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Northern Lights (His Dark Materials, #1)
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Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1)

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,076,641 Ratings  ·  16,785 Reviews
When Lyra's friend Roger disappears, she and her dæmon, Pantalaimon, determine to find him.

The ensuing quest leads them to the bleak splendour of the North, where armoured bears rule the ice and witch-queens fly through the frozen skies - and where a team of scientists is conducting experiments too horrible to be spoken about.

Lyra overcomes these strange terrors, only to
...more
Paperback, 399 pages
Published October 23rd 1998 by Scholastic Point (first published 1995)
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Paroma Fun fact: This book was actually written as the antithesis to the Chronicles of Narnia, which are very Christian. These books are quite antireligious,…moreFun fact: This book was actually written as the antithesis to the Chronicles of Narnia, which are very Christian. These books are quite antireligious, but you could still enjoy them regardless of your faith. The Golden Compass does not deal as much with religion, but the second and third books really delve into the topic.(less)

Community Reviews

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Jayson
(B+) 78% | Good
Notes: A solid story and well written, but very much a children’s tale with one child going on a quest to save other children.
Bookdragon Sean
This novel is an absolute work of pure genius, and is in my top ten reads of all time. Before I go into the depths of character and plot, let me start by saying this book is up there with other fantasy hard hitters: by this I mean books like The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia: the books that define the genre. This is high praise indeed, and this novel is worthy of it.

The protagonist of the book is Lyra, a young girl, who is parentless and seemingly friendless. She has grown up i
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Hailey (HaileyinBookland)
2.5*
I never read this as a kid and maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I had, but it was just okay for me!
Sean Gibson
Oct 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Sean by: Kristin
I don’t love the Beatles.

*Ducks as he is castigated by the seething masses*

I also don’t love green vegetables, punches to the face, or going to the dentist, though I don’t think those revelatory disclosures will elicit much in the way of rage-fueled attempts to slit my throat with the jagged edge of a broken CD (compact disc, kiddos—look it up).

So, why risk a severed jugular on the day before I’m going to stuff myself so full of turkey that I’ll have a snood coming out of my ear? Well, because
...more
Bright
Dec 13, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: digested
the golden compass trilogy seems like a natural progression in christian literature. yes, it is christian literature, the same way the chronicles of narnia are. aslan is only a lion when the reader is about 10 or so in the united states. after a point, he unrepentantly becomes jesus. and the four children are like, the gospels or something. and the story is somewhat ruined then, because as an adult, you can't just shoehorn jesus into a lion outfit without snickering a little.

pullman however, has
...more
Cait • A Page with a View
I hadn't read this since elementary school and am so glad I took the time to come back to it! I don't know that it would be a full 5 stars if I just picked it up today, but we're going with 5 out of nostalgia.

Lyra was one of my favorite characters as a kid and is still just as fierce & wonderful as I remember. Actually, I'm surprised by how well I remember the whole story. Maybe it's because the characters and world are so strong, or maybe it's because the movie follows the book SO well. Se
...more
James
I enjoyed the premise and theme of the book. Pullman created well thought out and memorable characters. It was a little too technical for me in regard to the depths of fantasy, i.e. I had to go back and look up the meaning of some of the made up words in the book to stay focused on what was actually happening. But great imagery. I'm not sure if I will read book 2 or 3 of the series yet... thoughts?
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
9/8/17:

1. I cleared my rating. If that doesn't sufficiently refute the claim that I "just wanted" to give THE GOLDEN COMPASS 1.0 star, then you're irrational, and further discussion is pointless.

2. I am a BOOK REVIEW BLOGGER. That's what I do. If you want to make cracks about being a trophy wife, go right ahead, but to insinuate that I would "skim" a book to have the minimum knowledge required to give the appearance of having read it so that I can give it a bad review b/c reasons, is an attack
...more
Catriona (LittleBookOwl)
Rating: 3.5 stars

Listened to this on audio, which was a lot of fun!
notgettingenough
May 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
Later....A friend said to me today that if you read this book properly, it should make you a better person. I'd just earlier in the day been thinking pretty much the same thing. When I asked S. in what way was he made better, he said he couldn't say, just that it had. Exactly. I think you have a sense as you read this book that Lyra's goodness has rubbed off on you, she's made you better in an entirely non-specific way.

