I really enjoyed this selection because the narration is incredible and the story is excellent! Altough I think this book this a little too old for some children (because of what is done to some of the children and how some of the children are prorated).I think it is an excellent choice for anyone who enjoys sci-fi.
After listening the first book I was left with a feeling of 'incomplete.' Not so much a cliffhanger as a stopping without finishing a complete thought. I figured by listening to the second book things would become clear. They never did. I finally felt like I knew who some of the characters really were halfway through this book, but some I never really got even by the end of the third. I got to really enjoy the voice acting, but I just don't like his writing. There wasn't enough that was tangible for me to hold onto as familiar. Everyone brings up his anti-religion views, and I found myself very frustrated that he never fully completes his argument(even by the end of the Amber Spyglass.) It was as if I was having an argument with a mentally deficient atheist. The best way I can describe his writing is a nonspecific commentary on how the world should be from a point of view that is difficult to understand due to it's incomplete nature. I tried to enjoy the series as just a story, but due to his incessant diatribes about the cruel unjust nature of the authority, this was impossible. He starts to pound the anti-religion aspect into the heads of the reader in this story. It gets to a point where he loses credibility. I never really felt like I could connect with any of the characters, except the ones he doesn't use often. I can't find much to really praise about these books. I feel as if the are only known due to their controversial nature vs their actual quality.
The first book left me with lots of questions. Some got answered in this book, yet more questions were created. The journey these 2 children took was awe inspiring and never went how I expected. A lot of things were revealed about organized religions in their worlds, but it was never so far fetched that it couldn't be possible. (Kind of like the 3rd godfather movie.) Exceptionally, wonderful story!! Would recommend to anyone who wants to go on an exciting and interesting adventure without leaving home!!
This is a review of the entire Dark Materials story. The first book, The Golden Compass, is actually pretty good. But since the plot doesn't wrap up at the end, readers have to continue into books 2 and 3, which are really awful. The stories are dull - instead of the mighty armored bears, mercenary aeronauts and fiery gypsies of the first, we get disenchanted scientists and angry orphans. The characters are weak, and their long-winded development typically has nothing to do with the main plot. The philosophical allegory drifts into a disjointed set of uninformed ramblings. Characters behave in contradictory ways, abandoning their nature as needed to serve the plot. In one case, an armored bear (characterized earlier as a proud, insurmountable warrior) surrenders without a fight to a boy with a knife.
Good writing feels like a glimpse into real, living world. "His Dark Materials" feels more like a puppet show, where characters are jiggled around to dish up a story.
The creativity waned, the characters inconsistent, their motives and actions don't hold water.
All in all, I was disappointed. The first book was pretty good and this one just didn't deliver to its standards.
I still went on to listen to the third book, which was even more of a let down. It's hard not to recommend the 2nd and 3rd installments when the 1st book was so good, so I'll leave it up to you. For me, I am about 50/50 on whether or not I wish I had finished the series.
I love the narrators on this book, they are doing a splendid job making this text come alive, I feel like on a theater, but with my eyes closed.
I do however find it very hard to hear what is being said when the background music is on.
In this book the music seemed to go on forever. I'd wish that the music would be before or after the narrators acting so I could relax and listen. Right now I have to really sit and concentrate on the voices to hear the story and that is to bad.
Cut away the music and it would be 5 stars.
Beautifully written, beautifully performed. While I would classify this series as 'young adult' instead of 'children' because of the violence and complicated plot and themes, I still recommend it highly. A warning... have tissues ready! There's a particularly heart-wrenching scene in this book.