If you read the Golden Compass you have no choice but to continue this series. I wish I could say this was as an enjoyable, but I can't. I can say that it is an interesting, if not a tad confusing. In general the series walks a thin line between young-adult and adult literature. There are times I found it a tad childish, and there are moments when I can't see a child understand the complex story.
Like most trilogies, this is an in between story that mostly sets up the next and final book.
The production is first rate. 20 year of audio book listening I can say it is one of the best on that level.
I am half way through the third book and I can say that I look forward to listen to them all again which is something I seldom do.
You never have to wait for anything if you bring a good book.
Overall this is both an enjoyable adventure and a very well done audiobook.
Philip Pullman does a fantastic job as the narrator, and with a few minor exceptions the rest of cast of thousands does a first rate job too.
On the other hand this audiobook is overproduced as if they are trying to compete with television (Pullman reads the narration, a huge cast of BBC folks reads all the dialog, and overbearing musical segues punctuate the beginning and end of as each chapter).
While it's good to see that American audiobooks aren't the only ones to suffer from being overproduced, someone needs to give these audiobook folks the message that there's no need to try to produce these things as if they were cheesy television shows.
I'm a little disappointed that Pullman twists theistic themes and elements ("authority," angels, Hades, Adam and Eve, original sin) around a central plot that castigates "the church" as all evil, stifling, and oppressive.
It seems as soon as they came into the real world all interesting things ceased to exist. I loved the golden compass. This is sooooooo boring.
I purchased this book because I enjoy listening to books on my long drive to and from work. I had read the series previously. Philip Pullman's Dark Materials books really challenges you to think about the world, spiritual beliefs, and the strength of conscious thought as it effects day to day life. These books are very controversial amount the Christian spiritual beliefs and churches. BUT, if you really look deep into the meaning of the books as a whole, and seek to find some value regardless of you own spiritual path, these books are great and fun to read. I would recommend them to anyone of my friends and family.
I really enjoy the full cast production. I can absorb myself in the story with all the different characters coming to life through the multiple actors playing the different roles in the books.
Another great book and reading from Pullman and cast members! (Although, I did find my teeth set on edge by the terrible music preceding each chapter.) The different characters are well realized by the talented cast and the plot expands to include new, interesting characters and worlds. Pullman presents an engaging commentary on and critique of organized religion. Some groups have opted to boycott/ban the books, but I think the trilogy opens up new areas for discussion on the meaning of truely authentic faith and spirituality.
I enjoyed the first book though it had some long drawn out parts. The Subtle Knife was much better, the pace was good, however some of the characters from the frist book got lost in the confusion. This is definitely a great read but be careful, they made the third book 2 credits so be prepared to finish this series. Oh and it really is about killing God, very interesting.
I absolutely LOVED this book. I really enjoyed the first one but this was even better. It explains so much, and starts to pull everything together. the new characters were also terrific. Again the full cast makes the story really work, and I must say that I was very surprised as to how much I would enjoy it. I was expecting something more in line with the Narnia series which is inconsistent with its books - some move well, some slow. This trilogy seems to be flowing and moving all the way through.
I just downloaded book three, so I am off to listen.
AMAZING. This book deals with many underlying issues, and through the young characters that the book examines, we are given a parallel universe to our own.
Listen to this book with the micro and macro in mind. Oh yea, and its a great childrens story too!
In my opinion, this was the best book of the Dark Materials Trilogy. The first book was really hard for me to get into and dragged at times. And the third book was just too long and seems to contradict itself several times. The second book was the only one that seems to have a good pace throughout and wasn't bogged down with too many characters and unnecessary plot points. If only the other books in the series were written as well as this one...