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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars more than a children's book
This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. In some magical way, this is a book that, through the stories of several very original characters is able to address God, love, maturity, humanity's history and meaning, and countless other wonderful topics. This was more than just a novel to me; it has shaped my philosophy and way of looking at the world. Thos who say...
Published on April 28 2004 by Kyle Laurentine

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A huge disappointment
I loved the Golden Compass and the Subtle Knife but this book disappointed me terribly. I was outraged. To much ranting about Dust, 'we have to seal all the holes' 'oh but then we cant see each other any more'
really, who cares!? Lyra and Will falling in love was terrible, ruined the plot with nonsense
Published on Dec 22 2007 by Andy


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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The Unsubtle Pen, Nov. 27 2002
By 
Why this book has received the awards and acclaim it has is simply beyond me. I loved The Golden Compass, and liked the Subtle Knife, but I would rename this third volume The Unsubtle Author. It is simply the most disappointing ending to a series I have ever read. There are holes in the plot big enough to drive an alternate universe through, thematic inconsistencies (how can the angels envy humans' material bodies if they are made of matter, too?), and worst of all, Pullman bashes us over the head with his anti-religion message, tacking on platitudes (Don't worry! Be cheerful!) to try to end his book on a positive note. His anti-authority/pro-knowledge message is ruined by the fact that nearly every piece of knowledge the charcters receive comes from some authority figure: a father, or an angel tells them about the nature of the spectres, or of "god", and they accept it without question? This is the quest for knowledge? Even at the end, they are still relying on magical devices rather than their own intellect to tell them the truth. The climax of the book tries to equate carnal knowledge with intellectual knowledge, and that is, to anyone who has ever taught a hormonal 7th grader who can't focus on school work, as Pullman would say, "a lie."
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Daring, Ambitious...And Falls Short, March 19 2004
By 
Erik S. Tavares "estavares" (Everett, WA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'll be the first to admit Pullman's trilogy is fantastic, but more on the merits of the first two books than the resolution in this disappointing novel.
Obviously, if you're hooked on the first two, it's a must read, but Pullman set too many goals, established too many expectations which fall flat. A similiar problem occurs in his Sally Lockhart trilogy--he is adept at creating such peril, such need in a reader, that it is impossible to create an ending that can satisfy.
The problem here is that most of the promises made are either forgotten or diminished *SPOILER ALERT!* Mary is said to be the tempter, the means of luring Lyra to do that which the church fears (becoming a sort of "Eve")...but Mary does nothing that influences them, and even the Amber Spyglass does nothing that affects the outcome of the story. Mary's entire journey is ultimately pointless, and wastes valuable time. Lyra too is supposed to be an "Eve" but nothing happens. Characters come and go and are forgotten. Issues are started and, when Pullman realizes they're going nowhere, left to fall flat. So many questions are left unanswered.
Instead of meeting those urgent emotional needs created by the first two books, The Amber Spyglass loses its focus, becomes a preachy diatribe of an agnostic's dislike of organized religion, and, in the end, nothing is really changed from the beginning.
A letdown, but not enough to avoid reading the book. I hope Pullman visits this world again and, perhaps, allow his editor to help out a little more next time.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad (and rather offensive) end to the series, Oct. 23 2002
By A Customer
Let me start by saying I am a liberal Christian. I'm a firm believer in gay rights, adamantly pro-choice, and think that many of America's leaders who claim to be diligent Christians are nothing but a bunch of old white guys in cheap suits waving flags saying that patriotism is the way to salvation. What's more, I even liked the first book of this series. By the third, however, it got to be too much.
The lengths to which the Christians in this book go to are sickening. We have a priest who goes through a process of redemption strong enough to justify his murder of a little girl. The whole Christian organization (which pretty much rules every aspect of life) is a corrupt, power hungry autocracy. Moreover, needlessly offensive comments are made about Christianity's virtues (for expample, the Spanish priest's idea that he would convert the mulefa from their satanic use of wheels, what the hell kind of Christian would do that?)that are downright agregious. It's obvious Philip Pullman is making these judgements due to his own ignorance.
These aren't the only things that make the book bad. The whole thing is utterly humorless. Also, it seems like Pullman has given up on development altogether and resorted to introducing a bunch of new gimmicks and creatures. Worst of all, the book ends on a sappy cliche of one of the most overused themes of all time.
Don't waste your time. Read some intelligent sci-fi by Anthony Burgess or Frank Herbert.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars (...), Dec 26 2001
By 
The series began well inviting me into a world of intrigue and fantasy, always dangling a new question ahead, tempting one further down the path. Unfortunately the final volumne, The Amber Spyglass, rattles and clunks it's way downward losing parts and pieces along the road of fantasy as if the author had created such just to bring one to a rude awakening. It arrives naked at it's final destination stripped bare of any redeeming plot or even the pretense of assuming one. It is unendurable as the book becomes a pulpit from which the author delivers his own accumulated personal payload of adolescent bile and political/religious babble. One can hear him saying "Forget the book, now that I have you this far, this is what I really wanted to say." It's like watching the window roll down as the car rolls to a stop and the gentleman inside does his sweetly perverted best to lure children within reach of his dark and subtle grasp. This isn't a children's fantasy trilogy. It's literary molestation.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very Shabby. I was disappointed., Oct. 27 2001
By A Customer
This book left me very disappointed. It dragged on and on. Phillip Pullman had so much potential, but he threw it all down the drain. Personally, I feel that Will ruined the story. Lyra was a solid enough character, and many of my friends, both boys and girls, thought that Pantalaimon was enough of a male influence to suffice. I was particularily disappointed when they abandoned Pantalaimon. He was my favorite character, and I was ready to stop reading once he was gone. Also, it was very rude of Will to just jump on Lyra and start kissing her. Now that was disgusting.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An end to a series I didn't want to stop, July 4 2010
By 
A. Taylor (Winnipeg, MB Canada) - See all my reviews
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I was surprised by how much I enjoyed His Dark Materials trilogy - the Amber Spyglass, in fact, was a book that kept me on edge almost the entire time I was reading it. It was a page turner, there are multiple plot lines that have been building over the series that converge as the struggle for freedom of will grows tantamount.

