This was my first book by author Dan Brown and his character Robert Langdon, and I was very happy with it. In this prequel to The Da Vinci Code we are introduced to Mr Langdon, a symbologist, as he is called to CERN to help with the murder of one of their top scientists. He in turn is introduced to the scientist's daughter, Vittoria Vetra, who helps him with the investigation, which takes them to Rome and Vatican City. As can be assumed by this setting, the story has a lot to do with Christianity and it's secrets, and the information is presented very well. It also deals with the Illuminati, and therein lies the intrique.
The story is a 'page-turner' and keeps you riveted to the very end. While not necessary to read before The Da Vinci Code, it is a prequel, mainly in presenting an earlier 'adventure' of Langdon, an extremely likable main character.
His Dark Materials ends with this book (although there is a follow-up, _Lyra's Oxford_, which includes a short story, a map of Lyra's Oxford, and some other materials), the longest of the three.
The various storylines are tied up nicely, though some may not care for how things are left with the two main characters. Despite this, I loved it - this book and the series - and would love for additional stories from Pullman about the characters and places he's brought to life in these books (as he did with the above-mentioned book).
Great books for children or adults of all ages!
His Dark Materials, of which this is the second book, is a terrific fantasy. While aimed at younger readers, the series holds up brilliantly for adults, as well.
In the second book, Lyra's adventure continues, as she finds herself in another world and discovers Will, a young boy who becomes her companion through the rest of the series. Lyra & Will also find other types of beings in this world, angels and witches; some are helpful, some not so. You'll enjoy taking the journey with them, and the narration -by author Philip Pullman and a full cast- helps pull you into the story.
Although aimed at younger readers, like the Harry Potter books, The Golden Compass trilogy is very entertaining to adults, as well. The story follows young Lyra and her daemon Pan through adventures in an alternate universe, where magic is common and each person's soul takes on the external form of his or her daemon. Pullman's writing is brilliant and very dynamic, and this is much more than a simple children's book. While great for listeners of any age, younger children may need a little guidance, though shouldn't have too much trouble following the story. Highly recommended!
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