Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of The Golden Compass.
How did you feel about this first section? I was a little nervous when I started reading because I thought the world was going to be confusing. Sometimes, I have a hard time with fantasy books because I have a hard time imagining the worlds in which they take place. But, I was able to adapt to the world in this book pretty quickly. The daemons were the most confusing thing for me. If you're wanting more information about daemons and what they look like, check out this article on Den of Geek. It has a lot of great pictures of the way the daemons are depicted in the HBO adaptation.
We're introduced to a lot of characters in this section. Did you have a hard time keeping everyone straight? Lyra definitely was the most important character we met--what did you think of her? I liked how courageous she was. She wasn't afraid to climb across the roof or go in the catacombs or hide in the Retiring Room. Lord Asriel was a hard person to get to know. He seemed really important, but I didn't really get a sense of what he was really like. Mrs. Coulter was a scary character once her true colors were revealed. Who are you looking forward to finding more about in the upcoming chapters?
What do you think about Dust? I'll be honest and say that I don't really have any idea what Dust actually is. It just seems like it's a feared thing and something that people don't talk about openly. And, it appears to not be attracted to children. Do you have any more ideas about what Dust could be?
The Gobblers are terrifying. I hate when there is any violence towards children in books and movies, so the Gobbler parts were hard to read. I hated how they lured the children away from their families, and I hated that I don't completely understand what the Gobblers want the children for. I just hope that Roger and all of the other children are safe and Lyra can rescue them.
Did you guess that Mrs. Coulter was someone that Lyra shouldn't trust? I did since the Gobbler that lured away that boy, Tony, had a golden monkey. I figured that golden monkeys probably aren't very common daemons, so I guessed that Mrs. Coulter was probably not a very nice lady. I was really relieved when Lyra escaped. When Lyra is captured right after she escaped, did you expect her to be immediately taken back to Mrs. Coulter? I was so relieved when she was rescued by the gyptians. They seem like such awesome people. I'm glad that Lyra has them on her side.
Near the end of this section, we're told the secrets of Lyra's parentage. Were you surprised? Did you expect that twist at all? I was surprised, and a little sad for Lyra. I don't think I would like to have either of those people as my parents. They don't seem to really care about Lyra much.
The alethiometer seems like it will be really important in the upcoming sections, but it's not exactly clear how it will work and if Lyra will be able to master it. Are you nervous that such a young girl is taking care of such an important item? Do you think she'll learn how to use it well?
There was a lot of stuff that happened in this section that I didn't mention. What was your favorite part?
I hope you'll take a couple of minutes to watch the video clip below. It depicts the very beginning of the book when Lord Asriel is discussing dust and Lyra is hiding in the cupboard. I liked getting more of a visual for the scene--let me know if you do, too.
I hope you're able to read Part Two before next week. I can't wait to hear from you in the comments section!