The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass

His Dark Materials Series, Book 1

eBook - 2001
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The modern fantasy classic that Entertainment Weekly named an "All-Time Greatest Novel" and Newsweek hailed as a "Top 100 Book of All Time." Philip Pullman takes readers to a world where humans have animal familiars and where parallel universes are within reach.

Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule. North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal—including her friend Roger. North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world.
Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors? This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.
But what Lyra doesn't know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other...
A masterwork of storytelling and suspense, Philip Pullman's award-winning The Golden Compass is the first in the His Dark Materials series, which continues with The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.
A #1 New York Times Bestseller
Winner of the Guardian Prize for Children's Fiction
Published in 40 Countries
"Arguably the best juvenile fantasy novel of the past twenty years." —The Washington Post
"Very grand indeed." —The New York Times
"Pullman is quite possibly a genius." —Newsweek
Publisher: Random House Children's Books


From the critics

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OPL_JacobL Apr 10, 2020

Now an HBO adapted episodic series and a previously bad film that missed the point entirely, The Golden Compass is a subversive heroes journey set in a world historically similar to our own, except with life-long pets/partners who are shape-shifting creatures, talking polar bear knights (panserbjørn to be specific), and a compass-like object that will tell you the truth to any question.

Mar 28, 2020

“‘I wish…’ she said, and stopped. There was nothing that could be gained by wishing for it. A final deep shaky breath, and she was ready to go on.”-The Golden Compass, Chapter 23: The Bridge to the Stars

I finally finished my 900+ omnibus of His Dark Materials! This trilogy was the focus of my Innocence and Experience Capstone back at K-State. It’s shelved in YA and is an epic fantasy story spanning multiple worlds and all kinds of fantastical characters, from armored bears to witches and angels. When I took the Capstone class on this trilogy it was framed in Milton’s Paradise Lost and various creation stories, because the entire thing centers on questions of theology, morality, philosophy, and free will. It’s full of adventure and from start to finish is absolutely a coming-of-age story, and it also has really essential themes of friendship and love and being brave even when you’re afraid. Lyra, the young female protagonist, is not a perfect character, and that’s entirely the point-- none of the characters are perfect. There are elements and organizations in the books that tout being good or evil, but the truth is that none of the sides seem entirely right, and none of the characters are all good or evil. They make choices that can be questioned or evaluated, and in the end you get to wonder at their motivations, and how they make them who they are. Also, there are many lovable characters that are memorable from their first appearance, like a certain aeronaut. I want to spotlight some of the chapters at the end of the Amber Spyglass, which I thought were especially stand-out (I’m talking about you, chapters 18-26). All in all, it’s an entertaining and far-reaching story that has many other complexities to unpack. Skip the 2007 movie (sorry Daniel Craig) and watch the first season on HBO. The music, the costumes, the acting, the main theme, the scenery, and the writing are all fantastic (see: leather coats and Lin-Manuel Miranda). Here’s hoping quarantines don’t delay season 2 much. In the meantime we can all figure out what our daemons look like...

Mar 13, 2020

Very creative and engaging. Lyra is a spunky, strong-willed protagonist and the novel contains many great characters such as Pantalaimon, Iorek Byornison, Serafina Pekkala, Lord Asriel, and Mrs. Coulter. The daemons, the slightly-different parallel world, and the alethiometer are wonderful fantasy creations. I deeply enjoyed spending time in this universe. Still curious how the trilogy resolves, as this book isn't fully self-contained. My rating for The Golden Compass may change due to that.

Feb 19, 2020

I read this book to fulfil the goal read a book with gold silver or bronze in the title. It is also part of the 300 books everyone should read once challenge featured on Listopia. I enjoyed it a lot toward the end, and i'm, very excited to read the sequel.

JCLIanH Sep 26, 2019

You ever read a book and get about 100 pages from the end and feel...sad? Like you're mourning the fact that the tremendous journey you are on is going to end? I know there are two more books in the series, but this one really lit up the pure-joy-of-reading receptors in my brain. The alternate universe world-building here is just phenomenal and would be fascinating on its own, but the story Pullman tells is a grand adventure full of memorable characters that more than hold their own against the book's big themes. Lyra Belacqua is the kind of protagonist I can't wait to introduce my daughters to (when I'm sure some of the darker content won't give them nightmares).

Sep 10, 2019

What a great series. Bought it for my granddaughter and was caught up in the”Dust”.

Aug 14, 2019

I found this book as the graphic novel! Awesome and I can’t wait to read the book 👌

Aug 12, 2019

One of the best audiobooks EVER! It's like listening to a play in your ears- I loved the variety of voices and music, and it didn't feel jumbled at all!

Aug 10, 2019

Amazing! I've only discovered the series because of the upcoming TV adaptation, and I don't know how I didn't know about this book before. The narrative is very easy to follow and as soon as I get into the groove of things, I find this book very hard to put down. The plot flows smoothly and you find yourself just going with the flow. I haven't read a book that sparks my imagination quite like this in a while, and I'm totally in for the ride now.

Jul 29, 2019

Lyra was one of those characters that didn't always make the best choices but you loved them all the same. You could really imagine the little street rat that didn't amount to much, turn into the most important person ever. To really enjoy this book you should be about 11 or older

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Aug 25, 2018

Mbussey thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

May 12, 2018

H21770028 thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Nov 21, 2017

BiblioBrietta thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Feb 14, 2017

Sam_Str thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

red_tiger_1790 Aug 07, 2014

red_tiger_1790 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

Violet_Bee_66 Jun 07, 2012

Violet_Bee_66 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Apr 26, 2012

jackmane thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Violet_Dog_734 Feb 24, 2012

Violet_Dog_734 thinks this title is suitable for 11 years and over

jasminemurat Jan 18, 2012

jasminemurat thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

Jan 12, 2012

splorrg thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

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Jun 22, 2016

This book is about an adventure to the North Pole to look into "Dust".

Sep 27, 2012

In this book Lyra and her daemon ,Pantalaimon [ in short Pan], go on a perilous journey to Bolvangar to stop the Gobblers. They need to stop the Gobblers because they kidnap children and then cut away ther deamons. Lyra and Pan travel with with the Gyptians. Along the way they meet the armored bear, Iorek Byrnison. 

Apr 23, 2012

This truly amazing book in a different dimension where children started going missing. A girl lived there, Lyra, who once lived a university until the fateful day when her mother took her away. She was given a golden compass by the university which she was to keep hidden.Her mother found out and tried to take it so lyra ran away from her mother. She met the egyptians who saved her from being captured. Together with them she went to save the children. They met a bear named eric burneson who decided to help her after she got back his amour. Together with lee scorseby (a balloonist) they faced evil to save the missing children.


Add a Quote
Aug 25, 2018

“Human beings can't see anything without wanting to destroy it. That's original sin. And I'm going to destroy it. Death is going to die.”

Jul 29, 2014

“That's the duty of the old,' said the Librarian, 'to be anxious on the behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old."

Jun 22, 2014

“You cannot change what you are, only what you do.”


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