Audiobook Review: His Dark Materials | The Amber Spyglass

           I am dead.
           I am writing this as an assembled billion Dust particles who are all struggling in their massive denial of that ending. The road has come to an end for His Dark Materials trilogy and thus so has my will to live.
          In case you're not familiar with the premise:
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...

            The progression of His Dark Materials is just a step-by-step guide on how to rip your heart out and you're looking at it reading each number off knowing what's coming but you keep reading and then wonder why your heart's ripped out by the end of the series. And I ate up the entire step-by-step guide like it was telling me how to keep breathing. That's how addictive His Dark Materials is.
Lyra and Will (work in progress) by Sarah Crockett
           That's how brilliantly written Lyra 'Silvertongue' Belacqua and Will Parry are. They feel real and they act real given their situations and age. There's never a moment I seeth and go, "I don't know about that." for any of the characters. There are many moments I go, "Really, Mrs. Coulter, Really!?" But she just organically entices that type of reaction by the nature of her character.
           However, it's because of this factor of realness in this world of complete fantasy that makes the ending hurt so badly. These characters, particularly Lyra and Will, have been through hell and back (literally!) and the moment they have time to breathe and realize what they feel for each other BOOM! It's taken away from them. At least a future with one another. WHICH IS TERRIBLE!
That conundrum at the very end. The one that rips your soul out with confliction that, yes thematically makes sense and is a perfectly plausible given all the information we've been given over the course of the three books
           It hurts.
           It plain and simple just hurts.
           I mean picture your entire world is just utterly changed and turned upside down and you find out that your world is not the only world. You lose some appendages along the way. Vow to fight God. End up inadvertently aiding the killing of God and saving all the worlds. All this with this cool kid from another world slowly but surely becomes your best friend in all of the worlds. Then at the end of it all, you realize that not only is this person your best friend but you also love them.
Lyra and Will by remybelle on DeviantArt
          Yet, when the both of you realize this you come to the conclusion that the two of you being with each is killing others/ keeping them from entering the Republic of Heaven as well as whichever person isn't in their world will deteriorate faster than normal and thus you'll have ten years before one of you dies.
          Just imagine going through all of that while only being no more than thirteen!
          Philip Pullman wrapped this betrayal of my heart in a snug little cozy sweater of "Ha! They're eternally screwed if they try to stay together in any capacity!"
         Thank you, Pullman, for that!
         Now that I have my obligation of complaining how my heart and soul are dead, I want to mention how much I love how Pullman brought back Ulrik Bjornson into the story. That scene in the cave where Ulrik is repairing the knife is one of my absolute favorites in the entire series. The way it's described is like I'm there in that cave with the heat of the fire and the pounding of the anvil in my ears. It's beautifully described and it's one of those scenes that deserves an adaptation Moment™.
         Another Moment™ is when Asriel and Mrs. Coulter kill Metatron the lost Transformer. Although I can't get over how ridiculous the name is, the entire conclusion and concept of who and what Metatron was and what the Kingdom of Heaven was in this was also one of those moments you, "Yeah, I get that. That makes all the sense in the world." Though I'm a bit dubious that Metatron would be that horny that when Mrs. Coulter throws her 'feminine wiles' at him and him falling for them that fast, but then again... Degenerate God Complex Angel gonna Degenerate God Complex Angel, if you know what I mean.
Mrs. Coulter by aliceazzo on DeviantArt
           Speaking of Mrs. Coulter, she has a transformation into a more clear picture in this book. And by clarity, I mean in The Golden Compass Mrs. Coulter is the Big Bad™ and is treated by the narrative as such and rightly so. In The Subtle Knife, she's colored still as the Big Bad™  who just continues to get worse and the last thing she does in that book before kidnapping Lyra is killing a guy. (I mean Sir Charles deserved it for being an utter pratt but still!) Then once we get to The Amber Spyglass the narrative shifts ever so slightly and we see Mrs. Coulter 'caring' for Lyra. I put caring in quotes because she's also keeping Lyra against her will and in a coma but Mrs. Coulter is ~trying~ at the very least. As we go deeper into the last book Mrs. Coulter's motives are made clear and she's realizing she's a different person than she was in the first book. That she actually cares for her daughter and possibly even Lord Asriel (who is also a pratt but that's the name of the game I guess). 
           The clarity we get with Mrs. Coulter over the series can be described as going from having 20/200 vision to being able to make out what she's about from the inside of the bottom of a Coca-Cola glass bottle. So what some would call process. I think now with the Book of Shadows series coming out we'll get even more Coke bottle clarity on Mrs. Coulter but I hope that doesn't ruin her as a character. 
Mulefa Concept by KatSaw on DeviantArt
            In conclusion:
            This series changed the way I read stories and changed the way I write them. It taught me subconsciously and consciously like many of my favorite series. I am so happy I took the time this year to re-read His Dark Materials because I needed to get out of my reading and writing slump and Philip Pullman did the trick!

The Amber Spyglass (His Dark Materials, #3)The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

         This book ruined me. It is such a perfect end to a phenomenal series. Though the ending is still painful and I will continue to live in denial about it until my dying day. Saying that I will once again give kudos where kudos are due and Philip Pullman has done more than his fair share of deserving them. Every character is their own and has their own story even if we don't get to hear the full version of each of theirs.


          The conclusions that we do get to see, such as Lord Asriel's and Mrs. Coulter's, especially Mrs. Coulter's, are finished in such a profound moment for them and for the rest of the series that I can't think of a better alternative to end the series. I also loved that profound moment when Ulrik was repairing Will's knife, that was A. MO-MENT! It's so intense and I could picture it completely in my head, down to the sparks flying as Ulrik's hammer hit the knife into place. There were so many beautiful passages that once again engrossed you into the multitudes of worlds that Pullman's created that you have to take a step back almost and remember that none of this is real. That he's just created all of this in his head and we're just renting space there for the time being. Truly incredible and encaptivating writer.
           However, what really got me upset! Was the last few chapters where Will and Lyra find out they can't be together. That all of what they went through was temporary and that they'd only be in each other's memories for the rest of their lives. And I really don't like that. On one hand, I can see why Pullman did that for the conclusion of the story but on the other hand, WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY???? It didn't have to end THAT painfully, did it? Did it????
          Aside from that, I adore this book and the whole of His Dark Materials and I will continue to do so for many, many years to come. Also, I can't wait to read The Book of Dust trilogy now!

         View all my reviews

         Until Next Time,


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