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The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
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Meh. His narrow characterization of Catholicism/Anglicanism (which is apparently the only kind of Christianity he's actually familiar with, and just wait for the third book's caricature of Muslims!) and what is presumably a Wicca-analogue muddy what is otherwise an interesting adventure story with a female protagonist. The characters were pretty broadly drawn and (aside from the polar bears) not terribly memorable, the message pretty obvious and heavy-handed, but the world itself was kind of neat.
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