The Golden Compass

by Phillip Pullman


Reviewed by Ruby

Lyra is a normal eleven year old girl, living in London and being raised in the Jordan College. Her and her deamon, Pan, get into normal mischief that all children get into; getting into places she shouldn't be, waging war with the other children in other colleges or the kids from the town, stuff like that.  Unfortunately, it cannot stay that way.

One random day, she snuck into the Retiring Room, a place where only the Master of the school and his guests may be. While she was hiding she sees the Master slip poison in Lord Asriel's drink. She manages to warn him, and in doing so, sets off a chain off events that will alter her future drastically.  Lord Asriel is a dangerous man, that many people in the church want to silence before he can finish his research. We discover his research little by little as we follow Lyra through her adventures. Because soon after Asrial leaves, children start to vanish. Kidnapped by Gobblers, that's what everyone is saying. The Gobblers come in broad daylight and in a blink of the eye the child is gone.

When Roger, Lyra's best friend, vanishes, Lyra sets off to find him. She is given an alethiometer, something that measures truth, and with it she in plunged into a world of gypsies, bears, witches, Dust, battles, and betrayals.

The first time I read this book, I loved it. I loved the plot and the idea of deamons. Deamons, if you don't know, are animal manifestations of people's souls; they have they're own individual consciousness, but are connected with their human. As children, deamons shift from form to form, but when people hit puberty, the deamon's form becomes fixed. And whatever the form is basically tells you when kind of person the deamon's human is.

Anyway, I read it now for a second time because I just heard the movie is coming out this Christmas and I wanted to reread the entire series again before it came out.  As I'm reading it a second time, I'm enjoying it less than I did last time I read it. The plot is still really good and all the characters are well developed and all that. I realized that I don't like Phillip Pullman's style of writting. I don't know why. Well, I think I don't know enough about styles of writting to know why I don't like his.

Another thing I didn't like about it was that there was this huge prophecy surrounding Lyra. She is going to save the world only if she knows nothing about what she's doing. That's really stupid. I would have liked it better it was just random and there was no fate of whatever involved.

But anyway... I know those seem like huge non selling points for the book, but I found that the plot was so good that I didn't care about those two drawbacks (I know Coral disagrees with me, because she did not enjoy this book [Coral: No I did not. I found the style too childish to enjoy]). The coolest part about it was that for the longest time you had no idea if Lord Asrial was a good guy or a bad guy. You find that out in the last chapter.


Grade: B