Siiiiiiigh. Don’t you just love and hate that feeling when a really great book ends? It’s such a bitter sweet sensation…I have this strange way of reading the last several chapters of such a book. I’ll read really quickly, then stop at a great part (especially if I’ve read the story before) and put the book aside for a short while just to relish the knowledge of how good it’s going to be. Then I’ll devour the next few chapters, then stop again, and the last couple of pages I read and reread and reread slowly to draw it out as much as possible. Needless to say, the last chapter of this book took forever to get through, and I loved every second of it.
This is the third and final installment in His Dark Materials trilogy, and while I think The Amber Spyglass is my overall favorite, this is a very close second. The story deals with the overarching storyline that was in all three books–the rebellion of the people against the Authority. This plot is much more violent and intense than the last two, and a good portion of it takes place in battle. There is really way too much to sum up here, but the characters are timeless, the actions full of treachery and nobility, and the love story is classic.
One of the greatest parts of this book is the obvious religious (and anti establishment) views of the author. They are so subtly woven into the first two books, then he just comes right out and says them in the last. I probably wouldn’t have liked it at all if I didn’t like the message he was sending. I suggest that if you have particularly strong feelings about religion, read this book with caution. Know that the author obviously hates organized religion as it stands today, and he does not hide the fact. He does make some compelling observations about humankind and the nature of being alive, while cleverly weaving in the most basic of bible stories. I loved it. Love, love, love!