M. then said that she didn't think a book, to be special, necessarily had to
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Antonio


De alguna forma este libro empezó como una producción de Disney, en la segunda parte parecía más como de Nick o TNT y ya en la tercera parte ¡Wow! Esto se transformo en HBO.

No sé si este libro debe calificarse como infantil, si bien es cierto que la protagonista Lyra nos va dando una perspectiva bastante inocente de su mundo, los temas que se tratan en el libro no lo son tanto, el centro de la historia es, al parecer, el misterio que existe del porque están robándose a los niños de todas partes
...more
Wendy Darling
Hello friends! We're reading THE GOLDEN COMPASS together throughout the next few weeks as part of our goal to read more classic YA/MG books this year.

Please join us if you can!

-- Discussion on blog: February 28th
-- Hashtag #tmgreadalong if you'd like to discuss as you read on Twitter.

More details on the blog: http://www.themidnightgarden.net/2014...



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

My review:

Wildly imaginative and thrilling, this complex and be
...more
Darth J
Apr 01, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series

I never added a review of this but I'm going to now. I'll admit that this one was a bit slow for me at parts (especially compared to the sequels) but what kept me reading was the fascination with the daemons. I liken them to the patronuses (patronii?) from the Harry Potter series in that they are the animal totem of a character, and can change until someone is "set in their ways". How many other people have held conversations about what their daemon or patronus animal is, and then changed it fre
...more
j
I really liked this book! I think it is easily among the best of the crop of Potter-era YA lit (even though it actually came out first!).

The movie was just ok. I thought the lead kid did a good job playing Lyra, and Nicole Kidman made a very menacing Ann Coulter. But my very favorites were Daniel Craig as the zealot Lord Asriel and Eva Green as badass witch Serafina Pekkala.



Serafina Pekkala is one of my favorite witches in literature: she's grounded in her connection to the earth, she's beautif
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David Schaafsma
Aug 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, children
This is a second reading of Pullman's classic, accomplished on vacation in a car, with the family, by listening to the 9 cd audio collection, with Phillip Pullman Himself reading the narration and beautifully, and a cast of fine actors taking various parts. The first of a trilogy entitled His Dark Materials, which is a great fantasy story supposedly appropriate for grade 6 (American schools) but is really all ages, and like Wrinkle in Time, has dimensions in it which you will discover at any age ...more
Emma
Apr 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, childrns, re-read
When a film was made of this book, they did the book a real disservice. This book is amazing. Lyra is the feisty protagonist, an inveterate liar, clever, passionate and loyal. She achieves the impossible, rescues an armoured bear, befriends the witches, and rescues children from a fate worse than death- literally. Pullman does a great job realising this alternate world where everyone has a daemon- like the other half of your soul - and these creatures stay with you through your life. As adults t ...more
mark monday
Oct 15, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantastical, kidworld
fantastic. pullman introduces readers to his sophisticated world view slowly, and this first novel in the trilogy has an ideal narrative focal point in the mean little liar who is the protagonist. i have never seen lying in children portrayed so explicitly as a positive thing, and after this novel, i'm all for it! the settings are wonderfully strange and surreal yet rooted in an eventually understandable reality, and the supporting characters are oblique and enigmatic without being tiresome. the ...more
Julia
Sep 14, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middlegrade, 2007, aal, knopf
I really like that the Iorek Byronison, the bear, is always referred to by full name. When I'm Bear King, I definitely want to be on a full-name-all-the-time basis. Then I will battle challengers to mortal combat, tearing through armor, swiping off heads with my massive paws, slicing open chests and devouring hearts. And as I gorge myself on bear blood, I will cry out "Bears! Who is your King?" And my name will roar from a thousand bear throats.
it's going to be awesome.
(My name has got that sam
...more
Oceana2602
Jul 14, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
This book was recommended to me somewhere in fandom as a children's book that is also interesting to adults. I admit that I wasn't particularly impressed with it, and I can't see it as something that I would give my kids to read. My main complaint is the "means to an end" style the author uses. A bit like in a computer game, our main character Lyra runs from one wise man to another in her quest to find some missing children. This is practical, because except for one scene in the beginning, she d ...more
Brad
Mar 25, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brad by: China Mieville
Shelves: fantasy
After all the talk about Pullman's supposed anti-Catholicism or anti-Christianity or atheism or whatever one wants to label it, I approached The Golden Compass (known originally as Northern Lights) with an open mind and found something other than what I'd been told to expect.

