Customer Reviews for

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials Series #3)

Average Rating 4.5
( 669 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(479)

4 Star

(110)

3 Star

(44)

2 Star

(23)

1 Star

(13)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review

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

Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 110 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 6
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • 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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 13, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    Good book

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Good

    I liked it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 20, 2011

    Sad ending to a great series!

    This had me on the edge of my seat to the sad ending! Hope the author considers writing more books with these characters!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

    review of The Amber Spyglass

    this is a book review on The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman I selected this book because it is a great thrilling book.

    The Amber Spyglass is about a young boy and his missing father. The boy and his friends must help him get his father back home. Along the way they will encounter several dangerous situations traveling a long deadly path

    I like this book because it has a dangerous thrills and chills that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    I think that this is a great book for young readers. It has very good structure it has lots of twists and turns and dangerous discoveries along the way to his father.

    I strongly advise you to read this book because it is very popular. Also is a great book to read to your children.

    By kiran myers

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 23, 2010

    Keep the Kleenex handy...

    The conclusion of this trilogy was awesome. It's almost like revisiting old friends you lost contact with for a little while. Without giving anything away, I will say that the ending of this book brought tears to my eyes and made me think about what I would do under similar circumstances. An absolutely wonderful read, and something for the teens to enjoy. 2 thumbs WAY up.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 23, 2009

    This is not a childrens book

    I read all three books of the series and loved them. I was intrigued by the religious themes, I had to re-read several passages to make sure I understood them in the context of the religion. The descriptions were amazing - so vivid and clear that I felt I was "in" the book rather than just reading it. I think you can read these books on two levels - the first is just pure enjoyment of the story and mental visualization. The second is reading to understand what the author was saying about religion and how people accept things without question sometimes. These are books that you think about for a long time after you read them.

    This book, the third in the series, was written with an urgency that made it a compelling read - I found myself rushing through the last few chapters because I was anxious to read about the final outcome.

    Well written book - beautiful language

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 7, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    The Amber SpyGlass Review by Adam K

    "The Amber SpyGlass" is the third and final book of the "His Dark Materials" series. This book is a lot more thrilling then the last two books. In this book there are a lot of different points of views. Sometimes the book is looking from Will's point of view, another is Lord Asriel's, Lyra¿s father and another is Mrs. Coulter, Lyra¿s mother. In this book you get to see a whole other side of Mrs. Coulter, instead of trying to catch Lyra and kill her, she catches her and drugs Lyra with this sleeping potion, but she takes care of her, which is surprising to me. Mrs. Coulter takes Lyra to this secluded cave up in the mountains and nobody knows where she is. Will during all of this is still in Citagaze and he meets these two angels. These two Angels names are Baruch and Balthamos. They have sought Will to bring him to Lord Asriel, to fight in the war between the Authority and the Rebels. In these books the "Authority" are the bad people and the Rebels are the ones trying to be free from the Authority. Will and Lyra hold the keys to winning the most important war that will ever take place. This war will end all wars. Many different worlds will join and fight together to win the war against the Authority. Throughout the book many characters surprise and thrill you. You get to see different characters do things that you thought they would never do and that is why I am recommending this series to anyone who likes an adventurous and thrilling series. I am very glad I read these books. The ending to this series is probably the best ending I have ever experienced.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2008

    The Amber Spyglass

    The Amber Spyglass is the third in a great series by Philip Pullman. The book is about a boy and a girl (will and Lyra) who are on a quest of which no one knows what to do. They are in the middle of a war between Lyra's father and God or the Authority as he is sometimes called. The war is being fought by every being imaginable, such as humans, Angles, and many other creatures. There are also machines that are being used in the war such as Groypters and other vehicles as well as weapons. The book revolves around dust, which is an useable substance that flows through air and collects around people but mainly adults. No one knows what it is or anything really about it. But it is there. The book is very interesting and has a good flow. Although it does include a controversial part it is still a very good book. To read this book you should first read The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife so that you can fully understand the last book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2007

    Awesome but sad ending

    I felt that this book was written very well and was a good book to go after the first two. But of course, nothing can be perfect and there were some things I was a bit disappointed by. I think that Iorek Byrnison should have been included more often than he was. Also, I feel like the gyptians had to be mentioned but I was dismayed when Ma Costa wasn't with Farder Coram and Lord John Faa. And most sad of all was the ending. I cried I was so upset. I understand that it had to end that way, but I think he should have added more after the botanic garden. Then going on to write Lyra's Oxford! I can't bring myself to read it because I'd gotten so used to reading Will and Lyra together so I can't enjoy it now that they'll be apart.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2007

