This is definitely not a children's series and those that make comparisons to Harry Potter are mistaken. Clearly this is the antithesis to C.S. Lewis' Narnia books. It is blatantly anti-God, anti-church (of any kind) and the sad part is that Mr. Pullman doesn't actually seem to comprehend the theology he so unabashedly despises. The story is engaging, but parents beware, this is a book with an agenda. It's a treatise dressed up like a story and with a rather mean spirit at its heart.
I couldn't finish this book, I found it to be offensive and it gave me the creeps! If you have any belief in God, no matter which name you give him, this book is not for you. Although it's fiction, the underlining theme is that there is no God, only a deceitful angel that's a liar who botched things up very badly since the beginning of life. I don't believe this is a book for children. It teaches that evil,lying and murder are OK. I've listened to many, many books and this is the first one that crossed the line of moral and religious decency. The first book was entertaining but looking back it seems only to be the bait for the other 2 books. I didn't care what happened to the main characters even after finishing the first 2 books. I wouldn't recommend this trilogy to anyone with a religious faith except an atheist. Perhaps it should have some sort of warning that if Satinism offends you, skip this book!
The series was well written but a childrens book it was not. Call me the authority if you like but if you are looking for a good childrens book stick to Potter. Hard to get into details without spoilers but in the end, lets just say I would not want my 12 year old doing what this one was over in the Muleffa fields.
The final book of the Dark Material trilogy is the best of the three. I like the quotes in front of each chapter. This book does for fantasy what DaVinci Code did for it's genre.
Mr. Pullman's atheist views are clearly evident in this novel. There is a theme of disappointment and hopelessness complete with a disappointing ending to the entire story. I don't care for this novel at all. If you enjoyed the Golden Compass, I suggest you stop while you're ahead.
It is too bad that the author had to inject his hatred for Christianity into his writing. He is very talented but this book was just over the edge.