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The Amber Spyglass (2003)

The Amber Spyglass (2003)

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4.04 of 5 Votes: 2
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0440238153 (ISBN13: 9780440238157)
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About book The Amber Spyglass (2003)

Oooooof.Too much. Way too much.Pullman's series concludes like it started. Good but nothing great. And tiring. Very. The Amber Spyglass weighs as much as the other two books put together....and then some. Pullman pulls in still MORE main characters and still MORE beings and still MORE complications and still MORE unlikely, unbelievable turns-of-event. It just got to be too much. Between the witches and the angels and the cliff-ghasts, the shadows, the specters, the ghosts, the Gallivespians, the armored come away feeling tha the author is trying to beat you over the head.And yet, you cant stop turning the pages. It is well-written, suspensful and you just cant help wanting to know what happens next. Thus the extra star.The vast assortment of characters and beings would be fine if it hadnt detracted from the well-crafted main characters of the first book. Mrs. Coulter becomes less of a player and less interesting by the page. The same with Asriel and...characters that should have been better fleshed out and worthy of the weight they carried in this war (The President, Father Gomez, Metatron...)were left virtually unknown.Most maddening was Lyra. She began the series as an admirable, sympathetic, tough little woman-to-be; a wonderful, powerful heroine driven to do what was right. By the end of the series her subservience to the boy Will is complete. The woman must bow before the man. This book is much too full of "Oh Will! What will we do Will?" followed by her sobbing and Will saving the day. I found that very chauvenistic and quite a turn off.Still, the ideas of the book are interesting - but not earth shattering. What initially drew me to this series was that the Christians are busy crying about how this series and the movie based on the books are going to corrupt our children and kill God and wreck havoc on our peaceable society. Laughable to say the least.Understanding that this book was geared towards young teens, I still couldnt help but think that any teen who had not had these doubts or questions or wonderment about God should be tossed out in the snow. Many of the "anti-God" things in this book were things my friends and were arguing about over cases of Miller Genuine Draft in Stephanie Montez's basement. There's nothing new here.So I dont understand the fuss. In fact, there is only one atheist character in the book, Mary Malone and she felt and empetiness and a loss without her connection to God. I found her rejection of the Church odd. She ate marzipan and kissed an Italian. Whoa! I ate roasted chesnuts and kissed a Colombian once but it didnt make me an atheist. Cant we believe in God and enjoy the world at the same time? Pullman seems not to think so. Therefore there is something ironic about the near heavenly place Dr. Malone finds herself stranded (in fact, the mulefas, thier trees and wheels and her relationship with them was the most interesting part of the book).In any case, Pullman doesnt say that there is no God. In fact, he allows that there may be a creator, a greater force but the war isnt against God. The war is against the supposed Kingdom of Heaven, a brutal dictatorship run by an angel who wields power through the Church. What is atheistic about that? Nothing. What drives the Christians nuts is that the books but the very valid question in the reader's mind...who does The Church 'work' for? If you arent or havent asked yourself that question you too should be chucked out in the snow. Here, the Church clearly works for a corrupt and evil angel and considering little things like the Crusades and the Inquistion...not to mention the insane theocratic drive of our current President and candidate Huckabee...Pullman may have hit it on the head. God may indeed exist (for me It does)but 'His' spokesmen on earth, indeed his most ardent supporters, clearly do not work for US or for HIM.

