know I shouldn't have stayed up reading that physics book. There was
...more
Jim O'Donnell
Oooooof.

Too much. Way too much.

Pullman's series concludes like it started. Good but nothing great. And tiring. Very. The Amber Spyglass weighs as much as the other two books put together....and then some. Pullman pulls in still MORE main characters and still MORE beings and still MORE complications and still MORE unlikely, unbelievable turns-of-event. It just got to be too much. Between the witches and the angels and the cliff-ghasts, the shadows, the specters, the ghosts, the Gallivespians, the
...more
Porter
Jun 09, 2009 Porter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
When I was in high school, the local video arcade passed out fliers that that evening, after a $2 admission, you could play all the video games for free. I and several of my friends went and enjoyed ourselves.

And then suddenly they closed the doors, turned off all the games, and a preacher got up and proceeded to try to "save" us.

True, we had already gotten our money's worth, and we we could have gotten up and left (even though all of us wanted to but none of us had the nerve). But we still felt
...more
David Schaafsma
I would not have read this book were it not for my friend Pat E. who told me several years ago that it was one of the best books she had ever read, and also said it was the first children’s book to have won England’s prestigious Whitbread Prize for Literature. So I read the whole series over the next couple years, and in this process discovered that one of my English department’s medievalists said it was one of his favorite series. Did I know, he asked, that Pullman was actually in conversation ...more
Antonio

¿Conocen esa mezcla de felicidad y tristeza, ese dulceamargo, que solo los buenos libros pueden dejar? Que aunque pase el tiempo, los sigues recordando, y quisieras que la historia continuara, aunque sabes que se desarrollo justo como debía ser, así me hace sentir "La Materia Oscura"

EL comienzo del final, la tan esperada guerra neoapocalíptica ha llegado, con sus terribles bandos, comandados por Lord Asriel y Metatron...
la historia de la vida humana ha consistido en una lucha entre la sabiduría
...more
Shannon
Apr 20, 2007 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Heartbreaking, cynical, beautiful, potentially life-changing.
Joe
Jan 17, 2008 Joe rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan-Maat
Coleridge in his criticism of Paradise Lost somewhere wrote that Milton was really of the Devil's party without realising it.

I don't know about Milton, but I feel that what Coleridge wrote was true of Philip Pullman channelling Milton by means of his appearance to William Blake in poetic vision while in Felpham, all of course transmogrified into a children's book - with armoured bears. Even the Jungian Daemons, anima and animus to every character, have their counterparts in Blake, while the sexu
...more
Pige
Sep 13, 2007 Pige rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I actually finished this book a couple weeks ago. But life outside of goodreads, my general frustrations with the book, and the sense that reading it and thinking about it was contributing to an extended bought of grumpiness kept me from putting any thought or effort towards commenting on it here.
I suppose I should get it over with now. I have to say that reading this book was at times overwhelmingly painful and my main motivation for actually finishing it was to be able to know for myself that
...more
Jamie
Apr 26, 2008 Jamie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with an open mind, lovers of great storytelling
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Chris
Jan 26, 2008 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jonathan

Plot progression? Storytelling? Never let them get in the way of a good old moral agenda.

I admired elements of the first book in this series. I think Philip Pullman is a fantastic writer in terms of his neat prose and his critical thinking, however he seriously has a bone to pick with religion which invades his story and makes it dry, dull and uninspiring to read in the end. I'm left wondering what the point of this book even was. Was there meant to be some big reveal about God and the angels? W
...more
Seth T.
Dec 05, 2007 Seth T. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one, really
(This fits within the scope of my review of the full series)

Book three was just a mess. It's almost nonsensical as it strives against reason and its own narrative to bring the story to some kind of resolution. The great betrayal prophesied? Not really a betrayal at all. Lyra being tempted? Never happens. Mary playing the role of the serpent? Nope. She just kind of stands around. Oh, and the big plan to take war to heaven and kill God? Has nothing to do with anything in the story really. Though t
...more
Duane
This book, this 3rd and final volume, is an incredible conclusion to this outstanding series. It has left me drained. It has left me heartbroken. But it has also left me in awe. I have followed Lyra Belacqua Silvertongue every step of the way on her amazing quest, and I could do it all again right now. This book is deserving of all the praise and awards it has received. It truly is a masterpiece of fantasy literature. Well done Philip Pullman, well done.
Lori Anderson
Dec 04, 2007 Lori Anderson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I am so glad I'm done reading this series. It's languished on my bookshelf for ages before I finally decided to read it.

I'm sorry I did.

First, I hated how the first book was written -- so many references to things that weren't explained -- I felt like maybe I'd missed a book or something, but no, this was the FIRST one. I hated the main character, Lyra. It just wasn't grabbing me. I slogged on.