    WHAT?

    i've always enjoyed reading pullmans books, specially the first two in the series but this book was a disapointment. i mean, the beginning and middle were pretty good and some of the ending, but the ending was just horrible! i understand that lyra=eve but the tempter was more like xaphania instead of mary. and the subtle knife? it was supposed to be a god destroyer so lord asriel should have fought metatron and both die instead of both of them falling into the abyss which is a pretty stupid ending to those characters. and the end was basicly all about will and lyra romanticly which is just annoying, its like ok i get it they like each other. and lyra should have been told about what happened to her parents. to me the ending was rushed badly and pullman should have just made another book. but what i hate most is that Lord Asriel died! this was the only book where he actually had a major role in and he ends up dieing? not to mention he was my fav. all in all the beginning and middle were pullman material but the ending was just hideous. so i give it a 4 only becase of the beginning, middle, and lord asriel's part.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2007

    The Amber Spyglass book review

    Let's not beat around the bush here, OK? The Amber Spyglass is the third book in His Dark Materials trilogy. The book starts out when Will is on a journey to save his friend Lyra who is in the clutches of her mother Mrs. Coulter. Mrs. Coulter by this time in the story is hated by everyone, so she lives in a cave with her daughter. Since Lyra is full of animosity toward her mother from everything she's done to her, Mrs. Coulter feeds her a potion that will keep her in a deep sleep for long stretches of time. Eventually, Will rescues Lyra and run into two very small beings who are called the Galvespians who have deadly poisonous spurs on the backs of their heels. Once regrouped, Will and Lyra head for the world of the dead to find their friends' ghosts and to apologize on how they acted in which led them to their deaths. While all of this is happening, the church hears from the prophecy that Lyra will be tempted, and that Mary Malone (who is a good friend of Lyra's) will play the serpent. According to the Bible, the church knows that if the one who is tempted falls into the temptation, the world will end with sin. Thinking that if she is killed, she will never be tempted in the beginning. Also, to be on the safe side, the church also hunts down the tempter who is Mary Malone. The book itself is very well written and it has a much more complex and interesting story to it. It delivers much more than the previous books, and will leave you for most of the time on the edge of your seat. Pullman describes everything in the book so well, it's almost as if you're right there in the action. The Amber Spyglass doesn't start out boring in the beginning, like other books in most series do. Instead of being a trilogy, it continues the story as if it were a really big book all by itself Yet, The Amber Spyglass started to have these problems. Such as including 100 pages of specific content that really, really didn't need to be written. Sometimes you wonder if Pullman's book would only be published if he wrote a certain number of pages. So he just threw on 100 more pages just because he had to. I'm sure that really wasn't the case, but Pullman wastes your time with many things that really shouldn't be in the book. Overall, The Amber Spyglass is an amazing book that is full of action and that has a great story. If you didn't like the previous books, this one wont change your mind. But it really is a great way to conclude the trilogy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2007

    Could have been better.

    Phillip Pullman wrote an awsome ending to the series but he left many important things out about several characters that I think should have been said. But he did do a good job in describing the World of the Dead and the Mulefa's world. All I can say is he could have done better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2005

    An Amazing and Beautiful Book

    This was one of my favorite books of all time! I read the whole trilogy in a span of a few weeks, but my favorite was The Amber Spyglass. This book is both adventurous, mysterious, and strangely beautiful. You don't have to be religious to enjoy this extremely powerful book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2003

    Needs a better ending

    So, Will and Lyra are in love. Happy day. I thought that would happen that way. I have to say, that the ending completely and totally, shattered a perfect, flawless trilogy into misery. If you don't like abrupt, seperating, miserable, (I could go on and on with the sad terms)endings, do not even start the trilogy. It just makes me plain sad. I find a trilogy that I could call my favorite, and it ends the way it did.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2003

    Horrible Ending

    the ending bites!!!!!!!!!!! the rest of the book is fantastic. i would still recommend the the others but be prepared for the ending. i loved the books, i cried even but was let down at the end when the suspence that was built up from the beginning just drops

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2003

    almost the best

    The Subtle Knife is my favorite and this one was a bit predictable. It would have been the best if Pullman hadn't written the end so badly: 'And these children-no-longer-children, saturated in love, were the cause of it all.' I could go on, yet I do not wish to ruin more lines from this book. I have nothing against Lyra and Will in love, I just don't like the way it's written. It is increddibly sappy.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 110 review with 4 star rating   See All Ratings
Page 1 of 6