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The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials, Book 3 | [Philip Pullman]

The Amber Spyglass: His Dark Materials, Book 3

Lyra and Will, the two ordinary children whose extraordinary adventures begin in The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, are in unspeakable danger. With help from Iorek Byrnison the armored bear and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must journey to a dank and gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone.
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Publisher's Summary

Lyra and Will, the two ordinary children whose extraordinary adventures begin in The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, are in unspeakable danger. With help from Iorek Byrnison the armored bear and two tiny Gallivespian spies, they must journey to a dank and gray-lit world where no living soul has ever gone.

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (3146 )
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4.3 (1131 )
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4.6 (1112 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Mr. Austin Los Angeles, CA 12-31-07
    Mr. Austin Los Angeles, CA 12-31-07 Member Since 2002

    mr_austin

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
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    "Fizzles Out"

    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?

    10 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn Gardnerville, NV United States 03-10-13
    Jenn Gardnerville, NV United States 03-10-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    104
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    59
    17
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    "An Unsatisfying Ending to the Trilogy"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dottie B. Washington DC 03-16-12
    Dottie B. Washington DC 03-16-12 Member Since 2006

    Dotdumdum

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    87
    45
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    "I cried because the trilogy was over...."

    Wow! Philip Pullman is a genius. He has clearly such a knowledgeable, intellectual man, who also knows how to write to young and old audiences alike. This trilogy of books was excellent from beginning to end. I really really hated them to end.
    And Philip is a fantastic narrator, as are all the other readers. I have nothing negative to say about this book or its readers!
    I just keep hoping that Philip will put out another exciting book, as compelling as these 3 were.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gustavo A. Canelon MIAMI, FL, United States 01-25-11
    Gustavo A. Canelon MIAMI, FL, United States 01-25-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Does what it's meant to do: enterntain."

    I saw the movie based on the first book and decided to listed to the last two. It was hours of entertainment. Mr. Pullman's prose is captivating and the characters he brought to life leave you wishing you could actually get to know them some day. As for the religious content, yes it should be hard to listen for some people and I am sure very offensive for others. For me, it's just fiction and as such I take it, but I would never recommend it for a kid. A great book, but not for everyone.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrea Calgary, Alberta, Canada 07-29-10
    Andrea Calgary, Alberta, Canada 07-29-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A worthwhile but somewhat disappointing end"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yuan Jupiter, FL, USA 02-01-09
    Yuan Jupiter, FL, USA 02-01-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Disappointing End"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Renato West Linn, OR, USA 08-13-08
    Renato West Linn, OR, USA 08-13-08 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not Just For Kids"

    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".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LPricevuti CA, USA 05-29-08
    LPricevuti CA, USA 05-29-08 Listener Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "The Amber Spyglass"

    Fully developed fantasy with viable characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 05-13-08
    Cather Cumberland, VA, United States 05-13-08 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A decent ending to a good series"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenn Smithville, GA, United States 06-10-06
    Jenn Smithville, GA, United States 06-10-06 Member Since 2005
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    "Mature"

    I enjoyed this book, but it was very long. The characters and the cast were excellent. Though I'm not a religious person, I felt disturbed about the anti-church storyline because it is disguised as a children's book. I feel that parents should listen first and decide how they feel about it. It is definitely not for young children.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
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