Northern Lights ( or The Golden Compass) pdf Book Summary
Northern Lights pdf book published in 1995 is the first book in the “His Dark Materials” trilogy of fantasy novels by Philip Pullman, published as The Golden Compass in North America. The other two novels in the trilogy are – The Subtle Knife (1997), and The Amber Spyglass (2000).
Northern Lights pdf book is a fantasy novel in which a new universe has been created. A world where daemons swoop and scuttle along the streets of Oxford and London, where the mysterious Dust swirls invisibly through the air, and where one child knows secrets the adults would kill for.
In Jordan College, Oxford, 11-year-old Lyra Belacqua and her dæmon Pantalaimon witness the Master attempt to poison Lord Asriel, Lyra’s rebellious and adventuring uncle. She warns Asriel, then spies on his lecture about Dust, mysterious elementary particles. Lyra’s friend Roger is kidnapped by child abductors known as the “Gobblers.” Lyra is adopted by a charming socialite, Mrs Coulter. The Master secretly entrusts Lyra with an alethiometer, a truth-telling device. Lyra discovers that Mrs Coulter is the leader of the Gobblers, and that it is a project secretly funded by the Church. Lyra flees to the Gyptians, canal-faring nomads, whose children have also been abducted. They reveal to Lyra that Asriel and Mrs Coulter are actually her parents.
The Gyptians form an expedition to the Arctic with Lyra to rescue the children. Lyra recruits Iorek Byrnison, an armored bear, and his human aeronaut friend, Lee Scoresby. She also learns that Lord Asriel has been exiled, guarded by the bears on Svalbard.
Near Bolvangar, the Gobbler research station, Lyra finds an abandoned child who has been cut from his dæmon; the Gobblers are experimenting on children by severing the bond between human and dæmon, a procedure called “intercision”.
Lyra is captured and taken to Bolvangar, where she is reunited with Roger. Mrs Coulter tells Lyra that the intercision prevents the onset of troubling adult emotions. Lyra and the children are rescued by Scoresby, Iorek, the Gyptians, and Serafina Pekkala’s flying witch clan. Lyra falls out of Scoresby’s balloon and is taken by the panserbjørne to the castle of their usurping king, Iofur Raknison. She tricks Iofur into fighting Iorek, who arrives with the others to rescue Lyra. Iorek kills Iofur and takes his place as the rightful king.
Lyra, Iorek, and Roger travel to Svalbard, where Asriel has continued his Dust research in exile. He tells Lyra that the Church believes Dust is the basis of sin, and plans to visit the other universes and destroy its source. He severs Roger from his dæmon, killing him and releasing enough energy to create an opening to a parallel universe. Lyra resolves to stop Asriel and discover the source of Dust for herself.
PHILIP PULLMAN the author of Northern Lights pdf Book AKA The Golden Compass pdf book is one of the most acclaimed writers working today. He is best known for the His Dark Materials trilogy (The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, The Amber Spyglass), which has been named one of the top 100 novels of all time by Newsweek and one of the all-time greatest novels by Entertainment Weekly. He has also won many distinguished prizes, including the Carnegie Medal for The Golden Compass (and the reader-voted “Carnegie of Carnegies” for the best children’s book of the past seventy years); the Whitbread (now Costa) Award for The Amber Spyglass; a Booker Prize long-list nomination (The Amber Spyglass); Parents’ Choice Gold Awards (The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass); and the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, in honor of his body of work. In 2004, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire.
It has recently been announced that The Book of Dust, the much anticipated new book from Mr. Pullman, also set in the world of His Dark Materials, will be published as a major work in three parts, with the first part to arrive in October 2017.
Philip Pullman is the author of many other much-lauded novels. Other volumes related to His Dark Materials: Lyra’s Oxford, Once Upon a Time in the North, and The Collectors. For younger readers: I Was a Rat!; Count Karlstein; Two Crafty Criminals; Spring-Heeled Jack, and The Scarecrow and His Servant. For older readers: the Sally Lockhart quartet: The Ruby in the Smoke, The Shadow in the North, The Tiger in the Well, and The Tin Princess; The White Mercedes; and The Broken Bridge.
Northern Lights pdf Book Information
- ASIN : 1407104055
- Publisher : Scholastic; 1st edition (August 6, 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 416 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9781407104058
- ISBN-13 : 978-1407104058
- Reading age : 10 – 12 years
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.12 x 1.06 x 7.76 inches
- Customer Reviews: 4.6 out of 5 stars 4,931 ratings
5.0 out of 5 stars notes for parents raising kids in a religious tradition
Reviewed in the United States on June 13, 2019
This book and this series is exceptional in so many ways. I give it five stars, and my 9-year-old son is reading the series as I re-read it with him.
Here are three things I love about this book:
1- The main character is a strong girl (Lyra) with incredible willpower as well as a pre-ordained important role to play in the world. She is funny, scrappy, and a very likable and relatable main character. The fate of the world is literally in her hands, but she doesn’t realize that.
2- The world building here is so creative and so different from other fantasy novels. After reading a lot of fantasy novels with my son, at some point I get bored of the traditional storyline of wizard fights some sort of evil and prevails. In this world, every person is born joined to a Daemon, which is an animal who talks and basically always stays within ten feet of the person. They are bonded forever, and part of being a whole human is being bonded from birth to death with this talking animal. There’s also a huge theme here about physics, which they call “Dark Matter” or “Dust” – that creates mystery that keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout the book. There are also such creative creatures, including armored polar bears who talk and are mercenaries for hire. There are witches, who live for thousands of years and exist within clans. And the Daemons are fascinating. They can change shape at will into any animal basically until their human hits puberty, at which point they pick one animal shape to maintain for the rest of their lives.
