So, from glancing at reviews of this book around the internet, I gathered that it was the least favourite of the series. Strange... as I enjoyed it more than the first one (and I loved the first one). In this book, we're introduced to a new character, Will, right away. I'll admit this bewildered me for a moment. The Golden Compass was so focused on Lyra that I wasn't really expecting there to be much in the way of point of view changes in future novels. Thankfully, I was wrong. I love Lyra, but, she's a little much and having three books strictly in her POV would have probably been too much for me to handle. Now, ok, it was weird that the one thing that made the first book brilliant (daemons. obviously.) was kind of taken away from us in this book. I guess that could be one of the downsides of this book. Also, not really much of anything ever happened... Yet, I was more interested than during that long bout in the North in The Golden Compass. The book starts out with Will, as I said, yet he lives in a world without demons (basically, just think our modern world and bingo! you've got it!). He meets Lyra when he crosses over into another world (again, a world without daemons. unfortunately) and Lyra's alethiometer tells her to assist him. So. Cool. See, from there, we get a lot of little plot instead of big plot. Like, Lord Ariel is in the background during the whole book preparing to wage war on the Authority, but we never see him. Mrs. Coulter makes a few appearances, but we never really see much of her, either. So, that was kind of strange. Because this book mainly focuses on the happenings in Cittágazze and the the Spectres (beings not unlike Dementors from Harry Potter, except they leave people completely immobile.) and a knife that can fight them off and cut through the worlds.And that's basically the plot of the book. As I said, little plot, like, it was kind of obvious that the only purpose of this book was to set up whatever is going to happen in the last (which, yes is kind of the point of the middle book of a trilogy, however usually they have some element that allows them to stand on their own, whereas this did not). So, I think what made me enjoy this one more was not the plot, but the fact that we saw more characters. We got chapters in Will's point of view, and Serefina Pekkala, and Lee Scoresby. This book had more diversity in its characters and I think that's what made me love it more. The plot was thin, but it was there enough to keep me going and make me reeeeallly want to read the third book. So, basically it did its job. It was the characters that made me really love this book on its own. I love Lyra, but my issue with The Golden Compass was that it felt so focused on Lyra that I really didn't get a sense of any of the characters, and in this book I was given the other characters that I wanted to know more about.