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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3)

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  192,308 Ratings  ·  5,852 Reviews
In the astonishing finale to the His Dark Materials trilogy, Lyra and Will 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 has ever gone. All the while, Dr. Mary Malone builds a magnificent Amber Spyglass. An assassin hunts her down, and Lord Asrie ...more
Hardcover, First Edition, 544 pages
Published October 10th 2000 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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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

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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.
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
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
Sep 19, 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
mark monday
Mar 04, 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
- 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
Jim O'Donnell

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
Jun 17, 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
Nov 11, 2014 Shannon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Heartbreaking, cynical, beautiful, potentially life-changing.
Jul 15, 2009 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.

Como decía esa canción… bittersweet memories that is all i'm taking with me… si eso explica bien lo que siento

La tan esperada guerra neoapocalíptica ha llegado, con sus terribles bandos, comandados por Lord Asriel y Metatron, y si antes me costaba definirlos ahora la lucidez a llegado a mí de forma sutil…

la historia de la vida humana ha consistido en una lucha entre la sabiduría y la estupidez.

Y mientras la guerra se desarrolla, todos están buscando a Lyra y a Will quienes son los agentes de
Oct 19, 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
May 20, 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.
Feb 02, 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.

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
Seth T.
Dec 14, 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
Lori Anderson
Dec 20, 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,
Xime García
Jan 26, 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...

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
Dec 03, 2013 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
May 01, 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
[Name Redacted]
Apr 11, 2013 [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
Jul 10, 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.

Eric Allen
Feb 11, 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
Jan 19, 2011 Jonatron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Jul 17, 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
My God, this book is confusing. I have read it several times, and I couldn't explain the plot to anyone. I just don't get it. There's too much going on.

The relationship between Will and Lyra, I think, becomes less interesting as they become closer, so, obviously, by the time they're professing their love for each other, I just don't care any more. I don't care that they're split up forever - by the end of the book, Lyra has lost everything that made her interesting.
And, well... they're twelve.
Very disappointing. It seemed that the author was trying to make an anti-religious "point" and just hammered it to a tiresome conclusion. The 'redemption" of Mrs. Coulter and Lord Asriel in the plot-line was amateurish and predictably lame. Frankly, there is little more to say. There were far too many new characters and new worlds to follow with any sense of story. The titles of the trilogy are interesting but how Mary ultimately designs the spyglass and uses it seems to be an afterthought on th ...more
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
Why am I doing this to myself? WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY?!?!?


Why? Why would I finish listening to this audiobook in the car, stuck in traffic, and without tissue? On my way TO work, meaning my face is ruined for the rest of the day?

I wish I could say that I solemnly wiped a tear away and that was taht, but alas, no, I'm sure to the people passing by in their own cars, I looked more like this, shaking and sobbing and wondering why life has to go on, mascara smeared to holy hell:

Worth it
Irritated and inelegant. Sorry!

What a dreadful pile of drivel. UNFINISHED. I didn't even care how the darn thing concludes. AND I feel like I must have been completely wrong to treat the other volumes with such enthusiasm.

Longwinded tripe excruciatingly badly written. After having just finished a Chabon - there is a man who cares about every word he puts to paper - I felt so insulted to read something by somebody who clearly didn't give a brass fuck.

What I don't understand is how this happens? D
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Who else cried? (SPOILER!!) 50 362 Dec 15, 2015 11:48AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman 6 22 Nov 01, 2015 01:04AM  
(Spoilers!) How many plot holes does this book have? 3 135 Sep 24, 2015 10:09AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Please add page count "Le miroir d'ambre" 3 11 Sep 10, 2015 07:41AM  
who wants to change the ending of this book 15 174 Feb 07, 2015 09:28AM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: # 7 - The Amber Spyglass 1 3 Jan 29, 2015 08:51AM  
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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.” 773 likes
“People are too complicated to have simple labels.” 454 likes
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