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4.5 out of 5 stars
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4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 17 October 2002
This trilogy is quite possibly the best i have EVER read. Phillip Pullman has a beautiful way of writing, and there is never a time when you get bored of the book.
The way all the characters grow through out the trilogy is brilliant, and i love the way he switches from stories from time to time and they all come together like a jig-saw at the end.
When i read The Northern Lights i thought PP would have a tough time building and improving on this, and to be honest as exellent as The Subtle Knife is it wasn't as good as The Northern Lights. But then along came The Amber Spyglass. The Amber Spyglass is probally the best book in the trilogy, with The Northern Lights not far behind, and The Subtle Knife not far behind that either.
The Northern Lights introduces and sets the scene for the book. You meet intreguing characters such as Iorek Byrnison, Serafina Pekkela, and the whole of the Gyptians crew.
The Subtle Knife is more of a stepping stone towards The Amber Spyglass. The Subtle Knife introduces Will, who is a strong, and brave character. You also get to know Lee Scoresby a lot better in this book as well.
The Amber Spyglass is the best book in the trilogy. This book holds all of our favourite characters from the previous two books like the return of Iorek Byrnison, Serafina Pekkela, and many more. The Amber Spyglass also brings a lot of different relations together, and you get a real insight to characters we didn't know much about before.
All in all this is possibly the best trilogy i have ever read (and i'v read a lot) SO BUY IT!!
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on 28 March 2001
I think for me the brilliance of this book can be summed up in its final words "The republic of heaven". Why did no-one else think of that? What a great way to put it.
Minor gripes: 1. I agree with the reviewer who said that Pullman tried to fit too much in; there comes a point when an author has to stop inventing new things and start working with the characters he's got and Pullman could have done to stop with the characters he had in the first and second books. More focus on Iorek, Serafina, Mrs Coulter & Lord Asriel (who really didn't get the come-uppance he deserved, in my opinion- his new world began with the murder of a child) would have been welcome.
2. Surprised more people didn't mention this... Will and Lyra (both 12) are really just too young for the ending to work. If they had been 15 and 14 respectively the ending would have worked even better than Romeo & Juliet. I think most people accept that whilst physical puberty may begin at 12, the emotional changes don't really begin until later. Will and Lyra are semi-adults; able to plot, scheme, trick others, fall in love... with the best will in the world I just can't see a pair of tweenagers being able to do this. I actually found the idea of a romance between two 12-year-olds kinda weird.
And finally- sorry, I just gotta say this to both the angry Christians and the people who wrote 'ANYONE WHO HAS NOT READ THIS HAS NOT LIVED'- it's only a book, folks. If you don't agree with it, put it down. If you love it, fine. Put it down when you've finished and get on with what's happening in the real world...
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on 18 November 2000
I have only just, a few hours ago, finished this book, and I am still in a state of shock. Everything about this book is perfect - I cant find one line which isn't a masterpiece. The plot is brilliant, involving, apocalyptic, emotional and everything else that has ever been good. The characters are beautifully described, heroic, believeable and magnificent.
I sometimes rate books n how miserable you are in the ensuing hours afetr you've finished, and how late you stay up into the small hours to finish it. At points, I was almost in tears, and being a thirteen year old male, im not normally an emotional person, and last night/this morning I was up until two, at which point I ran out of book, but I assure you, I would have asily stayed up till five or six.
I used ot have aspirations to be a writer, but they have been shattered as I know I could never write any thing even close to half as goood as this, and whatever I wrote, I would never be happy with it, because it would just be ripped off the this literary masterpiece.
I feel I should warn fans of happy endings that the ending to this book is not, and I will never forgive Phillip Pullman for that, but that fact is eclipsed entirely by the fact that this is the greatest book that has ever been written. I feel I can safely say, without fear of contradiction or exaggeration that there isn't, has never ben, and probably never will be a beter book than this.
However, my humble words do not come close to doing justice to this magnificent book, and would recommmend anyone with, and the ability to read, to buy this book and it's predeccesors, and ead them for forself.
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on 3 November 2000
After the first two books being so good, I was really looking foward to this one, and I wasn't disappointed. The same quality of writing is there, and although bigger (I think) than the first two books, the action never really slows down. Dust is explained and resolved well, and the same powerful emotion that laced "Northern Lights", and perhaps not "The Subtle Knife" returns. There are a few problems, however. Firstly, it's been three years since the second book. When I read Northern Lights (in 1996), I was just a bit younger than Lyra. Now, four years (in total) later, I'm 15, and find it a bit harder to both sympathise with the juvenile protaganists and to stomach Pullman's occasional (and annoying) curbing of violent or other "inappropriate" content - I don't mean that a book has to be violent or profane, but at times he seems to censor logical progressions of a certain situation, presumably due to the younger audience. In addition, I found quite a parts of the plot contrived. Remember when that witch killed John Parry at the end of the second book for no real reason other than, for the sake of the story, he had to die? There's more of that, and while the story builds up to an eye-mistingly sad conclusion, something at the back of the mind keeps asking "Why? There's no reason!". The other, final flaw, is that some of the characters from the first two books (like Iorek, and Serafina Pekkala) are sidelined to make way for newer, less-well concieved characters.