3- The settings are interesting, and also related to parts of the earth. For instance, the story starts in Oxford in England where Lyra grows up as a part of a college. She is a little girl among scholars, who mainly runs around and does what she wants throughout the town. She’s proud of her mastery of the spaces around her, and becomes the center of most groups of kids, who follow her – from her best friend who is the son of a kitchen worker at the college to her friends the Gyptians who live on boats. Then the story moves to the Arctic, where there are detailed descriptions of auroras and vivid explanations of the cold. My son got more interested in the Arctic here, and found himself exploring the science in the science fiction. That’s an exciting advantage of a book like this!
Notes for parents raising kids in a religious tradition:
The church is evil in this book and in this series. And the church uses names and terms like many real religious traditions- clergy, magisterium, priests, etc. The church is funding an evil plot to try to harness energy by physically harming children in the Arctic. Phillip Pullman is unapologetic about the church being evil in this series, and even extrapolates later in the second book to make statements about churches always being on the wrong side of things.
The book is just so, so good, so I didn’t want that to be a reason not to share it with my son who loves fantasy and science fiction. But I did want to read it with him and talk about it throughout the book. We talked about how worlds are different from each other in fantasy and real life. We’ve also spent time talking about how church is an institution, and institutions make mistakes and have done things that are wrong or even evil- and how to square that with being confirmed in a church literally this year.
If you are a parent of a child being raised in a religious tradition, I strongly recommend reading this series together with your child.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Read For Younger AND Older Readers
Reviewed in the United States on June 15, 2016
This book seems to be written for a younger audience, and I have no doubt that preteens and up could read it without difficulty, but at the same time I feel that a lot of the themes and the nuance could go over the heads of younger readers. The use of accents, speech patterns, dress, and behavior to denote class, the writing of younger characters to think and behave as young people would and do while still keeping things moving forward at a good pace and keeping things both exciting and logical, the politics and relationships between adult characters: these things may be appreciated much more by adult readers than their younger counterparts. This is definitely a book which can be enjoyed by a wide range of ages. Twists and turns are difficult puzzles, but there are enough clues that a younger detective could still see what’s coming if they’re paying attention. The plot is thrilling, often intense, moving, and fascinating. The cultural standards surrounding daemons alone could make up their own encyclopedia. Some have claimed this book to be religious in nature, but while it does *deal* with religion quite a bit, I do not find it to be in any way advocating for any particular faith. If anything it warns against the nature of organized religion to become corrupt (without demonizing the religion itself). If you are concerned about the nature of the ‘daemon’ characters, be aware that the term is used in the old Greek sense more so than the ‘different spelling for demon’ sense; ‘a supernatural being of a nature between gods and humans’. They are loosely intended to be an external version of the soul or spirit, not anything evil or bad. Be warned, though: this book does include terrible things happening to children, and several deaths. Younger children may find it frightening or upsetting. If you give this to your child be prepared to sit down with them and discuss the book when they are finished reading.
5.0 out of 5 stars I was super impressed by the magical feeling of turning of every pageReviewed in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2019
I couldn’t remember the Golden Compass pdf film well, but I did suspect I’d start with the impression I’d be reading a book only for children. I was wrong on this, finding Northern Lights to be intellectually satisfying for adults, with some of the most beautiful in depth descriptions I’ve ever read (see below). I did eventually get the impression I was reading a story authored by a teacher. There are scientific elements, inventions reminiscent of the steampunk genre, and religious influences in the form of institutions and verse. There were strong themes of the promise of mental discovery and the threatening yoke of conformity. Where beliefs are a good thing, it’s in the presence of magical fantasy and wonder.
Premise of the story
Lyra is a child living in the prestigious Jordan College, though many of her habits are less than prestigious. She’s adventurous, and naughty, with a keen sense of curiosity that can get her into trouble. When all the children are going missing, the Gobblers are blamed and Lyra is determined to go north. In fact, whatever the reason, Lyra seems determined to go north.
Some of the passages of Lyra interacting with the bears were the most fascinating and engaging in the story. I did wonder how she was able to trick some of them as easily as she did when they were known for not being tricked. Did I miss something?
‘Looking up at the stone pinnacles of the chapel, the pearl-green cupola of the Sheldon Building, the white painted Lantern of the Library.’
‘Men and women are moved by tides much fiercer than you can imagine, and they sweep us all into the current.’
‘The bleakest barest most inhospitable godforsaken dead-end of nowhere.’
‘Then, with a roar and a blur of snow both bears moved at the same moment. Like two great masses of rock balanced on adjoining peaks and shaken loose by an earthquake, that bound down the mountainsides gathering speed, leaping over crevasses and knocking trees into splinters, until they crash into each other so hard that both are smashed to powder and flying chips of stone: that was how the two bears came together.’
It’s as wonderful as Harry Potter and as bewitching as Terry Pratchett, covering misfortune, tragedy, outrage, and heroism. I’d certainly feel enriched continuing with the series.
I was super impressed by the magical feeling of turning of every page, and my estimation of Philip Pullman’s writing is high. I’m confident his other books are also stellar reads!
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