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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials Series #3)

Average Rating 4.5
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Controversy: The Godless World of Pullman? And how this series ties not just its OWN ends together, but makes people everywhere listen...

This book is the third in the series 'His Dark Materials' by Philip Pullman. So much controversy has surrounded this book, and this is why. In 'The Amber Spyglass', Lyra and Will, the heroine and hero of the story, learn about growing up, Dust finally settling, having t...
This book is the third in the series 'His Dark Materials' by Philip Pullman. So much controversy has surrounded this book, and this is why. In 'The Amber Spyglass', Lyra and Will, the heroine and hero of the story, learn about growing up, Dust finally settling, having their daemons (spirit in animal form) find their permanent form, love, and the existence of God. now Pullman was a devout atheist when he was alive, so it shouldn't have been shocking what he said in his books about God and His angels, but many people thought it was. This book was ahead of its time, and although considered a 'children's' or 'young adults' book, it is just as easily adult literature. In his metaphorical ways, Pullman discusses the possibility of other worlds, evolution of these worlds, a young teenager's blooming sexuality, how politics AND religion can corrupt people's individual thinking, and how the interconnections between worlds, and the organisms in them can bring not just one species or world, but everything, falling down around our heads.
One of the main issues in this book was the way God, or the 'Authority' was described, not as an all-powerful being, but simply an archangel, dying of old age, and how the hapless Lyra, and her friend Will, only being thirteen or fourteen, don't realize that by setting the Authority free of His prison, they have killed Him. You see, only the Angels and witches of Lyra's world have free access to all of the adjoining worlds in the universe, and Will carries a knife (see The Subtle Knife, Book Two of His Dark Materials) that can rip holes from one world to another. And Lyra carries an alethiometer, or a golden compass (see The Golden Compass, Book One of His Dark Materials) that can answer any question asked of it.
After Lyra and her daemon, Pan, are kidnapped by Lyra's evil, theologian mother, Mrs. Coulter, Will and the polar bear king Iorek have to rescue her, as Lyra represents the rebirth of Eve, 'the temptress'. Also, Lyra's father, a scientist, is after her, to protect her from the Church, who believe they have to kill her, to stop the replay of the Fall from Grace described in the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. Will tears a whole in another world, where he and Lyra escape to, and they find themselves in the world of the dead, trying to find a way out, so the dead can be free to evaporate into the air.
The Amber Spyglass is not a book to read simply for leisure, for once you read it once, you will find yourself going back to pet its spine maybe a year afterwards, to open it to a favorite spot, and discover new meanings behind every metaphorical phrase in the book. It is a thing to mull over, and smile at your new discoveries.
One part that describes both evolution at its highest and Pullman's great ability to imagine things outside of our world, is the world in which no humans exist, but a certain Dr. Mary Malone stumbles upon, and discovers a completely, previously unheard of intelligent being, the mulefa. Their world evolved in a completely different way than out own, and theirs ties into both Mary's and Will's, and Lyra's worlds, in the way of Dust, or the beginning of the original Fall.
It may seem like a lot of information, but Pullman's writing pull you in from the first page and you are stuck until you hear Lyra's last words, 'Build the Republic of Heaven', and the book spits you out, jumbled and ready to try and find the next in the series, but of course, as in all great endings, there is n

posted by JayInBloom on January 30, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Bad

I didnt like how pull.an was suggesting the thought that god himself could somehow be defeated. It was very suspenseful

posted by 8692746 on December 21, 2011

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Controversy: The Godless World of Pullman? And how this series ties not just its OWN ends together, but makes people everywhere listen...

    This book is the third in the series 'His Dark Materials' by Philip Pullman. So much controversy has surrounded this book, and this is why. In 'The Amber Spyglass', Lyra and Will, the heroine and hero of the story, learn about growing up, Dust finally settling, having their daemons (spirit in animal form) find their permanent form, love, and the existence of God. now Pullman was a devout atheist when he was alive, so it shouldn't have been shocking what he said in his books about God and His angels, but many people thought it was. This book was ahead of its time, and although considered a 'children's' or 'young adults' book, it is just as easily adult literature. In his metaphorical ways, Pullman discusses the possibility of other worlds, evolution of these worlds, a young teenager's blooming sexuality, how politics AND religion can corrupt people's individual thinking, and how the interconnections between worlds, and the organisms in them can bring not just one species or world, but everything, falling down around our heads.
    One of the main issues in this book was the way God, or the 'Authority' was described, not as an all-powerful being, but simply an archangel, dying of old age, and how the hapless Lyra, and her friend Will, only being thirteen or fourteen, don't realize that by setting the Authority free of His prison, they have killed Him. You see, only the Angels and witches of Lyra's world have free access to all of the adjoining worlds in the universe, and Will carries a knife (see The Subtle Knife, Book Two of His Dark Materials) that can rip holes from one world to another. And Lyra carries an alethiometer, or a golden compass (see The Golden Compass, Book One of His Dark Materials) that can answer any question asked of it.
    After Lyra and her daemon, Pan, are kidnapped by Lyra's evil, theologian mother, Mrs. Coulter, Will and the polar bear king Iorek have to rescue her, as Lyra represents the rebirth of Eve, 'the temptress'. Also, Lyra's father, a scientist, is after her, to protect her from the Church, who believe they have to kill her, to stop the replay of the Fall from Grace described in the Book of Genesis in the Holy Bible. Will tears a whole in another world, where he and Lyra escape to, and they find themselves in the world of the dead, trying to find a way out, so the dead can be free to evaporate into the air.
    The Amber Spyglass is not a book to read simply for leisure, for once you read it once, you will find yourself going back to pet its spine maybe a year afterwards, to open it to a favorite spot, and discover new meanings behind every metaphorical phrase in the book. It is a thing to mull over, and smile at your new discoveries.
    One part that describes both evolution at its highest and Pullman's great ability to imagine things outside of our world, is the world in which no humans exist, but a certain Dr. Mary Malone stumbles upon, and discovers a completely, previously unheard of intelligent being, the mulefa. Their world evolved in a completely different way than out own, and theirs ties into both Mary's and Will's, and Lyra's worlds, in the way of Dust, or the beginning of the original Fall.
    It may seem like a lot of information, but Pullman's writing pull you in from the first page and you are stuck until you hear Lyra's last words, 'Build the Republic of Heaven', and the book spits you out, jumbled and ready to try and find the next in the series, but of course, as in all great endings, there is n

