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The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials Series #3)

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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 2 people found this review helpful.

Ok

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

posted by 5789848 on August 31, 2012

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  • Posted August 15, 2014

    Another dissapointment

    After watching the movie "The Golden Compass" I was very excited to read the books and find out what happens to all the wonderful characters. The first book was good and I can see why they made the movie, but the next two books felt more like an agenda by the author and held no real magic of their own. Very unworthy of the ideas set forth in the first book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Poor conclusion

    Failed

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014

    BOOOOOO

    This is soooooooooo anti-christian. God can never ever ever be defeted by anyone. Not man not beast not Saten. EVER!

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2013

    The author displays Christians as evil wrong doers who want to f

    The author displays Christians as evil wrong doers who want to fool all of humanity. Really? I mean, come on. As a Christian, this is totally offensive and the author goes so far as to kill God in the book. Don't bother reading it. The author had such an interesting plot, and then he has to have the main characters kill the Lord. Not good.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    A Colossal Disappointment

    I *loved* the first two books in this series. So much so that I went out to buy the third book the same night I finished the second book. I cannot imagine a more disjoint conclusion to this story. I see that some people complain about his philosophy, and I can see how this book would bother them. I actually agree with his philosophy, it's just so out of place, it's actually bizarre. What in the world was Pullman thinking, and what publisher thought this was an acceptable conclusion? All of the story lines fade out with a whimper - predictions made never really happen 'e.g., Lyra = Eve', Will goes to have tea, etc. And what the heck is the deal with this mulefa alien/elephant/race-car thing? I think Phil must have been on some serious psychedelic painkillers when he wrote this. I would have been better off not reading the third book and just wondering what happened after the second.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2005

    Bad

    This book tells lies about God. As a christian I strongly advise you not to read this book. I read the first two and then stoped in the middle of the third becouse it is going aginst the Bible, but the first two were ok.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2002

    A childrens book ?

    I found the story to have started out interesting enough, although after a while it got confusing. I found the characters of Will and Lyra to be disturbing since they do not appear to have any reservations about lying. I also thing that it contains a lot of anti -religious, anti - Christian themes which could offend a lot of people and confuse and affect a lot of children. The homesexuality of the angels Balthamos and Baruch is also quite disturbing since children might think that angels really truly are homesexual ! ALso , children might also think that there really is no Creator and that its alright for children to engage in a sexual relationship. Furthermore, I think it does not teach the children any real values that may help mold them into a better young adulthood. Since most young readers are easily influenced by the books they read, I think they should not read it. Besides, I found it confusing and also kind of too wordy.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2002

    A book for atheists

    If you are an atheist, go read this book . As for me, I truly regretted having spent money on buying one . I dont see the point of the book, and I didnt even find it entertaining. As they say, there are 2 things in this world that people should never argue on, one is politics and the other is religion. This book chooses to discuss the point of religion failing to even explain what the point was . Values ? Nope, didnt get any. Was I offended? Yes ! Because I am a Christian woman and I believe there is a GOD ! Yup I do ! I also like books which have literary value, and I didnt get it here...no sirreeee... As a matter of fact, I found it failed to describe scenes in an entertianing way. Tsk.. Tsk ....

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2001

    Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials Series #3)

    Poof! THere goes the plot that the Golden Compass and the subtle knife so carefully laid out. I treasured the subtle knife especially, waiting with anticipation for this one to come out. The book was not like Pullman's other two in the series. Besides, the THEME changed, which doesn't really make it even a theme anymore.... Anyway, I cannot reccomend it, it is pathetic. PATHETIC!! I cannot see how any Christian especially can read such lies to their reliogion and stand it. I was ever so offended.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2000

    Disappointing!!!!

    This book was a slow plodding read. I especially objected to the author's moral viewpoint. This is a book directed at young adults and the anti-religion, anti-God theme was objectionable. I loved The Golden Compass and was extremely disappointed. I could not recommend this book to anyone and I wish that I had not bought or read it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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