Tuesday, August 8, 2017
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Golden Compass was a really interesting book. It provides an alternate reality that differs in only a few ways from our early-1900's Europe. Most significantly, every human possess a daemon, which is a sort of animal familiar that serves as an immediate animal companion throughout their lives. In early life, daemons can shift between forms at will, but around the person's puberty, the daemon will take on a permanent animal form. While the book is the story Lyra's journey, much of the mystique and conflict revolves around the connection between a person and her or his daemon. Lyra travels to cities and to the frozen north, befriends a sentient armored bear, and earns the name of Lyra Silvertongue. It's a heck of an adventure.
I read this with my 8-year old daughter. It's probably the most mature book that we've read together. She is a veteran of the Warriors series, which has its share of violence, but other parents should know that bad stuff happens in this book. Despite the fairly slow and stodgy beginning of the story at Jordan College, she loved the book from the start. A lot of that probably has to do with Lyra, who is a willful, strong, kid who loves to push boundaries. We both enjoyed the book a great deal. We're moving directly into book 2. A clear 5/5.