The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)
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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials #3)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  148,377 ratings  ·  4,923 reviews
For all those who are dying to learn the fate of Will and Lyra, hoping for the return of Iorek Byrnison, longing to know the truth about Dust, and waiting to face the ultimate clash of opposing powers, this book has the answers.
Paperback, 522 pages
Published 2007 by Scholastic UK (first published January 1st 1999)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Paul
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
Corie
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
mark monday
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
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
Shannon
Apr 20, 2007 Shannon rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Heartbreaking, cynical, beautiful, potentially life-changing.
Porter
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
Joe
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pige
Oct 19, 2007 Pige rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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
Chris
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jamie
May 20, 2008 Jamie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Seth Hahne
Dec 14, 2007 Seth Hahne rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
Lori Anderson
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
Susie
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
JoLee
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 By Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review]
Apr 11, 2013 [Name Redacted By Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review] rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  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 Goodreads Because Irrelevant to Review] 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
Jonatron
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sammy
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
Clare
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephen
5.0 to 5.5 stars. Superb and extremely satisfying end to a very original, well written science-fantasy series. This is on my list of top ten YA series of all time (probably top 5). I was greatly impressed by the evolving complexity and scope of the plot from the first book (which was well-written with some original concepts but not necessarily ground-breaking) into a highly original, highly epic, one-of-a-kind reading experience that left me saying WOW at the end. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION...more
Somesuchlike
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....more
Blair
I got quite far into this (more than halfway through) but still didn't feel particularly bothered about it - a disappointment after I enjoyed The Subtle Knife so much. My interest in the story just completely petered out, for some reason.
Samyogita
Crude and disappointing, to say the least. So much so that if Pullman had named *this* part The Subtle Knife, the editors would have asked him to change it to The Knife. I won't spoil it for you but be warned that for a work that began almost as some sort of wonderfully irreverant atheist propoganda, it all ends on a shockingly religious/ christian note.

And even that wouldn't have mattered if it had been well written. But on that front The Amber Spyglass is probably the weakest of the trilogy....more
Rebecca
Jul 10, 2008 Rebecca rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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
Qt
5 stars for the writing quality.
Figgy

This was a huggable book for me.
You know the ones... You REALLY don't want to go to bed, but you have to. You're not ready to leave the story, so you hug it to your chest while you sleep, not unlike a cuddly toy. And maybe, just maybe, you might absorb some of the story through the pages.

No? Just me?


The first twenty percent of the book took me a lot longer to read than usual, but I blame that on a few real life things, rather than on the book. Though the opening was a little bit less compelling...more
Gaby
I have to admit that I’m sometimes judgmental of people who don’t read. I’m not proud of this display of snobbism. It just happens that most of the people I like best love books, so throughout the years I’ve become slightly predisposed against non-readers. But after reading “The Amber Spyglass”, I finally get it. I finally understand how someone can take a book and think: “Ugh this has so many pages” and “Is there a movie on this?” I finally know how it feels, to force yourself to get through a...more
notgettingenough
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...more
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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...
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2) His Dark Materials (His Dark Materials #1-3) Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm: A New English Version The Ruby in the Smoke (Sally Lockhart, #1)

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