All member reviews for The Golden Compass: His Dark Materials, Book 1

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Common Sense Media says

Nail-biting, violent fantasy has elements of mystery.

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Quality(i)

 

Users say

(out of 82 reviews)
AGE
11
QUALITY
 
Review this title!
Adult Written byLauraHopalong April 21, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

This book touched me deeply.

Even though I am older than 17, I really loved this series. At one point, I got so emotional over a section of the book that I began to cry and had to shut it for a breather. Many people claim that the book is anti-Christian, but personally I do not feel that is the case at all. It is intended to make children consider the ramifications of following anything blindly, whether it is a religion or a government. I would like to remind others that just because the author is atheist does not mean he hates Christianity. Atheism is simply not believing that there is a god. Also, the "god" killed in the series is not really a god, but rather a being falsely impersonating a god. That single point is critical to understand. I find it appalling that the majority of the people decrying the book have not even read it. If you have qualms over the book, read it before you give it to a child. The story is just as captivating for adults as it is for children.
Kid, 9 years old April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

A great book

OK, maybe it seems to be justifying umm... being an atheist but they call god "the authority" not god and people, its a book anyway and my favorite book ever.
Parent Written byCBK1 June 20, 2011
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Great book

This is a good book for children who enjoy fantasy like Harry Potter. I did not find an anti-religious tone to the book -- it is a fantasy after all. I would say that any religious overtones are similar to those in the CS Lewis series of The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. You have to have a good sense of the history of religion to pick it up. The whole series is extremely entertaining and well written, and it hangs together well in that it is consistent. The girl is a great role model for pre-teen girls -- she is strong, self-confident and self-reliant.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 13 years old Written byA.M. June 21, 2010
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Bravo!

A great read, with plenty of action and violence to keep readers interested. I enjoyed this book much more than the Amber Spyglass or the Subtle Knife, because it contained less atheism and gore and kept me entertained. Recommended highly!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written bylkmfalcon2010 April 25, 2011
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

attack of the church

okay, you are very naive if you believe and Pullman is not attacking the church. However, please realize he is attacking catholicism before any kind of refermation. So, this book is factual about how the Pope tried to control thier world during medival times. Even if you are catholic and your are educated you will know that the Crusaders were one of the most evil armies that ever lived. My point is that Pullman is attacking the church but he has every right to because it's a factual argument. If you are not catholic then this book is of no insult at all. Lastly, keep in mind he is not attacking religion, he is attcking the institution of the church. This book is very interesting, however the true meaning might be over a lot of children's heads.
What other families should know
Educational value
Teen, 17 years old Written byMiss Practical April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

It was okay

This book is very entertaining, but as you go further into the series it gets disturbing. The whole bases for this trilogy is that they are going to over throw God. they think that God is just an angel who exhaulted himself and that the devil is on the right side. In the end[spoiler warning] they take over heaven and pln to make it a replubic . In the end i wouldnt recomend this book or any in the series because of the underlying values.
Adult Written byMomofTwo April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Not appropriate for Younger Children

This book is not appropriate for <14 Children due to adult themes. Here is my abridged review to keep to the 200 word count limit. I’ve eliminated the references to lying, alcohol and anti-God/Church sentiments and many details. In the book, kids are kidnapped and scientific experiments are performed on children. This routinely results in their death. On page 218, we encounter a victim of one of the experiments who has escaped. He dies as a result of the experiment and is cremated. Quote: “These coffins’ve got skeletons in ‘em!” whispered Roger. “Moldering flesh,” whispered Lyra. “And worms and maggots all twisting about in their eye sockets.” Animal Cruelty & Violence Quote: “one ritual yet to perform … sliced open the … unprotected chest, peeling the fur back to expose the narrow white and red ribs like the timbers of an upturned boat. Into the rib cage (he) reached, and he plucked out (his) heart, red and steaming, and ate it there…”. Sexual References Contains a description of an extramarital affair, pregnancy and murder of the husband by the lover. Quote: “he raked his claws in the soft fur of her neck, and she growled a deep rumble of pleasure.”
Adult Written bylsdgls April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Skip it!!

Be aware that this book is deeply anti-God and that the author is a proclaimed atheist out to put forth his agenda.
Teen, 13 years old Written byMadcapLass March 14, 2014
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

An amazing read!

I read this book for the first time when I was about 9 or 10. Back then I liked the story and the fact that the main character was a girl. Pretty much everything even mildly inappropriate slipped right over my head, and now that I'm rereading it at 13 I'm actually picking up on the stuff/understanding it. You should know that it does get violent, especially near the end. There is death, and two of the main antagonists are Lyra's parents. Iorek, the bear, was kept in the town where they found him because the townspeople were keeping him drunk, so there's some mention of that. They talk a little bit about an affair, and they briefly discuss castration. Like I said, most of that stuff went right over my head when I was younger, so it should be pretty safe as far as that goes. And if you're afraid that your kids will be affected by the religious stuff, don't worry about it; when I first read it, I barely realized the religious aspects of the book. Something the later books deal with is the concept of death and what happens afterwards, so that could prompt some "What happens when people die?" questions. Lyra is a strong female lead, and she's adamant about doing what she thinks should be done. She can be stubborn at times, but that really just makes her more believable. With all that being said, I think this book is definitely a great read. If your kid is younger (10-11) and wants to read it, I'd say go ahead and let them; if they want to, they can read it again later, and pick up on what they didn't. If they're older, like 12-13 or above, it's definitely appropriate.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 15 years old Written byHatenOnMeIsNotCool November 1, 2011
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Stop Hatten On Me...

