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Lyra is rushing to the cold far North where witch clans and ard bears rule North where the Gobblers take the children they steal including her friend Roger North where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel worldCan one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra a savage a schemer a liar and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want but what Lyra doesn't know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other


10 thoughts on “Northern Lights

  1. says:

    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 in an Oxford College and has developed a detachment to her guardians She spends her days enjoying her youth and harassing those that turn out to be some of her greatest allies For her this book is a journey of self discovery a way of exploring the limits of her character and potential Her adventure sees her befriend an armoured polar bear and become the wielder of the golden compass This is initially described as a lie detector but it is apparent that the depths of its power have not been fully explored It lay heavily in her handsthe crystal face gleaming the brass body exuisitely machined It was very much like a clock or a compass for there were hands pointing around the dial but instead of the hours or the points of a compass there were several little pictures with extraordinary precision as if on ivory with the slenderest sable brush She turned the dial around to look at them all There was an anchor; an hourglass surmounted by a skull; a bull a beehiveThirty six altogether and she couldn’t even guess what they meantThis book retains all the classic elements of fantasy magic mythical creatures and supernatural phenomena The world Pullman has created is physically intertwined with our own; there are references to cities and countries in which his idea has been planted Each human has a daemon that is essentially their soul These take on the form of an animal that is representative of the person for example someone who is enthusiastic and friendly has a colourful cat whereas as solider has a wolf or a hound The author does very little to explain this It is just thing “thing” that we are told about at the start but through the book but we begin to see the significance of it The fact that children’s daemons change is a subtle hint how children can be influenced and have not found their identity where as adults are secure and confident In this the author has created an air of mystery as we explore the true meaning of the bond as we read further The plot is fantastic The author manages to surprise the reader on several occasions as he drops several massive plot turns This sees the story go into unexpected directions From the beginning of reading a book you begin to predict what will happen Some books are completely predictable and obvious in their direction; this one was not I physically gasped at some moments as I found myself awed by the author’s storytelling; this is when several characters origins in relation to Lyra are defined The book begins as a simple rescue mission but ends as a story that is uestioning the morals of all characters involved The fate of the characters is destined in the mysteriousness of the northern lights; the gateway to beyond This is one of those books that is applicable to all ages; it originally appears to be a children’s book but it can be enjoyed by anyone Much of the content in here touches on themes that most children would not comprehend fully never mind be able to philosophise about The author considers spirituality religion morals and the existence of the soul amongst other things Most children would not pick up on these references and understand the significance of them; however they would still adore the bookThe book can be seen as two separate entities existing at the same time; the first and most obvious is the one that appeals to children; the saving of innocents from despotic adults with lots of exciting characters The second is on a deeper scale; the author explores the conflicting powers of science and religion manipulation and morality in terms of actions being for a greater good In this the author is a genius he has wrote a book that can be both a children’s bed time read and an adult’s point of ponderingYou can connect with me on social media via My Linktree


  2. says:

    B 78% | Good Notes A solid story and well written but very much a children's tale with one child going on a uest to save other children


  3. says:

    I don’t love the BeatlesDucks as he is castigated by the seething massesI 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 it’s the best way I can think of to articulate my feelings about The Golden CompassI don’t LOVE the Beatles but I recognize their skill and talent and appreciate them for the impact they had on popular music There are Beatles songs that I enjoy I think I might have a Beatles album on my iPod though I’ve never actually played it on my iPod But I’m never going to suddenly say to myself “Geez I really need to hear a Beatles song RIGHT NOW” and rush off to listen to one Side note I do occasionally get an urge to listen to Yesterday but just the Boyz II Men versionso perhaps I’m not the most ualified judge of musical uality on the planetIs Philip Pullman a Beatles level authorial entity? Well no But he is a skilled writer with a gift for storytelling and world building He’s a talented technician and stylist But I don’t love The Golden Compass I appreciate that it’s a well written and well conceived story but as agents revel in saying to me when I pitch them “I just didn’t connect with the material” I can see why people ahem Kristin love this series and I certainly would not dissuade anyone who’s interested in reading it from giving it a go It’s well doneSomeone asked me as I was finishing this if I was going to check out the second book in the series but I think I’ll Let It Be


  4. says:

    25I never read this as a kid and maybe I would have enjoyed it if I had but it was just okay for me


  5. says:

