The Golden Compass - Philip Pullman After reading the first nine-tenths of the novel, I was expecting nothing other than a YA adventure novel. When I finished it, I saw the interesting bits finally come alive. The writing is smooth and the characters, while rather one-sided and painted with broad strokes, works well here. I can't complain, because most book's characters rather fall into the same category and so I must focus on ideas and how those ideas are pulled off. The locales are charming, and even though we're missing some depth, it's to be expected by the type of the novel it is. I did find myself wanting the viewpoints of the parents more than our lovely silver-tongued liar, but I think this is just my own frantic desire for understanding a character's psychology. Good book, and I'm looking forward to more adventure.