This is a fantasy that has excitement, danger, and mystery. The daemons are animals --you will learn all about them in the book. I found them a bit... frightening, although they are loyal and helpful to their masters. I loved the polar bears --you will too.
There are quite a few books in this series. Surprisingly, adults are big fans of Philip Pullman's books too. This is one of those books that slowly reveals itself. You are constantly trying to figure out what is going on and why ...which makes for a great read! "The Golden Compass" is somewhat of a "dark" novel ...not fun and games or cute bunnies or funny jokes. No, "The Golden Compass" is not that book --it is full of intrigue, deception, and courage.