As you may already know, Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass has been made into a movie, due out this December. Michael loves fantasy and is excited for the movie, so he decided to read the books, as well. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he also managed to rope me into reading them, too.
I used to read Philip Pullman as a teenager, so I'm interested to see if his writing is as good as I remember it to be. (So far it is.) I'm a third or half of the way through The Golden Compass, and so far I'm enjoying it immensely. The book is entirely different from the type of fantasy found in the Harry Potter books (which I've also been reading lately), so it is a nice change.
Essentially, the book is about a little girl, Lyra, who has discovered to be involved in a huge -- and most likely sinister -- mystery. Pullman does an excellent job of giving you only a few details at a time, keeping you wondering what is going on, so unfortunately there is little I can tell you about the premise of the novel.
However, I can tell you that The Golden Compass takes place in a fantasy world, but one that is similar to ours in many ways; that children are disappearing; and that Lyra has something to do with all of this (though she doesn't know what yet). Lyra is a delightful heroine, spunky and defiant and rather wild.
While I read The Golden Compass, Michael is reading The Subtle Knife, which is the second book in the "His Dark Materials" trilogy. We'll be picking up the third one -- The Amber Spyglass -- soon, as Michael is almost done with The Subtle Knife.