Okay, for all the morons who are using this to attack religion- WHY THE HECK ARE YOU FREAKING OUT!?! 1. It's a FANTASY, in most FANTASY books, they don't talk about RELIGION, some books don't even bring up RELIGION. So why all you idiots are wandering around the street going, this book hates God, think about this, "Does he ever actually say, 'Kids, God doesn't exist!' or 'Hate God people!'. No, he doesn't. And I thought Christian and Catholic belief was to quote "RESPECT OTHER PEOPLES BELIEFS AND DO NOT HARASS NOR PUNISH FOR DIFFERENT BELIEFS." And kids are not so stupid that when one person states there opinion, then everything goes hay-wire and his opinion is either right or wrong, your OPINION is what you belief. So don't go around hating on people because they're not the same as you. How would you feel if thousands of people started just hating you for no reason what so ever, because you said something. Now go ahead and disagree, but that doesn't mean you should be opening your flap about every little thing wrong and cursing people. Because apparently adults act stupider and idiotic than children. Now for number 2. Don't say this book is bad for kids, because this book has amazing grammar and is written like art is drawn! More kids SHOULD be reading this book. This man obviously put his heart and soul into writing this and was hoping people would enjoy this, instead he got a ton of stupid, pissed off wierdos cursing him off because apparently he some how put his beliefs on every page of the book. Think about it...
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bytwelvefourandtwo September 9, 2011
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

great parent and teen read

I thought this series was brilliant. However, it's not something every parent would approve of for young children because of the dark and complex subject matter. If you are more of a freethinker and enjoy science fiction and fantasy- with exploration into religion this is a great choice. I would recommend reading it first as well as the following two so you can be prepared to judge whether your child is ready for the subject matter. My son is 12, i bought this book 3 years ago and i think he is in a good position to finally read it. I anticipate hearing his thoughts and feelings about this book......
Adult Written byweasly January 18, 2011
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

Good Writer's a genious

Why would anyone ever say this is bad? You have to really already think it is bad and nitpick it honing in on something and warping it to fit how you see the book. Please if you have something to say, say it calmly. Don't just say one word or use all capitol letters. It's rather childish.I am christian if you must know.
Kid, 11 years old June 27, 2010
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Too many Christian parents not letting their kids read this wonderful book!

I loved this book. Im an Athiest and im proud but thats not the reason i loved this book. It did have a few sexual elements but if you know about that stuff about (which alot of kids at the age do) its fine. The violence is "well described" but its not so bad. It has a dark and athiestic storyline but emersive and extremely intersting. I think that parents forcing kids to follow their religon is mean. My parents let me beleive whatever i want im very happy about it.I loved this book and the sequels so i hope you read them.
Teen, 13 years old Written byfuzzyowl December 29, 2008
AGE
14
QUALITY
 

the book is good, but the intentions...

I have always been a big reader and read this when I was about, maybe, 8 or 9. I thought, overall, that it was a good book. It was very well written with a good story line. As I moved throught the series, though, I began to see the intentions of Phillip Pullman. He wanted to destroy the belief in God. Now I am not against Atheists, but I am against anyone sho tries to tell someone their religion is not correct and that it is evil. Pullman's intention is absolutely horrible: to persuade people that God is an evil idea. He is not. I love God and, yes, I believe in Him. I can't believe this is a children's book, either! I find it very disturbing.
Adult Written byLalatiel April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

How is the church freaking out about Harry Potter and not this?

I honestly wish I could like this book, I really do. It's well written, fast-paced and imaginative. However, as someone has already stated, the religious issues are just too much. Pullman is a talented author, but he hates Christianity- you can tell in his other books, too. Parents will definitely want to think hard before letting kids read this book. I'd advise staying away. Although, on the bright side, if parents are concerned about 'religious issues' in Harry Potter, I'm sure they'll be more lenient after reading this.
Adult Written byDevilsSnare April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 
Teen, 17 years old Written byjcsoblonde April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

i cant believe it was published

i was so horrified and just plain SHOCKED when i read this book because the author was so obvious with his biased hatred of christianity and God. i strongly advise not to read it, not to let anyone in your family or under your influence read it...i wanted to cry i because i couldnt believe someone would write something like this...the whole thing is about over throwing God and heaven, and that all He cares about is being an un-loving control freak. the devil is made to look like the good guy, and the main character is no role model herself. it was really weird, and one big thing that i think would have an influence on everyone, is the practice of the separating of people's souls! its a horrid book and so widely popular and influencial i give an extreme warning not to read it. i was repulsed.
Adult Written bywe love 2 read April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN'S BOOK!

I am appalled to see this series on a school reading list. I read this book to see if it was appropriate for my 12 year old and was extremely uncomfortable with it. So much that I couldn't even tell you if it was well written. They were severing the souls from children! Satan is represented as the good guy! HUGE RED FLAGS should be everywhere! THIS IS NOT A CHILDREN'S BOOK!
Adult Written bymailtodna April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

Not In My House!

In an interview the author has openly stated that he is an Atheist. This is NOT okay for all children. I suppose it could be appropriate for those with the same values, but I'm okay being the bad guy in my house with this book series (and forthcoming movie). Don't be afraid to be a parent, it's your job!
Adult Written byBrij1234 March 1, 2015
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Against belief in God

The book is pro-atheist. As a Catholic think that it is important to know about this dimension of the book before spending money on it. I personally feel like I just wasted my money whenever I find out a book I bought is going against by faith.

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