All the while, Dr. Mary Malone builds a magnificent amber spyglass. An assassin hunts her down. And Lord Asriel, with troops of shining angels, fights his mighty rebellion, a battle of strange allies and shocking sacrifice.
As war rages and dust drains from the sky, the fate of the living, and the dead, finally comes to depend on two children and the simple truth of one simple story. The Amber Spyglass reveals that story, bringing Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials to an astonishing conclusion.
Listen to the rest of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials series.
©2000 Philip Pullman; (P)2001 Random House, Inc.
"Absorbing...Like Harry Potter creator J.K. Rowling, [Pullman] invents a world filled with strange divinations and wordplays." (Newsweek)
"A literary masterpiece...[that] caps the most magnificent fantasy series since The Lord of the Rings and puts Harry Potter to shame...A page-turning story that builds to a powerful finish." (Oregonian)
"As the rich tale unfolds, Pullman's voice, elegant with a hint of both whisper and rasp, thoroughly enthralls, sounding by turns forceful and tender. The talented, extensive cast gives a dynamic, nearly flawless performance." (Publishers Weekly)
Some great action chapters. There were a couple places you could feel that the book could end and not upset you terribly, and yet there was more coming. Definitely not a book I would have around for the younger set, but someone over 12 would be able to handle it. The characters seem a bit thin (as they do throughout the series), but it's consistent and fits within the world they've developed well enough.
The most disappointing of the series. Will grows more and more tiresome, and the plot gets more simplistic as it crawls toward the end. I loved the first book, quite enjoyed the second, but this one left me cold. However, if you've gotten this far, may as well read it anyway, no?
I was blown away by this story. The cast was perfect and brought the story to life exquisitely.
The story is rich, unpredictable, and deep. It had me thinking, feeling, and enjoying. Absolutely wonderful!
I really didn't enjoy the wrap-up to this series as much as I enjoyed the set-up to this series. I can't really articulate why, though; I just didn't enjoy it.
Update: I've spent some time trying to figure out exactly what it was about this book that was unsatisfying. One might suggest that it's the blatantly anti-religion aspects of the third installment. I mean, God (or The Authority as he's know in the book) literally dies in the course of the plot. In addition, Mary Malone explains in great detail to the children why she stopped being a nun and became a physicist (and mind you, these things are certainly mutually exclusive in the worldview the author presents). Her rationed speech is full of sentiments along the lines of 'why waste our time on earth not enjoying ourselves when there is nothing to go to afterwards.' With these anti-religion aspects and many more, it is possible to see how they would be the root of someone's dislike of the book. The thing is, they didn't really bother me; atheism has been a theme from the beginning of the series and is organic to the story being told.
For me, it was the Mulefa (forgive my spelling; I listened to the audiobook and thus am not sure how to spell it). I'm good with an alien race of sentient beings that don't look like humans (check out my review of Out of the Silent Planet for proof). Not just the Mulefa, though; The Mulefa, the Gallivaspians, the journey to the world of the dead. The plot just seemed over the top, and not in an exciting way. One can almost picture the author at his desk saying to himself, "I can't think of what should logically happen next so I'm going to invent a new thing and go from there." There was no real goal for the story as there had been in the previous books. Golden Compass: find Roger. Subtle Knife: get the alethiometer back. Amber Spyglass: ???.
So there it is, this book was unsatisfying because it really didn't have a goal. Without accomplishing a goal, it's impossible to have a satisfying ending.
Pullman continues to add complex twists and turns to his final novel in this trilogy, do not miss the first two before you listen to this one! I enjoyed this final novel, but there were MANY more characters than usual, and though I enjoyed the complexities of them, there seemed like too many to all be properly developed. The religious (or arguably anti-religious) overtones become much more of a focus here, which I did not like even though I am not religious. Though it is still very suspenseful and full of adventure, twists and unpredictable turns like the other two novels I walked away feeling a little disappointed. Perhaps that is because this believable fantasy trilogy is now done.
After the first two books, I was a little disappointed with the third. The ending was somewhat anti-climatic and a little too theological for my taste. It would have been more appropriate if this book ended three-quarters of the way through.
On the same level as Tolkien. This series has it all action, adventure, thrills, laughs and tears. It's themes, based around morality and theology, are worthy of discussion. At the same time the books are so entertaining. The authors reading couldn't be better and the actors reading the dialogue literally sounded just the way I imagined with out being overwrought. Can't wait for the promised "Book of Dust".
This wasn't as good as the other two, but it was still a good conclusion to the series.
As before, the reader was really good.
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