    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 littlepullman however has solved this problem i can't continue without utterly spoiling the story for everyone who hasn't read it so consider yourselves warnedhe made jesus into a little girl even better he made jesus into a little girl who doesn't even know she's jesus now how's that for a new twist on the new testament? the part that's particularly brilliant about it is that it actually worked lyra is never really anything like christ she just follows the path of his narrative first she has the absent father lord asrael is desperately involved in his own ideas so though he's not actually in heaven he may as well be wait a sec isn't this just dogma again? sort of except dogma is really relevant to catholicism in particular rather than scriptures and instead of linda fiorentino who is kind of a mopey christ we get a 10 year old girl 10 year old girls are the best focal point for any story i've been one for yearsand this is a perfect choice because she really never takes time to mope she doesn't miss her faith or wrestle with it she doesn't believe at all and therein lies the genius of pullman's work that has all the christians in a snit; she's also the antichristwhy would he do that?because the bible does if you really take a look at the word antichrist it does not mean evil khristos from which christ is derived means anointed so what does antichrist really mean? unanointed or that which is against the anointed there's a bunch of baggage on top of that meaning which is how we got those omen movies but at the heart of it it just means smeared with fat actually it means recognized by the divine but in ancient times we did that by smearing the recognized thing with the fat of a sacrificed animal or person and that is why we celebrate the crucifixion it was the point of christ's birth as if it wasn't obvious enough it's why he's referred to as the lambwow so this is heavy pullman has gone all the way back to the origins of the judeo christian faith and said this important guy was just the carrier of this magical stuff that we're obsessed with that we don't even use any it's like we're infected or poisoned by this idea we need an antidote we need an antichrist to show us how far we've wandered from the truth which had nothing to do with trooping along after some guyand this explains why christians are so antagonized by the books they've been following the beast for years without recognizing it the golden compass referred to in the book is the bible we've all forgotten how to read and in its stead we've rallied around the church which claims to help us understand the symbols but in reality it is the beast referred to the one which rose from rome with many heads that change over time so what really is the golden compass about? it's about how to be human again how to regain an understanding of the world that doesn't rely on our fragile expectations for good and evil all it reuires is that you give up everything in order to discover what is important again and i don't know how christians could have missed that primary message


  6. says:

    i first read this when i was like 10 or 11 and i remember really liking it i recently came across an online thread about this bookseries and the messages the author was intending to convey and i was taken aback i honestly really didnt remember anything except for talking bears that wear armour lol after the reread i am suprised that i read this as a child this is definitely a ‘childrens book’ that is not meant for children in my opinion the deeper meanings are pretty subtle but regardless i have no idea how i was able to read and enjoy this because i highly doubt i really understood what was going on half the time so it was an interesting experience to read this with an adult perspective i still enjoyed it but it was a completely different reading experience than when i was a kid understandably ↠ 4 stars


  7. says:

    “You cannot change what you are only what you do” “So Lyra and her daemon turned away from the world they were born in and looked toward the sun and walked into the sky”


  8. says:

    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 ie 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?


  9. says:

    98171 I cleared my rating If that doesn't sufficiently refute the claim that I just wanted to give THE GOLDEN COMPASS 10 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 reuired to give the appearance of having read it so that I can give it a bad review bc reasons is an attack on my character and work ethic I'm not some conservative religious zealot who think books with magic are sending our children straight to hell I don't have children I'm not a Christian I do however have four nephews all under eight years old that I have already given HARRY POTTER and many many other similar books THE GOLDEN COMPASS not among them3 In regards to my perceived lack of faith in a child's intelligence I'm baffled that you think that's the only issue Children aren't stupid They have good instincts Shame on youAre you going to tell me that children also have excellent impulse control? That they're always rational? That they aren't capable of making bad decisions when overwrought? And am I also to assume that you all strictly adhered to the suggested age reuirements on books? None of you were specifically informed that you read several grade levels ahead of your peers? This isn't the simple issue some of you are trying to make it You MUST know I'm a advocate for free thought for going against the grain for individuality vs hive mentality I believe it's important to teach children to uestion to think for themselvesBUTI feel this book crosses a line for its intended audience The two adults Lyra should be most dependent on are villains and whether or not there are good role models among the secondary cast of characters they are SECONDARY ultimately insignificant roles as evidenced when dollface takes off on her own bc her parents cannot be trusted and she knows better than they do The fact that it's true in her scenario is exactly what concerns meYou can draw a straight line through all the steps on the path to a child's inevitable conclusion that Adults are the Enemy and to do good to do right you cannot trust or obey themI think that's a very dangerous potentially harmful thing to teach a child You don't have to agree with me In fact the whole reason I'm writing this years after I read the book is bc I didn't want to be that person who essentially outlines their own possibly contradictory review on someone else's post Bc those people suck FYI read between the linesI don't recommend this book for readers not in their teens Yes some children mature faster than others and especially if the child in uestion is your own you're the best judge of what is appropriate I would never tell anyone what to do with their children I am merely voicing a concern and suggesting that one might consider personally screening THE GOLDEN COMPASS before passing along to young impressionable minds This is my opinion If you are violently opposed to it I invite you to WRITE AND POST YOUR OWN REVIEW


