I've been listening to audio books for quite some time and this one by far is the best. Performed by a full cast where each actor assumes the role of..Show More » one of the characters, the listener is transported into Pullman's world.
Set in the fictional past of early 20th century England, every human has what is called a "demon". As children these demons can assume any animal form, often changing depending on the mood of their child. Demons are animal representations of human souls, and no one is complete without one. After puberty, the demons assume one form and stay that way for life. Demons seem to take on the type of animal the person is in life, for example servants tend to have dogs as demons, loyal and obedient. Scholars have birds such as ravens, intelligent and far-seeing. One sailor has a dolphin or some such creature as a demon, thereby tying him forever to the ocean. Humans and their demons are mentally connected. What one feels, the other feels. They can talk to each other and cannot be away from each other, even at close distances or they feel great pain and anxiety.
Lyra, an orphaned pre-teen girl, and her demon Pan (yet to assume one form) find themselves in the middle of a political conspiracy. Unsure of who to trust and who their true allies are, their life was changed forever when they witnessed the Master of the college where they had spent all their years as a ward, attempt to poison Lyra's estranged uncle.
Her uncle, involved in some strange discoveries and experiments has returned to the college to ask for money to continue his work, investigating the origin of subatomic particles referred to as "dust". For some reason the scholars of the college are suprised to learn that this mysterious "dust" does not cling to children. After he receives the money and thwarts an attempt to poison him, he returns to his work.
What is dust? And why are children all over England disappearing? Lyra soon embarks on a journey to seek these answers.
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 adul..Show More »ts, 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.
Forget the political reviews of this series as an atheist anthem. This is simply a wonderful story with rich characters, fantastic worlds and heartwar..Show More »ming themes about friendship and loyalty. The full cast reading is worth every penny-a must listen!
If you loved the His Dark Materials trilogy, you'll love this story, which continues some of the threads in the trilogy. It takes place after the tri..Show More »logy, and probably won't be comprehensible if you haven't read the earlier books. The reading is excellent -- one of the best I have ever heard -- with the author reading the narration, and various actors reading the character parts. My only quibble with the reading is that the actress who does Lyra's part sounds about 10, though Lyra must be 15 or 16 at the time of the story.