Friday, 2 August 2013

Book Review - The Amber Spyglass

Title: The Amber Spyglass
Author: Philip Pullman
Series: His Dark Materials
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: 14th September 2001
ISBN13: 9780439993586

Will is the bearer of the knife. Now, accompanied by angels, his task is to deliver that powerful, dangerous weapon to Lord Asriel - by the command of his dying father.

But how can he go looking for Lord Asriel when Lyra is gone? Only with her help can he fathom the myriad plots and and intrigues that beset him.

The two great powers of the many worlds are lining up for war, and Will must find Lyra, for together they are on their way to battle, an inevitable journey that will even take them to the world of the dead..

My Review
The third part in the trilogy, again I had read this about 10 years ago and I remembered that I struggled with it a bit back then, didn't find it as interesting as the other 2 but still loved the series. I hoped since I have changed since reading that maybe I would appreciate this one more this time round.
I did not!
In fact I found it hard-work, tiresome and slow. I skim read quite a lot of it.
Lyra has been taken by Mrs Coulter, Will is desperate to get her back, Mary has gone through into a new world and various other people and groups are fighting various battles.
I really enjoyed the scenes with Lyra and Will in, even apart, their journey is linked and makes you want to read on. The appearance of Iorek Byrnison and Lee Scoresby is also a welcome release, they are by far my favourite characters. And I found myself enjoying the book when it was focused on these characters, but as soon as it drifted to some of the others i lost interest. It seems to be a lot of back information and padding that holds no particular relevance to the story. I found I didn't care - these were the bits I skimmed over. 
Pullman's writing is still magical and can still pull me in and love the world, but this one just had too much waffle! 
Mary started out interesting but all the talk of particles and dust movements with her climbing trees and communication with those strange creatures just lost appeal to me, I wanted the book to get to it's point.
If this book had been about 150 pages shorter I think I would have really enjoyed it, but as it was there was just too much and I couldn't make myself care. 
As I said, it does have it's moments of brilliance and I did really enjoy parts of it, but overall I struggled a bit, reading it became a chore and I nearly gave up more than once. 

My Rating


Liz. R said...

The Amber Spyglass was probably my least favourite of the three, but I loved the series as a whole! This one was quite long, but I did like the end - though when I first read it back in the day I was devastated and cried for days :P. Thanks for the review!

barmybex said...

Seems o be the general consensus i think.
The ending is a bit of a shocker and quite sad - the whole star crossed lovers pulled apart. Was upsetting.
Thanks for stopping by :D