The second book got better with the introduction of Will. I liked him. He seemed like a good person,
...more
Rebecca
Jun 17, 2008 Rebecca rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children
This book was an experiment, and while there were moments that were clever and compelling and emotionally resonant, as a whole, the experiment failed. That experiment was to take a piece of complex, religious poetry intended for adults (Paradise Lost), turn it on its head, and make it into an anti-religion/coming-of-age allegory for children. Even though Pullman ultimately failed to create a believable, subtle, or controlled narrative universe, even The Amber Spyglass did have its good moments.

P
...more
Xime García
Jan 07, 2016 Xime García rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reseñados
Reseña de "Luces del Norte" (La Materia Oscura 1)
Reseña de "La Daga" (La Materia Oscura 2)


Siento un bug en mi vida por el tema del tamaño de las ediciones...
description

Averiguamos que habíamos traído a nuestras muertes. Lo averiguamos al llegar aquí. La llevábamos siempre encima, pero no lo sabíamos. Todos tenemos una muerte, ¿comprendéis? Nos acompaña a todas partes, durante toda la vida, sin alejarse de nuestro lado.


Durante gran parte del libro pensé en dejarlo en simples cuatro estrellas, pero las últ
...more
JoLee
Feb 21, 2008 JoLee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
First of all, I would not recommend these books to kids. I don't think that most kids would be able to navigate the intricacies of Pullman's ideas and separate the story from the rhetoric. I see this as a major problem since they are written for and marketed to children.

That being said, there are a lot things about the books that I found really interesting. For example, the people of this world have a creature that is part of them, their daemon. The daemons are a physical manifestation of the pe
...more
[Name Redacted]
Aug 17, 2007 [Name Redacted] rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Garth Ennis' "Preacher", fans of Michael Moorcock's "Behold the Man", teenagers
Recommended to [Name Redacted] by: everyone
When I was 11 I wrote something very much like this, a contrarian mis-interpretation of Milton's work coupled with several action sequences. When I was 13 I threw it away because I recognized how cliched, how facile, how very, very unoriginal it really was. Imagine my surprise when, after finally reading this series which so many people had ranted and raved about, i discover it to be little more than that: a contrarian mis-interpretation of Milton written by a perpetually bitter adolescent. This ...more
Susie
Feb 19, 2008 Susie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Considering all the recent controversy surrounding Pullman's Dark Materials, I was careful to avoid reading any articles or reviews that would taint my opportunity to judge this book on face value. I found it to be an incredible story. Pullman drew from history, religion and science to form his own unique creation. I can't say that it was remarkably uplifting, or inspiring, or even that it made me question my view of life and how my religion plays into that. In fact, it probably only solidified ...more
Eric Allen
Feb 02, 2015 Eric Allen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review contains crude language, because I'm too pissed off to be eloquent at the moment. Reader beware.




What the fuck did I just read? Seriously! What in the hell was that supposed to be?

Spoilers ect ect ect.




Everything I loved about the first book is completely gone, the author seems to have forgotten that he's telling a story rather than railing against organized religion almost non-stop, the characters seem to have been lobotomized, and it was just long, horribly boring, and extremely ant
...more
Jonatron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Clare
Oct 30, 2008 Clare rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sammy
Jul 11, 2007 Sammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: b-the-good
Okay, before I say what I need to say let me just say that I really loved this series, it was inventive and original, I've never really read anything like it. The only disappointment was that it seemed anti-climactic. I was expecting a little more to the ending, going out with a bang, not the relatively quiet exit that it actually had. It didn't kill the novel for me, but it did disappoint me a bit. I'm wondering if Pullman chickened out with a big ending he originally intended or someone steppe ...more
Rory Wilding
Sep 28, 2016 Rory Wilding rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I’ve stated in my reviews on the previous two instalments of Philip Pullman’s trilogy of high fantasy meets theology, it’s been a decade since I’ve first read His Dark Materials and with the announcement of the trilogy being adapted into a BBC TV series for next year, now would be the perfect time to revisit the series. From July to September of 2016, my re-visitation has been completed by the conclusion of the third and final book The Amber Spyglass.

Following the disappearance of Lyra who is
...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
The Not a Book Cl...: TAS: Part 3: Chapter 27 - End - full spoilers 9 3 Jan 23, 2017 05:34PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: TAS: Part 2 - Chapters 14 - 26 9 4 Jan 22, 2017 03:06PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: TAS: Part 1: Chapters 1 - 13 6 5 Jan 20, 2017 04:08PM  
The Not a Book Cl...: * TAS: General Discussion (No Spoilers) 17 10 Jan 18, 2017 01:12AM  
who wants to change the ending of this book 17 190 Jan 03, 2017 02:35PM  
Am I the only one that hated this series? 99 787 Oct 11, 2016 11:14PM  
Who else cried? (SPOILER!!) 54 412 Jul 12, 2016 09:34AM  
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In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. Pullman has received many awards ...more
More about Philip Pullman...

Other Books in the Series

His Dark Materials (3 books)
  • The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1)
  • The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)

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“I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are.” 824 likes
“People are too complicated to have simple labels.” 499 likes
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