His Dark Materials is a fantasy trilogy written by Philip Pullman. The first novel of the trilogy is Northern Lights which is known as The Golden Compass in some countries. The novel was published in the year 1995 in the United Kingdom by Scholastic. The US version of the book was published in April 1996 with the title, The Golden Compass. In the same year in which Northern Lights was released, Pullman won the Carnegie Medal for writing 1995’s best children’s book. The book is considered by some to be linked with Christian Literature.
Northern Lights is a kind of book that every adult must’ve read in his childhood. It showcases such amazing phenomena that leave the reader spellbound and awestruck.
The author has used the concept of every person having his own daemon and the parallel universe which is still new to the world and anyone, especially children would love reading a story based on such concepts. The soul of every being is another living being called the daemon and they can freely change forms. The main character is twelve-year-old orphan Lyra Belacqua. She has a daemon named Pantalaimon. Lyra resides in Jordan College, Oxford. The church is given utmost importance and all key decisions are taken by the church. One fine day, Lyra’s uncle Lord Asriel plans a visit to the college. His purpose was to travel to Northern Lights and find ‘dust’ which was considered as a gateway to a parallel universe. Proceeding further, strange events start occurring in Lyra’s life. Her friend mysteriously disappears and then she is adopted by a peculiar charming woman named Mrs Coulter. While Lyra is about to leave Jordon with Mrs Coulter, the Master of the college gives her an altethiometer which resembled a golden compass (hence the name The Golden Compass). Lyra, as created by the author, is a smart, intellectual girl. She is gifted with a nimble brain and is quick to decipher and learn things. According to people, the disappearance of her friend Roger is due to the Goblins. Later in the story, some startling revelations are made regarding Mrs Coulter. Lyra suspects that at some level, dust is responsible for the disappearance and all the chaos that is being created. Finally, it is Lyra’s wit and the altethiometer that clear the swarmed path and reveal some path-breaking truths and also help Roger.
The author has created an excellent plot and has formed an impeccable story out of his imagination which maybe adults too would love to read. The book is a complete delight for fantasy and science-fiction lovers. It is packed with such level of creativity that it will definitely make the reader enthralled. After reading this first part, there is a thirst to read more and proceed to the next book of the trilogy.
For all those eager and enthusiastic minds out there, this book must become a part of your bookshelf!