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Judge Thy Book By Its Cover!
Northern Lights - Philip Pullman
Member Name: ryanando
Northern Lights - Philip Pullman
Advantages: The start of an amazing trilogy
Once, when I was about 16, a man with one leg (actually he had four if you count the prosthetics) decided I needed to read this book. So he thrust the Trilogy it's part of at me. And read I did.
The first thing I loved about these books were the artwork on the front. What? So I judge books by their covers. Are you really THAT shocked?? The original artwork is fantastic, very dark and kinda creepy. This book does, however, get republished more times than I change my underwear in a day (thats three times just in case you were wondering) and the latter covers have all been geared towards getting your children to pester you for the books.
The Northern Lights - The golden compass as it was renamed for the american public. Grr. - is a little slow to start but what a book!
First of all may I point out that this is a childrens book. I only mention it because after reading this (and the next ones too, yes you need to read them all) you may actually forget that this is supposed to be for kids. Its WAY too good for them. Your little darlings just wont appreciate how amazing the story they are reading is. Sure it will keep them entertained by the bucket load too, but seriously, have some alone time with this and you wont regret it.
We start somewhere in an alternate universe very similar to our own world but with a few crazy differences. Such as every human comes with an animal, sort of like a familliar but there is a more mystical bond between them. That and these animals can talk.
Lyra is the focus of our studies today, you in the back, sit up!
Lyra is a rather rambunctious little so and so who pretty much has free run over a mostly 1900's style oxford university. The professers have been charged with her safe keeping and gave up on trying to contain the burst of energy that she is.
After stumbling apon a secret meeting that she really shouldnt have Lyra is thrust into the middle of a rather dangerous situation, knowing too much about something the church in her world wants to deny all existance of. Those who have seen the movie will probably be a bit confused now. Yep. The books are very centred around the church at times. The movies, in a word, aren't.
Don't panic too much, it's less "lets go bash a bible" and more "aww look at the cute little church goers, how ignorant they are". That "Other" kind of religious book.
On top of all of this, the poor girl has to contend with her friends being kidnapped by "the gobblers" who prey on children and their animal counterparts.
When her Best friend in this universe is captured, she starts off on a mission to get him back, all the while learning more and more about her world and the secret that everyone is so desperate to get their hands on.
To help young Lyra along her way she has been given an Alethiometer, a device that will tell you the truth about anything you ask. Problem being you need to have studied it for a lifetime and a half to understand all of the meanings it can point to. This object is what those silly 'merkins will call "the golden compass". It is NOT, I repeat NOT, a compass. It is gold. It has dials that spin round. This is where the simmilarity ends. (yes, it's a bug bear of mines ok!)
Along the way she will learn more than she ever though possible about her world, her family, love, life and lies.
As in any good book, Lyra meets some fantastic characters that you can't even begin to imagine. A bear who was once king of his fierce race and witches as old as time its self.
This book is the start of a journey that will cross heaven, hell and even a few different universes (as if the first two weren't exciting enough!) A battle between good and evil that will never be forgotten by anyone who reads and a realisation that you never really know the whole truth untill its too late.
Price wise the book usually ranges from about £5- £8 depending on where you shop and is readily available in a range of covers to appeal to even the most fussy Cover Judgers.
Being approximatley 419249588237842849 to the power of eleventy times better than the movie adaptation (surprise), this is definatley a must read for anyone who is serious about literature. The kids will love it and the adults will treasure it forever. And if you don't, the pope will get you.
(taken from a review on ciao)
Summary: Part 1 of the "His Dark Materials Trilogy"