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His Dark Materials Boxed set (His Dark…

His Dark Materials Boxed set (His Dark Materials) (edition 2007)

by Philip Pullman

Series: His Dark Materials (Omnibus 1-3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,599192354 (4.29)310
Lyra Belacqua tries to prevent kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments, helps Will Parry search for his father, and finds that she and Will are caught in a battle between the forces of the Authority and those gathered by her uncle, Lord Asriel.
Title:His Dark Materials Boxed set (His Dark Materials)
Authors:Philip Pullman
Info:Scholastic (2007), Edition: New Ed, Paperback, 600 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

  1. 131
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (guurtjesboekenkast, BrileyOC)
    BrileyOC: Both series provide excellent fantastical escapism as well as profound (though different) religious viewpoints.
  2. 73
    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (guurtjesboekenkast)
  3. 63
    Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (guurtjesboekenkast)
  4. 20
    Paradise Lost by John Milton (Jannes)
    Jannes: Not for your average young reader of Pullman, I would imagine, but Milton is a great read if you want to get to the stuff that inspired His Dark Materials. It's not as difficult a read as you would imagine, either, if you just give yourself some time to adjust to the style.… (more)
  5. 10
    Monster Blood Tattoo, Book 1: Foundling by D. M. Cornish (Bitter_Grace)
  6. 00
    The Gormenghast Trilogy by Mervyn Peake (Lirmac)
    Lirmac: The gothic world of Lyra's Oxford shares a certain similarity with the miles of mouldering masonry that is Gormenghast.
  7. 00
    Archivist Wasp by Nicole Kornher-Stace (wosret)
    wosret: Take a journey through through the underworld; there's more to reality than you know.
  8. 00
    Dust City by Robert Paul Weston (kaledrina)
  9. 00
    Hollow City by Ransom Riggs (thenothing)
    thenothing: Hollow City could easy be fan fiction of His Dark Materials
  10. 01
    Nation by Terry Pratchett (JonTheNiceGuy)

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» See also 310 mentions

English (183)  French (3)  German (3)  Vietnamese (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (191)
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)
(28) Every year around this time, I re-read a book from the past. Lately - it has been in the form of Children's literature, I read aloud to my children. As they are going on 12, I will not be able to do this much longer so I am trying to pick enjoyable things that also have some merit. So we read aloud 'Golden Compass' and will begin the HBO series. I suspect we will finish the series. My previous reviews of the series from 13 years ago are below. I completely agree with my pre-motherhood self and so don't have much to add. My children who go to Catholic school are beginning to wrestle with science and religion and I read 'Chronicles of Narnia' to them probably about 4 years ago - so this is nice counterweight. At least the first book is - if I remember correctly they get much more shrill.
The Golden Compass (read 2/10 - 2/16/08)

The orphan Lyra, in a parrallel world from ours, begins a journey taking her from the confines of the hallowed Oxford University to the Artic Svalbaad. Along the way she meets many interesting creatures and people, discovers her parentage, and learns more about alternate universes and a strange phenomenon called Dust. We are introduced to daemon's -- similar to a witch's familiar -- without which no human can survive intact.

Marvelous atmosphere and settings are created; while the plot and action are more pedestrian, yet entertaining. I think to say Pullman had nothing deeper to say re: religion is being obtuse. There are overt mentions of Christianity and the Bible, as well as allusions to the compatibility of religion and science. I certainly did not see this as advocating atheism or children being encouraged to kill God (not yet, at least) but one wonders if, on some level, Pullman is presenting a foil to Chronicles of Narnia. Even the names of the protagonists are suspiciosly similar -- Lyra/Lucy and Asriel/Asland. One could read into it that Pullman advocates throwing off the shackles of (self) righteousness and embracing one's inner daemon; one's true nature which is, in part, lusty, shameful, sinful. Subjugating our natural impulses leads to living the life of a zombie.

Anyway, as far as Book 1 goes - enjoyable, but not epic. This ain't no Lord of the Rings, nor even Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


The Subtle Knife (read 3/23 - 3/28/08)

Lyra meets Will -- a boy from "our" world-- and they join forces to discover 'The Subtle Knife' -- a weapon in Lord Asriel's war against the Church. Our characters are moving now frequently between multiple realities, each with their own perils: secret police, the evil Mrs Coulter, and the Dementor- like soul sucking Specters.

Rather clumsily constructed, hard to tell where the narrative was going and I occasionally lost the track of the characters motivations, whereabouts, etc. More science fictionesque that Book 1 and Pullman continues with his provocative version of the Christian creation myth. Unlike the knife, the author is not subtle -- he has a big problem with organized religion. Although it doesn't offend me and I never thought I'd say this -- I can see why the uber-religious are bothered.

On the whole rather interesting and eyebrow raising, but only mediocre writing.

The Amber Spyglass (read 5/3 -5/7/08)

The finale of this trilogy really felt like more of the same. Lyra and Will and friends battle the church and the God-poser, Metatron; meanwhile rescuing trapped ghosts in the Land of the Dead. At times entertaining and charming -- especially the cast of characters, such as the Gallivespians; the Angels and the old shriveled 'Authority,' the mulefa, and you gotta love Mrs. Coulter. But the same problems ultimately re-surface.

Pullman continues to weave a new 'creation myth' as he puts in plugs for agnosticism and building 'a republic (certainly not a Kingdom) of Heaven on Earth'. While in many ways, I agree with him -- it came across a bit too forceful for me, almost annoyingly "p.c." - if you know what I mean.

