- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers (July 22, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0679879250
- ISBN-13: 978-0679879251
- List Price: $13.60
- I finished this book on June 3
The first book (soon to be a movie staring the hungry Nicole Kidman) centers mostly on Lyra, a little girl in a world that both different and similar than ours. In Lyra's world everyone has a Daemon, who is basically an animal version of their soul. The daemon's of children change to whatever animal shape they want but when a child becomes an adult the daemon takes on a fixed form. At the movie's website you can take a quiz and get your own daemon. Mine is a badass wolf, (fear him!) by clicking you can also see what yours might be (and if you do, tell me in the comments!)
In this book there is a lot more going on than just Lyra's exploits. We meet a boy named Will who is from our world, and many other characters. My favorite part of this book is all the different plots going on and the different motivations of all the different characters. Reading I was struck by how real and human so many of the characters felt to me. There is, however, an injury of a character that made me mighty angry and which reminded me of a similar injury in another book which also steamed me up. (hint: dad a chum, dad a chee, I can't help but bring up Stephen King all the time, I'm rubbish.)
This trilogy has a lot going on in the allegory department. Toward the end of this book many things became clear to me and I'm very excited to jump into the next one. The book focuses on, to name a few: sin, evolution, the Fall, and many other religious ideas. I'm expecting there to be an all out war with the heavens in the next book and I'm not thinking I'll be disappointed.
There's about a million sites online dedicated to this series, but here's what I suggest: for character and plot info as well as analysis check out spark notes and the wikipedia article. Also check out the Random House page and this page which has a whole chat community.