Today I finished The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman. I loved it. I love this series. This series is a 7. I am using this as one for my YA challenge as well as OUaT2.
As The Subtle Knife ended darkly, this one starts out grim. Lyra, our heroine, is lying in a drugged sleep. Her mother, Mrs. Coulter, has kidnapped her and they are hiding in a cave. Will is searching for Lyra with the help of angels and the Iorek, king of the ice bears. When they find each other, they must journey to the land of the dead. Everyone is trying to get the pair, the Authority in Lyra's world, Lord Asriel, Mrs. Coulter. We get battles, ghosts, angels both good an evil, more Dust, love. Evil characters redeem themselves and characters die fighting for their beliefs.
Now I am going to say something I hadn't expected to say so soon. I like these better than Harry Potter. Please don't hurt me. I love Harry, and his world, and the last books were so mature. But I feel like the His Dark Materials series is stronger and deeper. You could pluck any of Pullman's side characters and I want to know about them. With the exception of The Marauders, I don't feel the same about Rowling's secondary characters. Lyra and Will are more grown up at 12 or 13 than Harry and Ron and Hermione are until close to the end of book 7, when they are 17 and 18.
I definitely want to read these books again in a few months.