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The Golden Compass(Northern Lights) by Philip Pullman Review

I am soooooooo excited for the His Dark Materials BBC adaptation, I can only hope they do the series more justice than the movie did.

So, because I’m so excited and it’s been a while since I read the books, I’m doing a deep dive talking about everything you need to know about the HDM series

I highly recommend you watch my video review of it if you’ve already read this book and want to deep dive in to the lore and plot of the series with me:

So, first up, we have The Golden Compass, also published as Northern Lights. I don’t want to give too much away, so if you have no idea what this book is about, I’d recommend checking out the summary on Goodreads.

I’m going with the cons first, because there are very, very few of them in my opinion.


Roger’s character. Roger is said to be Lyra’s truest and best friend. And yet, as a character, we know literally almost nothing about him. Nothing, except his devotion to Lyra and that he was a kitchen boy. For someone who is supposed to be so important to Lyra, we’re ultimately left with little impression of him.

Another con here is that the pacing can be a little inconsistent, mostly at the beginning. We start with a really interesting, mysterious scene, and then have to wait for the action to pick up again a few chapters later in the book.


These, I have so many of.

Okay, so world building? Fantastic. One of the absolute BEST things about this world is the daemons. Having a physical animal representation of your soul that can interact with you and others in your world, help you make decisions, point out observations? That’s absolutely amazing and it definitely makes us more connected with the characters, because really who doesn’t love animals?

Some of the most emotionally impactful moments and the most important revelations happen through the daemon interactions in this world, and I’m just blown away by their creation in general.

Lyra herself is such a great character. She’s not a good person, in any way, but she uses her “negative qualities” to accomplish good things. She’s selfish and arrogant, a liar and a manipulator, but she uses these things to help her friends and those she sees in danger. She was another one of my favorite parts of the entire novel.

Overall, I could go on and on about this book, but I think I can get away with saying that if you have not read it yet, you definitely need to. 5/5 Stars.

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