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Amber Spyglass

    I really enjoyed reading this series, but I thought the Amber Spyglass was not as good as the first two. I would have liked it more if one of the main characters were the narrators of the book. I felt like I needed a deeper understanding of their emotions, or something that gave the characters a greater depth. All and all, I still would definitely still recommend this series to all the fantasy lovers out there. This story has fantastical worlds and imaginative characters.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 26, 2012

    Very good ending to the trilogy

    Is a very good ending to a very good sci-fi trilogy. Can definitely see his anti-religion and anti-God points of view very well in it. If that bothers you then stay away, but if you like science fiction and are looking for a good series to read then try this out.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Milton would Have Loved It!!

    Well this isn't too original since others have said it well before me, but Pullman managed to pull off an inverted Paradise Lost in the third part of this very thoughtful and belief-challenging trilogy. I will warn you that if you are a devout Christian, you may get about three-quarters of the way through and want to throw the book out the nearest window. Don't. Instead, think about what is said and what is happening. I don't know about you, and it may sound strange, especially if you have finished the trilogy, but I found myself more assured than ever that life on Earth is only a small part of an infinite whole. And yet each of us has the capacity within ourselves to make that small part of our existence rich an fulfilling ( or shallow, selfish and ultimately devastating).

    On the other hand, you can read the Dark Materials trilogy as just a great story. Pullman says that was what was in his mind when he wrote it. No great philosophy - just good story-telling. C'mon Mr. Pullman - do you expect me to believe that?

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 16, 2013

    Good

    This book is very good.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2013

    Amazing

    The final book in the series does not dissapoint

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2013

    FAVORITE SERIES

    this is my favorite series. Pullman is a genious and he characters are awesome. The plot is so unique and even thought the ending is bittersweet, it is the best book ever!!! Ive read it about5 times and will never get tired of it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2014

    The Amber Spyglass

    I want to start off by saying I really enjoyed the first two books. This one on the other hand I had trouble getting through. It did not peak my interests, but I continued to read it to find oit what happened to the characters. There was several areas that seemed drawn out and even repetative. When discribing how characters are feeling they almost always have 3 or 4 different emotions seperated by and...and...and. The other books were like this too, but this one started to bother me with a lot of its dialog and even narraration. In all I was pretty confused with why Lyra and Will were even going the places they were. Luckily I pushed through to get it to weave together, but ultimately it felt like it was expanded to create more pages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2014

    Christians Pullman is not againts your religion

    This a fantsy novel and he talks about all of the religions not just chritianity so he is being rude or offensive

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    A disappointing end to a spectacular series

    Both "The Golden Compass" and its sequel were beautiful novels, with a wonderful plot, believable characters, and a plot twist here and ther, so I expected the third book would also be great. However, I didn't even get past the fifth chapter: The book was both boring and offensive. I am Christian and I am usually not bothered by other religious opinions, so I was surprised with myself when I realized how irritated I was by the idea that God can be destroyed and the claim that there is no heaven. The homosexuality theme did not bother me, but Balthamos and Baruch were highly unlikable to me. They were confusing and I thought them very unnecessary. Ama was a completely random character and Lyra's dream about Roger kept getting interrupted, which I absolutely hated. Also, it has come to my attention that there may have some sexual activity between children, which shocked me. Overall, an awful book (PS. RIP to Lee and Hester) :(

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2013

    I am a Christian and...

    I loved this book. And harry potter, percy jackson and twighlight. Fantasy is not real! Do not take it so serioudly. God is fine with you reading this, but not with you letting it afect your faith. Don't be mean people. Phillup pullman just wrote a FANTASY novel. Not a anti God rant. Goodness.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2013

    Best book in  the series The one I enjoyed the most. It was rea

    Best book in  the series

    The one I enjoyed the most. It was really suspenseful and mysterious, and the writing was beautiful. Recommended for all teens!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 24, 2012

    Amazing. Just amazing.

    Well thought ou and extremly intricate. The type of book you need to read the entire series twice to even begin to understand.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    Am I right?

    I interpreted the end of the book this way.... Lyra and Will never closed the portal connecting their worlds, and so damned all the dead. She tempted Will to remain with her, but to do so would doom everyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2012

    Ok

    Still feels like the Golden Compass shouldn't have been continued

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2012

    Wow... just plain wow...

    There are a lot of people who seem to like this book less than the first two. And it certainly is of a different style than the first two. The writing is much more mature and assured. And the plot is more mature. But in the end none of that matters because this is a wonderful way to end the trilogy. And as it comes to and end, bittersweet as it is, it is a good one. Please please please read this trilogy. Its worth the time, effort and attention.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Very exciting

    I enjoyed this book a lot. It's a good book for pre-teens.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    Good book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2012

    Very good.

    I especially liked the part where Lyra was helping to repair the knife.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 5, 2012

    Recommended as a good book.

    I have read all three of Philip Pullman's books from His Dark Materials Series and enjoyed them all. This book was good with a surprize ending.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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