The writing suffers from a bit of cliche, melodrama, and the whole Will & Lyra romance thing was nauseating. But overall, interesting, mildy enjoyable -- but IMO much better children's/YA fantasy out there. I think The Golden Compass was easily the best of the three. ( )
  jhowell | May 26, 2021 |
Quantum physics, Truth with a capital T, and the end of the world. The death of God is inevitable–quite anticlimactic, if not easy to miss in a rapidly moving scene–as human knowledge and choice triumph over destiny. The epic theme certainly drives the plot, but the fantastical and immensely rich tapestry of characters makes this trilogy shine (I stan Iorek). I’m sad I somehow missed out on these books as a kid but am incredibly excited for the new HBO series this year. All I want now is my own little dæmon. ( )
1 vote jiyoungh | May 3, 2021 |
Van een ongekende schoonheid en niveau. Telkens ik het boek vastgrijp, wordt ik weer helemaal overspoeld door de warmte die het uitstraalt (oh, ironie: voor een boek dat zich voor een groot deel in het barre noorden afspeelt). Wat mij betreft één van de mooiste fantasy-boeken die ik las. ( )
  GertDeBie | Mar 22, 2021 |
'She had asked: What is he? A friend or an enemy?
The alethiometer answered: He is a murderer.
When she saw the answer, she relaxed at once. He could find food, and show her how to reach Oxford, and those were powers that were useful, but he might still have been untrustworthy or cowardly. A murderer was a worthy companion. She felt as safe with him as she'd done with Iorek Byrnison the armoured bear.'


This is the second installment in the His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman. The story of Lyra Belacqua continues in a tropical World called Cittàgazze, where Adults are absent, and the Children fend for themselves. Lyra walked into this World at the end of the first book, after her Uncle, Lord Asriel, opened a gateaway between Worlds.

Lyra meets Will, a boy from a World much like her own, but with many differences. Will stumbled into the World accidentally after running away from some men that were following him. Lyra's alethiometer, the instrument she uses to discover truth, tells her that she must find Will's father, who disappeared from Will's world many years ago.

Lyra and Will seek out his Father together, battling through obstacles and ending up in the middle of a huge war between Mortals, Spirits, Witches and Beasts from different Worlds. They must find a way to get to Will's father and save not only their own Worlds, but the hundreds of Worlds connected.


So this is the second book in the His Dark Materials Trilogy and it certainly didn't disappoint. The book is action packed from the start, and there's never a dull moment. I've actually made creases in the cover of this book, from gripping it so tight(I've never done that before.)Lyra seems to have met her match when she crosses paths with Will making for an enjoyable read, full of laughs and tears. It's a fantastic sequel to The Northern Lights/The Golden Compass.


Phillip Pullman's books are a delight to read. His characters are written incredibly, and the plot moves at a good pace, without giving away too much too soon, and keeps the reader interested. A Fantastic Author, worthy of high praise. ( )
  Rebecca_Ross | Nov 2, 2020 |
I couldn't finish this. I got a couple chapters in through the third book before I gave up. I could not bring myself to care about these characters who are universally written in such a way as to manage to prevent the reading from believing the characters are not real in any way. The characters are tropes and stereotypes And symbols without any humanity whatsoever. ( )
  HotvlkvlkeHokte | Sep 8, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 183 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (15 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Philip Pullmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Mullen, DouglasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Targete, Jean PierreCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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His Dark Materials (Omnibus 1-3)

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For The Golden Compass:

Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and looked a while,
Pondering his voyage...

--John Milton, Paradise Lost, Book II

For The Amber Spyglass:

The morning comes, the night decays, the watchmen leave their stations;
The grave is burst, the spices shed, the linen wrapped up;
The bones of death, the cov'ring clay, the sinews shrunk & dry'd
Reviving shake, inspiring move, breathing, awakening,
Spring like redeemed captives when their bonds & bars are burst,
Let the slave grinding at the mill run out into the field,
Let him look up into the heavens & laugh in the bright air;
Let the inchained soul, shut up in darkness and in sighing,
Whose face has never seen a smile in thirty weary years,
Rise and look out; his chains are loose, his dungeon doors are open;
And let his wife and children return from the oppressor's scourge.
They look behind at every step & believe it is a dream,
Singing: "The Sun has left his blackness & has found a fresher morning,
And the fair Moon rejoices in the clear & cloudless night;
For Empire is no more, and now the Lion & Wolf shall cease."

--from "America: A Prophecy" by William Blake

O stars,
isn't it from you that the lover's desire for the face
of his beloved arises? Doesn't his secret insight
into her pure features come from the pure constellations?

--from "The Third Elegy" by Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Stephen Mitchell

Fine vapors escape from whatever is doing the living.
The night is cold and delicate and full of angels
Pounding down the living. The factories are all lit up,
The chime goes unheard.
We are together at last, though far apart.

--from "The Ecclesiast" by John Ashbery
First words
Lyra and her daemon moved through the darkening hall, taking care to keep to one side, out of sight of the kitchen. (Northern lights)
Will tugged at his mother's hand and said, "Come on, come on..." (The subtle knife)
In a valley shaded with rhododendrons, close to the snow line, where a stream milky with melt-water splashed and where doves and linnets flew among the immense pines, lay a cave, half-hidden by the crag above and the stiff heavy leaves that clustered below. (The amber spyglass)
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Disambiguation notice
This work is all three books (Northern Lights aka The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass) in one volume.
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Lyra Belacqua tries to prevent kidnapped children from becoming the subject of gruesome experiments, helps Will Parry search for his father, and finds that she and Will are caught in a battle between the forces of the Authority and those gathered by her uncle, Lord Asriel.

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