Sadly, I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed by this novel. It's not that The Amber Spyglass is a bad book. Far from it, to tell the truth. And yet, it doesn't live up to the expectations generated by its predecessors. The story falls short on certain levels, which prevented me from enjoying this book as much as I would have wanted.
Given the size of this one, I believed that The Amber Spyglass would continue to explore those concepts which, in the previous volumes, seemed to hint at a definite moral complexity. The theological and philosophical aspects, a bit more present in The Subtle Knife, are once more a part of the tale. But unfortunately, the author fails to elaborate on several issues, such as the Church and everything that surrounds it and its power in every world, Mrs. Coulter and her powers, Lord Asriel, etc. Incidently, every secret which I hoped would be revealed in this last volume remained hidden or half disclosed. That was a major disappointment for me.
As was the case with both The Golden Compass and The Subtle Knife, the imagery was arresting. But the worldbuilding could have been much better. Pullman basically had carte blanche to create whatever his imagination fancied, so I was hoping for far more interesting worlds and universes. . .
The characterizations and dialogues are much better in this novel. Will and Lyra continue to be a well-balanced duo. But other characters, such as Dr. Malone and Father Gomez, were not fully realized.
The ending was anti-climatic, but I expected as much from a YA book. Volume 2 of His Dark Materials was too short. I'm of the opinion that The Amber Spyglass was a bit too long. The pace is at times sluggish.
All in all, a nice enough series. Yet it certainly doesn't live up to all the hype which has surrounded it since its initial release.
The final verdict: 7/10