Lyra Belaqua lived in Jordan college which is located in a parallel universe to the one we live in. In her universe, everyone has a dæmon, their lifelong companion, which can talk to them, turn into different animals but never leave their side. She lived among the scholars and was friends with the staff, especially a kitchen boy, Roger. One day, when her uncle, Lord Asriel, a celebrated explorer, comes to visit, she discovers a plot by the master of the college, a good friend of hers, to put poison in his drink. She alerts him and he lets her watch, secretly, the presentation he gives the scholars about dust, a mysterious substance.
Meanwhile, throughout the country, children are being kidnapped by what people call, the gobblers.
Back at Jordan college, Lyra meets a woman called Mrs Coulter who she immediately looks up to. She is invited to live with her and gladly takes up the chance on the condition her friend Roger can come with her. But, though Lyra doesn’t know, he has been snatched by the gobblers. Strangely, just before she leaves, the master gives her a small, mechanical object called the alethiometer he doesn’t have time to explain but she will soon find out.
Mrs Coulter takes good care of her in her luxurious, expensive house in London. She has everything she could want and know the opportunity she had always wanted, an expedition to the North. However, Lyra soon realises Mrs Coulter is not what she seems. In fact, she is the head of the Oblation board; the gobblers that take children to the North for cruel experiments.
Lyra somehow manages to escape and take refuge with the gyptians, a group of people that live in boats on the water. They know all about her and look after her. But there she finds the most surprising thing of all. Lord Asriel is her father and Mrs Coulter her mother. She goes with the gyptians on an expedition to the North to rescue the children.
The North holds many surprises and adventures for Lyra. She meets clans of witches and armoured bears she never could have imagined. And with the alethiometer, which always tells the truth, she learns she is the most important part of a prophecy with significance effects concerning worlds beyond her own.
The series is based on the book, Northern lights which is a must-read. The effects are breathtaking and the story gripping. I would recommend it to anyone who likes fantasy, science fiction and adventure movies.