The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1)

The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman


Lyra Belacqua is content to run wild among the scholars of Jodan College, with her daemon familiar always by her side. But the arrival of her fearsome uncle, Lord Asriel, draws her to the heart of a terrible struggle—a struggle born of Gobblers and stolen children, witch clans and armored bears. And as she hurtles toward danger in the cold far North, Lyra never suspects the shocking truth: she alone is destined to win, or to lose, this more-than-mortal battle.


"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."  
They sat for a while longer, and then parted, for it was late, and they were old and anxious.

Having read The Golden Compass I like to think that I would have loved this story when I was younger (if only because of Lyra's character) but the fact is that I missed that period of time where it would have been an immensely valuable read. Frankly, I never planned on reading it until I got the first two book of the His Dark Materials series as a kind of hand-me-down book from neighbors. The story was a lot of fun, nonetheless, but it did not mesmerize me. I think it's a solid book but that's about it.

Obviously, there is a lot to love about this story. Lyra, who's part insufferable and part unbelievably strong-minded which makes her for a fantastic and strong lead, is definitely someone I had to get used to but also someone I really learnt to admire. The world itself is fantastic and rich with many interesting creatures (or animals?) while, at the same time, staying very very logical and abiding by its own, sternly set rules. I love many of the ideas and I love how it's about questioning authority and learning to think for yourself. 

While all that is great, the book overall just didn't interest me all that much. Maybe that's because I, somehow, still remember the movie (I don't know how many years ago I last saw it but it must have been at least 5, probably more like 7, years but years don't matter for my brain it simply soaks up stories and never lets them go, apparently), maybe I just read this at the wrong time, maybe it was something else entirely. I, honestly, don't know but for all its merits The Golden Compass just didn't awe me as I would have hoped.

That being said: I am looking forward to the next book in this series and hope that it's going to improve seeing as there are no spoilers I'll be able to randomly remember from the movie.


Something between a 3 and a 3.5 stars but the ending did intrigue me quite a bit so I'm going to go with 3.5/5 stars for now. If needed, I can always change it at a later date.


Name: The Golden Compass
Deutscher Titel: Der goldene Kompass
Series: His Dark Materials
Author: Philip Pullman
Publisher: Scholastic
Pages: 399
Where?: Amazon (English edition), Amazon (Deutsche Ausgabe)


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