The ideas introduced in The Subtle Knife are expanded on in this book, growing more unique and poignant. The series does have a moral - a wonderful one. And while in some cases that may seem trite, it left me personally with more gratification than I imagined.

While considered a children/teen book, this by NO means detracts it from being a hugely in depth, fascinating, and complex read. There are facets that children wouldn't understand, it has lots of complex ideas that link science, religion and fantasy together.

Loved the book, would read it again - and I was sad when I finished it (like I am with any good book!).
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4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and disappointing, May 9 2008
By 
Chris (Ottawa, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This book, the last of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, was disappointing in that it didn't, to me, show the big picture clearly. However, the smaller stuff - Mary's back story, Will meeting Iorek - was excellent and just having finished the book, I can say that I will remember the characters for a long time.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The real value of this book is not to be found as a standalone, but rather as the conclusion of an outstanding triology..., Jan. 5 2007
By 
M. B. Alcat "Curiosity killed the cat, but sa... (Hanoi, Vietnam) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
"The amber spyglass" is the third and last book in Phillip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" triology. It is good, but not nearly as engaging as the previous two books in the series, "Northern lights" (or "The golden compass", the name given to that book in USA) and "The subtle knife". I must say that I didn't love "The amber spyglass", but I'm glad I read it.

The books in "His Dark Materials" are the kind of books that make you happy someone taught you how to read. They are full of magic, interesting characters and weird events. In a nutshell, they make you dream, and awake your imagination, whether you are extremely young or already an adult.

From my point of view, that is extremely important, and that is the reason why I recommend "The amber spyglass" to you, even though I only give it 3 stars. Truth to be told, the real value of this book is not to be found as a standalone, but rather as the conclusion of an outstanding triology that is already a classic. Recommended!

Belen Alcat
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4.0 out of 5 stars GOOD-but terribly SAD, July 2 2004
By 
Lee Ann Million "Black Jewels Queen" (Griffith, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Ok, this was a GREAT book, but I happened to find one MAJOR flaw in it. The ending. Not that it did not make sense, only that, it sucked. It was terribly sad, and I found myself bawling for ten minutes staight, and any time afterwards when I thought about the ending. To this day, I still cry terribly when I think about what happened, and I wish so badly that it had turned out differently for Will and Lyra. I know i'm getting a little too emotional, but this book was good, but very very very very very terribly sad, and WILL make you cry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Online book report, April 25 2004
By 
ookwormbay7 (nowhere that matters, USA) - See all my reviews
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman is another great book. It continues the story of Lyra and Will that is told in The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife. At the end of the second book, The Subtle Knife, Will finally finds his father after a long search, only to see a witch kill him before will's very eyes. After the witch kills herself, two angels appear to tell Will that he must come with them to Lord Asriel, Lyra's father, who is leading the rebellion against The Authority. Will comes to get Lyra, and finds her gone. At the beginning of the book, we have no idea what is going to happen, but the ending surprises you.
The beginning of The Amber Spyglass is set in the beautiful Himalaya valley with a small village near a cave where Mrs. Coulter, Lyra's mother, is hiding her. Pullman elaborates the setting very well. "In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with meltwater splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half-hidden by the crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below" (Pullman 1). It is one of those books that you don't want to stop reading. He [Pullman] has created many completely different worlds, and an interesting way to travel between them. Some parts are completely unbelievable. Pullman even creates non-humans that have understanding the way we do. " Atal said, Yes. All the mulefa have this. You have, too. That is why we knew you were like us and not like the grazers, who don't have it" (Pullman 222).
When I first got this book, it was because of its two preqels. It must have been close to two years ago, when my mom was looking on amazon.com reviews for a good book for me. She told me about the good reviews for this book and the prequels, and ordered The Golden Compass for me. It sat on my bookshelf for a while, but when I was looking for a good read I decided to pick it up. I read the first chapter, and at first it seemed bland and uninteresting. I sat for a while and remembered that something similar happened when I first read another book. Near when the first Harry Potter book came out, my uncle bought me one for my birthday. This sat on the shelf a long time too, because after reading the first chapter, which took me forever, I decided that I never wanted to read it. When the fourth book came out, there was an article in Newsweek that had an excerpt from the first chapter of the fourth book, which my mom convinced me to read. After reading it, I wanted the book right away, so I ran upstairs to read the copy I had. Remembering this, I decided that I probably would like The Golden Compass once I read it, and that I didn't want to miss out on a good book like I had almost done before. I ended up loving it. It read unlike anything I had read before, rivaling some of my favorite authors. The ending was so pulling that I had to get the other two.
The Amber Spyglass is an overly superb book. It has all the qualities of a good book, including good characters, a good plot, a good author, and a good setting. It makes for a good read, since it is over 500 pages long. The climax of the book was very surprising, but it has a great ending. I would highly recommend it.
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