  10. says:

    Before uantum mechanics and Schrödinger’s cat’s paradox alternate universes were inherently accessible post mortem either Heaven or Hell that whole “other side” business had a strong moral and religious bias obviously However contemporary science fiction has introduced new possibilities of experimenting with alternate realities eg travelling through time Wells’ Time Machine or through space Stapledon’s Star Maker More interestingly it introduced the possibility of parallel worlds utopias Huxley’s Brave New World is a utopia cum grano salis dystopias Orwell’s 1984 Atwood’s Handmaid's Tale uchronias Philip K Dick’s Man in the High Castle fantasy worlds or if you will alternate Middle Ages Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Martin’s Game of ThronesPhilip Pullman’s Northern Lights is an ambitious combination of all of the above The protagonist young Lyra Belacua lives in an alternate England Her world is in general terms similar to ours but everything is a little bit offbeat It’s a world where a puritanical Church rules over everything where Scandinavian culture is pervasive where people travel mostly by boat and zeppelin steampunk style where each person has an accompanying dæmon — a sort of sentient cuddly pet shamanistic animal spirit or Freudian Id perhaps — where one can meet witches and armoured bears and own strange objects that look like a pocket watch but tell the truth instead of the time At all events Pullman has built one the richest weirdest most fascinating and consistent fictional worlds in contemporary literature He also has succeeded in creating a magnificent gallery of supporting characters Lord Asriel John Faa Iorek Byrnison Serafina Pekkala — all are endearing and colourful Pullman’s prose is exuisite and the scope of his story is staggering For all that — possibly because this was meant to be a children’s book — the plot is surprisingly lively and easy to follow — some of the scenes are memorable indeed as the attempted poisoning at the start ch 1 or Lyra’s slyness with the bear king ch 19I find surprising that Pullman’s book was not received with at least as much acclaim as say J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series The way I see it the fact that Northern Lights contains some anticlerical ideas and gave the god botherers a ueasy stomach is beside the point It is possible however that Pullman’s novel introduces too many ideas at the same time without developing them fully and does not uite provide a clear sense of closure and of what it is all about by the end of this long first part It left me with a downbeat sensation asking myself while closing the book “eventually why should I care about all that picaresue and slightly fantastical adventure?” It is also possible that the film adaptation with Nicole Kidman Ian McKellen Derek Jacobi and Christopher Lee which was uite good as far as I can remember suffered the same shortcomings flopped and dealt a fatal blow to New Line Cinema I am sure nonetheless that the next part The Subtle Knife might pull me back in Edit Just rewatched the 2007 film adaptation and sadly I am not impressed this time around It made me think of the old David Lynch adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune obviously a big budget movie that tries hard to stick to the book; but compressing Pullman’s novel in less than two hours only manages to highlight the plot’s flaws and rewriting the ending is indeed a silly move Overall botched and muddled Edit 2 I recently watched the seven available episodes of the BBCHBO His Dark Materials TV series are they planning to bring the whole cycle to the screen? It is much better than the 2007 movie probably because a TV series provides ample space to develop the storyline whereas a 120 minutes movie was like a bed of Procrustes compressing and sabotaging Pullman’s narrative The TV show seems to be taking the exact opposite direction and expands on the plot and characters beyond the limits of the novel The result is still somewhat confusing but the slower pace provides a permanent sense of danger and darkness that is uite gripping indeed Dafne Keen and Ruth Wilson who play the two female protagonists are both fabulous