I found elements that questioned Christianity and Catholicism and the nature of God and its works, but I also found elements that questioned parental authority, the ethical and practical roles of Science, and the nature of
...more
Brigid ✩ Cool Ninja Sharpshooter ✩
It had been like 12 years since I read this book and I'd been meaning to re-read it for ages––so I finally got around to it, and I fell in love with it all over again. I was kind of surprised by how well I remembered the story/characters despite having not read it since I was 11 years old––apparently it's just that memorable!

There's so much I love about The Golden Compass. The world-building is so vivid and fascinating; I feel so drawn into the settings, I love the dæmons, I love the armored bea
...more
Peter
The Golden Compass, by Philip Pullman, picks up where the Harry Potter series leaves off. As in Rowling's series, the hero of The Golden Compass--Lyra, a pre-teen girl in Oxford, England--is plucked from her mundane existence to become supremely important to the fate of the living world.

However, unlike the Potter series, The Golden Compass, immerses us immediately in political, religious, and cultural conflict as well. While the central character is indeed a child, which lands this title in the
...more
Rebecca
Dec 19, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy fans
This book started off strong, but by the end of the story, I felt that Pullman had sacrificed logic and direction for drama and suspense. He did a good job of gradually making Lyra less of an ignorant brat and more of a noble little savage girl. Overall, I liked this book well enough to want to read the second one in the trilogy, but I had several problems with it:

-There was no comic relief or even any funny moments in this book. It took itself extremely seriously and was rarely light-hearted or
...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1), Philip Pullman
تاریخ نخستین خوانش: دوم آگوست سال 2008 میلادی
عنوان: نیروی اهریمنی اش - کتاب اول - سپیده ی شمالی در دو جلد؛ نویسنده: فلیپ پولمن؛ مترجم: فرزاد فرید؛ تهران، کتاب پنجره، 1384 تا 1385، در پنج جلد؛ شابک دوره پنج جلدی: 9647822146؛ چاپ سوم 1387؛ شابک دوره: 9789647822145؛ چاپ چهارم 1388؛ موضوع: داستانهای کودکان و نوجوانان از نویسندگان انگلیسی - قرن 20 م
کتاب اول شامل دو جلد بخش اول و دوم: سپیدهی شمالی؛ جلد سوم کتاب دوم: خنجر ظریف؛ و جلد چهارم و پن
...more
Steven Walle
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a really fun read. It was replete with witches, iron bears and all sorts of mythical creatures. The plot was fun and moved a long at a good pace. It was a real page turner. I would recommend this book to all who love Young Adult/Fantacy.
Enjoy and Be Blessed.
Diamond
Amy | shoutame
Oct 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of my favourite childhood books, no idea how many times I've read and reread.
April (Aprilius Maximus)
Read until 51% and then skim read the rest. This was SOOOO disappointing. I was looking forward to it so much because the premise sounded incredible and I was excited to hear Pullman's atheism woven into his work, but everything about this book was bland. It was so slow moving and the characters were all so unlikable, I was honestly shocked that I was reading the same book that everyone else loved? Maybe it's because it lacked the nostalgia that a lot of people have with the series because I nev ...more
Ameriie
Loved this. Can't believe I waited so long to finally read it.
Ivan
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Somewhere between 3 and 4 stars but I'm leaning more towards 4.

This was fun read. Great and imaginative worldbuilding, fast pace and bit of innocent vibe from children books.

Sadly few illogical moments, Mery Sue syndrome and cliffhanger stops it from getting higher rating and warmer place in my heart.
Darren
Nov 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Though billed as a children's book, I dug it, and I'm a 38 year old dude; good for fans of fantasy
The story in brief: The book is a fantasy novel set in a strangely familiar pseudo-Victorian/steampunk parallel Earth. The protagonist is a young ophaned girl who's been raised at Oxford by the attending scholars. The story concerns kidnapped children, hidden mysteries of the Church, wandering gypsies, proud Arctic warrior bears, long-lived flying witches, and the possibility of a rift that could exist between different worlds.

Daemons: Each human being in this world has a constant animal compani
...more
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14,274 followers
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 Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, #2)
  • The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)

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“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.” 1091 likes
“That's the duty of the old,' said the Librarian, 'to be anxious on the behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old.'

They sat for a while longer, and then parted, for it was late, and they were old and anxious.”
335 likes
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