Why Didn't Anyone Tell Me His Dark Materials Was Amazing?

Well, I mean, okay, other than the billion people who have told me His Dark Materials is amazing.

This is mostly on me—I'd heard that Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy was good, and had been meaning to read it for a long time. Plus, pretty much the entire world has already gone and said that these books are good. It's really my bad for not listening until now.

All the same, I started the first book in the series, The Golden Compass a couple days ago, and I'm so fully on board it's ridiculous. It has everything:

  • A considered fantasy world that instantly feels believable and real
  • Ties to the real world that are at once understandable and fantastic
  • Lore that is logical and organic
  • A dark, sharp take on real-world issues that is appropriate for both kids and adults
  • Good writing. Like, really good. Much better writing than certain other popular modern British fantasy series.
  • Bears

Have you read these books? Are you interested in them? (You should be!) I think that I'll post a few updates in the off topic as I make my way through the series. It can be like a casual Kotaku book club. I'll post again once I've finished The Golden Compass.

In the meantime: What are some other less-super-famous fantasy series that are worth checking out? Is the movie version of The Golden Compass as bad as it sounds? Why on earth would someone try to make a video game out of this?

Feel free to discuss that, or anything else in the comments or over in the off-topic open thread.

I'll be off for the next few days, so don't burn Kotaku down without me. Have a great weekend!