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on 22 January 2002
One of my all time favourite books, the whole trilogy flows. More than suitable for adults to read. Just enough dark passages to keep the reader guessing and enough magic to capitivate the imagination. Pullman is an excellent story teller. I shall recommend this to everyone. Tell us more about Lyra and Will.... please?
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on 10 July 2001
After reading the first two, excellent books, people think that there is a magical way that Phillip Pullman can please everyone when he writes the final book in the trilogy.
People complain that too many characters were introduced, but I think that if you even remove one of these from the book, it would not have the effect it has on people now. Everyone can relate to at least one of the characters in The Amber Spyglass. As for Will and Lyra there is no two people I would more like to have as friends! Perhaps Lyra does get a little watery towards the end but that is realistic, for can you imagine any 12-year-old that you know undertaking the huge task or burden that Lyra has to carry?
The way that Phillip Pullman introduced people from our world into the story was a fantastic idea. I compared it with Lyra's world and many things amazed me. Introducing the character of Mary Malone was ingenious. She travelled to a different world and lived with another totally different kind of beings. She learnt to speak their language and solved a problem for them that, if it hadn't been solved could have been fatal.
In my opinion, this book is about friendships. Mrs Coulter and Lord Asriel for instance. Parts of this book brought tears to my eyes and my only wish, after I had finished this book, was that I could see the shape my deamon will take!
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on 6 May 2012
This is a favourite series of mine.
I originally read my boyfriends copy and he bought me this edition as a gift.
I was addicted to reading these books- they were a great summertime read and books that I always reccommend to others. They have also opened up a new genre of reading for me that I didn't know I liked so I'm grateful for that.
Definately books that I will re-read and treasure.
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on 11 September 2011
The case was damaged on arrival, the trader to whom I bought the item from responded quickly and fairly, so I have no complaint with them
The book its self was brill I realy enjoyed the last book in the trilloge, as I enjoyed the previous 2. I wanted them all read by the same reader, so the books would have the same impact. This was a good decision. It was beautifuly read
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on 29 April 2001
I have just finished reading "The Amber Spyglass" and I have gotta tell you it was well worth the wait! I've been waiting for it to come out for (what was it, 3 years?) and Philip Pullman you are completely forgiven for the delay as it was brilliant! I have no idea what all those people's problems with the ending was, I thought it was wonderful and was crying buckets - and not ashamed to admit it! If you haven't read the first two books you will be completely out of your depth as it carries straight on, assuming you know what's happened before. However, if you haven't read the first two books you should get reading anyway as they were brilliant too! It's wonderful to actually find "teenage" books worth reading. I usually bypass the section completely even though I myself am 15. I don't know why authors think that just because we are still teenagers we are willing to read rubbish, not pointing any fingers, Point Horror, Sweet valley High, oops did i say that out loud? It's great to find an author recognising the fact that we too read mature books. I don't know who it was that said it was too complicated for teens but i understood it perfectly and i'm sure many others did too. I don't know why some of you didn't like it but i thought it was a brilliant ending to a brilliant trilogy! BUY THIS BOOK!
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on 30 January 2001
After the Subtle Knife, the balance was beautifully poised for exactly this kind of novel. And yet, there are still a million and one surprises hidden inside The Amber Spyglass. The ending for me was obvious, and yet at the same time, Pullman mangaged to keep me interested till the emotional end which, like it or not, is just the way in which to captivate readers. This book is a superb blend of passion and warfare, with the balance between the two held in suspense until the closing paragraph. The insignificance of the onslaught of Asriel and the importance of the relationship between Will and Lyra are perfect examples of the way in which love really does conquer all (excuse the cliche!). This is, without doubt, the best book I have ever read. And I claim to have read some of the greatest books ever: Hard Times, The Catcher in the Rye, Harry Potter, A Tale of Two Cities and everything from Prester John to Tess of the D'Urbervilles. As far as comparisons with Harry Potter go: The Amber Spyglass is far, far deeper and more meaningful, and touchess much more on the human emotions involved, as opposed to simple the actions which they bring about. At the age of 16 I regard The Amber Spyglass as an absolute masterpiece. A great comfluence of imagination and subtlty, which whirl the reader right in amongst the characters.
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