March 2, 2010
The Golden Compass - by Phillip Pullman
This is the amazing story of Lyra, a young girl whose parents have left her in the care of the scholars at Oxford University in a slightly re-imagined historical England. This curious and courageous heroine is kept constant company by her daemon, a small critter named Pan. As she sets off on a course of action that includes saving her uncle's life, escaping the dreaded Gobblers, joining the mysterious Gyptians, and raiding a secret facility in the far Arctic north, Lyra encounters an incredible cast of characters. There is a Texas balloon pilot, a frustrated but brave polar bear, a nasty lady with ties to Lyra's past, and many more curious and fascinating people and creatures.
This is a rollicking, imaginative adventure, one of the best I've ever read! Mr. Pullman is simply brilliant. If you're up for a challenge and want to experience an unforgettable read, this is one of my top recommendations.
Special Notes: Skip the movie, know that the sequels get progressively stranger, and check out the audio recording of this book, which will help with your pronunciation of places and names, and which features a FULL CAST, something very unusual and wonderful indeed!