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The Golden Compass
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I'm finally getting around to reading Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Actually I'm listening to them on audiobook, and I'm nearly done with the first one, The Golden Compass.

The book follows the exploits of a girl named Lyra, who lives in a world kind of like ours, except everyone has a demon (like a little spirit animal that can talk), bears talk and can engineer things, and there are witches that live a long time and fly around. There's a lot of interest in dust, which apparently has something to do with other worlds. The book describes a multiverse idea, where there are millions of other universes which are all connected. Apparently at some point god enters the picture as well, though I haven't gotten that far yet.

The books have got a reputation of being anti-religious, though I haven't really seen that yet. As far as the story, there are creative bits, and it moves along reasonably well. I've heard other SFF writers compare it to the Harry Potter books and extol its superiority, but I don't particularly see it. Then again, I've only read the first two Potter books and haven't finished the Pullman series, but I'm not sensing a particular amount of brilliance in it. More to follow when I finish.

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