The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials)

The Amber Spyglass is the final book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. At the end of The Subtle Knife, Lyra was captured by Mrs. Coulter. Will, accompanied by an angel, sets out to rescue her. The angel only agrees to this if Will agrees to go to Lord Asriel afterwards.

Mrs. Coulter has been keeping Lyra asleep in an attempt to prevent a prophesied second ‘fall’. While she slept Lyra dreamed of Roger, the boy who died when Lord Asriel opened the doorway between worlds. She decides that she must free him from the land of the dead. Will wants to speak to the man he learned was his father just before his father died, so he opens a doorway to that world.

An important character, introduced in The Subtle Knife is Dr. Mary Malone. She’s a scientist studying dark matter and was amazed to learn that it seems to be the same as the ‘Dust’ from Lyra’s world. She goes through the doorway between worlds that Will found in The Subtle Knife. In yet another world she meets some intelligent beings whose lives are being affected by disruptions to the ‘Dust’. With their help she creates the Amber Spyglass so she can study the ‘Dust’.

This is another book that it’s hard to review without giving too much away, despite the fact that there’s so much going on. The idea of being able to travel to the world of the dead is intriguing. That world and the ‘people’ in it  are well described. I also liked the alien beings that Mary Malone met. They’re not humanoid and don’t even have a similar skeletal structure to Earth vertebrates. It’s good to read a book that acknowledges that ours is not the only evolutionary path available.

I enjoyed the His Dark Materials trilogy so much that I read all three books in just over a week. I recommend this series to anybody who enjoys intelligently written fantasy.

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