I have really got to stop watching movies based on books before I read the books themselves. Because really, the books are usually way better, and even so I still spend too much time comparing the book to what I remember of the movie.
Such is the case with The Golden Compass, the movie version of which I really don’t remember much from. But many times in the book I felt like something was “wrong” compared to the movie, and then I had to be all, “Self. Shut up and read.” So it took a while to get through.
But it was pretty good. The story is of Lyra Belacqua, an orphan in the care of Jordan College in Oxford. Of course, her Oxford is much different than ours, seeing as it’s in a whole other universe altogether, where people have daemons in animal form that follow them around and act as sorts of guardians of their humans. Lyra is getting along well at Jordan College until one day her uncle shows up and peeves off a bunch of Scholars, and then next thing Lyra knows she’s off to be personal assistant to someone who is kidnapping children. Fun? Lyra, of course, escapes, and then she finds out lots of truths (some from people, some from her “golden compass” that tells you the answer to anything you want to know) that she doesn’t really like, and then ADVENTURES happen. There are bears, and hot-air balloons, and witches, and oh my, it’s pretty darn exciting.
This is a banned book, because it paints the Church out to be pretty awful (which, in this other world, at least, it kinda is), but from all of the talk I thought it would be more anti-Church than it is… maybe it gets worse in the rest of the trilogy?
Nonetheless, I liked the world that Pullman put together (though I am so over prophecies these days, which is not his fault), and I thought that Lyra was true to a 12-year-old, which doesn’t happen often in books like these. She was kind of stupid sometimes, and kind of genius sometimes, and was generally willing to believe anything she heard (which is a little of both). I liked her. 🙂 But the story itself… eh. It was exciting and adventurous, as I’ve said, but I’m not itching to go out and find the next book. We’ll see, I guess.
(My Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge)
Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.