My name is Ardis and I am an avid reader and budding writer. I want to share my love of books with others. I work with kids and am interested in finding and creating books that will ignite the reader in everyone. Contact me at: ardis.atkins@gmail.com

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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

ARC Audio Review: The Book Of Dust by Phillip Pullman

Please Note:  I received an advance copy of this audio book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.  This did not influence the opinions of my review in any way.  Also, I have linked the book cover to Amazon.  If you buy the book through this link, I will get a small fee.

Synopsis (From Goodreads):
Eleven-year-old Malcolm Polstead and his dæmon, Asta, live with his parents at the Trout Inn near Oxford. Across the River Thames (which Malcolm navigates often using his beloved canoe, a boat by the name of La Belle Sauvage) is the Godstow Priory where the nuns live. Malcolm learns they have a guest with them, a baby by the name of Lyra Belacqua . . .

Several years ago (when the movie was coming out), I devoured the trilogy called His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman.   The first, and most famous of the books is called The Golden Compass.  I loved everything about these books.  When I learned that, after over twenty years, Phillip Pullman had written a prequel to that saga, I was over the moon with joy.  Thanks to Random House Audio, I was able to get a copy of the audio book for review.  I'm not used to binges, but I certainly did with this book.  It was everything I hoped it would be, and more.

What I Liked:

Audio Performance:
Michael Sheen is a genius narrator, with voices and emotions that make you think twenty people are performing.  His performance is mesmerizing.  With a rich, booming voice, he is the perfect Lord Asriel.  And then the next moment, he is a confused eleven-year old boy.  One would think that he would need a moment to go from one character to another, but his performance is seemless.


This book is full of many adventures and frightening scenes.  From the start, there is an edge of danger as Malcolm learns about Lyra and seems to become her protector.  When it is clear people want to kidnap Lyra, Malcolm fiercely defends her.

Malcolm, the main character, is smart, brave, and resourceful.  As he develops, Malcolm learns to see the goodness in some people, and the darkness in others.  I love how his opinions change as Malcolm gets to know Alice, the kitchen help at his father's Pub.  I can't wait to read more about Malcolm in the future.

Alice has bravado to spare, but is racked with insecurities just under the surface.  As the book progresses, the reader learns more and more about Alice, and what a tormented person she is.  But regardless of this, Alice is also brave and strong in the face of danger. 

Lord Asriel is prominently featured in this book, and I loved finally understanding his character.  While he is harsh and abrupt, he is also intensely concerned about Lyra.  This changes my thoughts about what happens in the rest of the book series, for the better. 

What I Was Mixed About:
Abrupt Ending:
As with his other books, the author ends the book almost in the middle of a scene.  Although this is a prequel and I know the general direction of what will happen next, I found this frustrating. I really hope that it doesn't takes years and years for the next book!

PG-13 Aspects:
Although the protagonist is an eleven-year old boy, this book is filled with F-bombs and intense violence.  This is NOT a book for children under thirteen.



Release Date:  October 19th, 2017

Genre:  Fantasy

Publisher:  Random House Audio

Performed by:  Michael Sheen

Listening Length:  13 hours & 7 minutes

Page Length:  451 pages

Format:  Audio Book

Source:  Random House Audio

Recommendation:  This is a must read for fans of Phillip Pullman, and a wonderful introduction if you have never read The Golden Compass.  Exciting and suspenseful, this is a page-turner that you will not want to put down.
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1 comment :

  1. Sounds really good! I haven't read The Golden Compass, but I did watch the movie. & I did loved it. I should check the series out. I think my library has them. Great review.


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2019 Reading Challenge
MsArdychan has read 10 books toward her goal of 120 books.


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