Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

Lyra and Will, the two ordinary children whose extraordinary adventures began in The Golden Compass and continued in The Subtle Knife, are in unspeakable danger. With help from the armored bear Iorek Byrnison and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must journey to a gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone. All the while, Dr. Mary Malone builds a maagnificent amber spyglass. An assassin hunts her down. And Lord Asriel, with troops of shining angels, fights his mighty rebellion, a battle of strange allies—and shocking sacrifices.
As war rages and Dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living—and the dead—finally comes to depend on two children and the simple truth of one simple story. The Amber Spyglass reveals that story, bringing Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials to an astonishing conclusion.

 I have literally just finished this book, and I can honestly say that I hated it...and loved exactly the same time. I know a lot of people say this, but this novel made me feel so many conflicting emotions all at once. For one thing, there is about 200 pages that are not needed - there's just countless unimportant information spilled down onto pages, and as I read it felt like I was forcing myself to do it, because I want to finish this trilogy. But then you have the other 300 great pages, packed full with adventure and tension that you feel like it's glued to your hands! I've never felt this conflicted about a book before. It was great, but awful. Pullman is definitely a talented author - but, for me, he is a little dated, and I can't help feeling relieved that I have finally finished this book. On the good side, I loved the storyline between Lyra, Will, Pan and Kirjava, as well as Mrs Coulter's storyline - but I detested Mary's storyline, and found myself skim-reading any page that mentioned her - I have never met a more boring character; everything about her is so dull and draining. I reckon this book would have been so much better if Pullman had just stuck to adventure featured in the book, rather than go into complicated detail about things that end up being unimportant. For me, books are my passion, and I have never felt that I have had to drag myself through a book like that before - not even a novel I have been set in an English class! But for what it's worth, this trilogy is worth a read, because I have never read a book that challenges religion and the meaning of our existance so much - and that is exactly what this book does, and really quite well. So for that reason, I would recommend it - but be warned, you have to have a high concentration level, especially in this final book.


  1. Do you mind me asking if you could tell me what you feel was unnecessary? I kind of agree with you about Mary, very bland and boring character but her story line is the conclusion to the whole Dust part that goes over the 3 books, it ties it all together :) I'm such a defensive fanboy :$

  2. Andy: Don't worry, I get like that over Harry Potter ^^ I think that the focus on the mulefa was too excessive - I found them intruiging, but for me, it did reach a point where I was like, Okay I understand they are great, but I'd rather here more about Lyra and Will. >< Also, I didn't understand the big deal about Mary going up to that tree. Yes, she did discover more about Dust, but honestly, if it was just going to be broken again, Pullman could have gottent to the point quicker. But I do get what you mean - Mary was important to the storyline. I just found her boring, in the last book.