Okay, before I say what I need to say let me just say that I really loved this series, it was inventive and original, I've never really read anything like it. The only disappointment was that it seemed anti-climactic. I was expecting a little more to the ending, going out with a bang, not the relatively quiet exit that it actually had. It didn't kill the novel for me, but it did disappoint me a bit. I'm wondering if Pullman chickened out with a big ending he originally intended or someone stepped in and made him change it. I wouldn't be surprised if it was the latter because the book does deal with some pretty controversial issues. Either way everything was tied up very nicely and all my questions were answered. But he also ended it in a way that sort of left it so you can also make your own decisions on what happened or what else will happen, I liked that a lot because I felt that it meant Pullman had a lot of trust in his readers.Once again Pullman's writing did not disappoint, he explained things without spelling them out but also so even those not well versed in religion, science or fantasy could understand what he was talking about. His vivid descriptions still survived well into the last page of this last book. And even though there was a lot of jumping around from character to character it was done smoothly so the reader wasn't annoyed or left feeling jarred out of place. All of his characters grew and became even more demensional, though it did make Lord Asriel and Mrs. Coulter a little more confusing... were they good or were they bad? I kind of enjoyed that delicate line they balanced on.I think one of the most wonderful parts in the story was Will and Lyra's relationship. It had to be treated so carefully because while they were still kids on the cusp of becoming adults, they had just been through so much that shaped them and had them grow. The relationship just didn't happen, there were hints scattered throughout so when they finally did get together you weren't seeing it as unbelievable, you were seeing it as something you knew was coming. It also wasn't too adult, it was perfect for them. Children that weren't quite children due to what they had just been through, but not quite adults due to their age. It was heartbreaking when they wouldn't be able to be together anymore because you knew it just wasn't a young first love, it was a true and deep love they more than likely won't find again. It was because their love was so raw and undying that they were able to change the Dust and help the worlds. It was honest, true love, the love that Mary explained to them, the "forbidden fruit" if you will.Overall I loved this series, every character was a joy unless they were specifically supposed to be cruel and unliked, and even then they weren't annoying and I wasn't finding myself wanting to skip past the pages they were in. The fact that Pullman was able to address so many issues (especially the ones about religion) without getting preachy or dry was another thing I think made the novels truly enjoyable. As a Christian I didn't feel the need to get defensive about how he represented God and religion altogether because he presented it in a fashion that while you believed it to be true in the world of the novels, you knew it wasn't an outright attack on the beliefs of many.In the end this was a fantastic series that was very much a worthwhile and enjoyable read. I don't think it's a series that's aimed towards a specific group of people because it encompasses so much. There is bound to be something within the novel you find and bond to that keeps you reading. And, personally, as much as they say it's a children's book, I think it's totally an adult read as well. Maybe even moreso than a kid's read, you think?

Do You like book The Amber Spyglass (2003)?

Considering all the recent controversy surrounding Pullman's Dark Materials, I was careful to avoid reading any articles or reviews that would taint my opportunity to judge this book on face value. I found it to be an incredible story. Pullman drew from history, religion and science to form his own unique creation. I can't say that it was remarkably uplifting, or inspiring, or even that it made me question my view of life and how my religion plays into that. In fact, it probably only solidified my views. Sometimes readers who claim to be religious do themselves a disservice by criticizing books that disagree with their beliefs. First, they are only confirming what many athiestic authors claim: that religion closes the minds of men. Second, they fail to see what common ground there is between us as members of humanity, believers in God or not. Third, they can't seem to recognize such books for what they are: fiction. That is exactly what it was for me. A compelling, don't-want-to-put-it-down work of fiction.

When I was in high school, the local video arcade passed out fliers that that evening, after a $2 admission, you could play all the video games for free. I and several of my friends went and enjoyed ourselves.And then suddenly they closed the doors, turned off all the games, and a preacher got up and proceeded to try to "save" us.True, we had already gotten our money's worth, and we we could have gotten up and left (even though all of us wanted to but none of us had the nerve). But we still felt deceived and cheated.This is how I felt reading The Amber Spyglass. I was lured in by the promise (and the deliverance) of an exciting story in an utterly compelling world. But then in the third book, Pullman closed the doors and turned off that great storytelling and I found myself sitting through a tedious sermon waiting for it to be over already.

5.0 to 5.5 stars. Superb and extremely satisfying end to a very original, well written science-fantasy series. This is on my list of top ten YA series of all time (probably top 5). I was greatly impressed by the evolving complexity and scope of the plot from the first book (which was well-written with some original concepts but not necessarily ground-breaking) into a highly original, highly epic, one-of-a-kind reading experience that left me saying WOW at the end. HIGHEST POSSIBLE RECOMMENDATION!! Nominee: World Fantasy Award for Best Novel (2001)Nominee: Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2001)

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