I got both of these books on audio from the library.
I really enjoyed Percy Jackson, and can’t wait to be able to get the other books in the series (which all have wait lists). It was obviously written for a teen audience. (I think I’ve mentioned – adult audio books cost $1 at the DMPL and I’m too cheap for that.) It was actually written in the first person, which is a nice change, really. The kid who did the reading did a pretty good job, too, although he got some of the sentence structure wrong, which was annoying from time to time. At any rate… it was a good book, well written with a good pace and not too overly predictable. I knew right away, after the Oracle (CAUTION: SPOILER) said that he would be betrayed by a friend that that friend wasn’t going to be either of the two most obvious candidates. (And I was right.) But I didn’t figure out who it was until much, much later in the book. That’s good. I hate knowing what’s coming. (And I’ve also become well-practiced at NOT trying overly hard to figure it out, lol.) Overall, it was a good book and I can’t want to read the others.
The Golden Compass. Now, I know that this movie took a lot of criticism from Conservatives and Christians when it came out, but I can’t tell why based on reading the book. Yes, it talks about “the church” in a negative fashion, and “the church” is really more of a political organization than a religious one… but this is also all taking place in a different world (or reality, anyway) where people all have “demons” who accompany them all the time, and “demon” is not a negative word or thing, but rather like your soul that lives outside your body. So, you know, I didn’t take offense at the portrayal of the church in that world. It was not my favorite book ever, but it wasn’t bad. (And the reading was nice – more of a dramatic reading, with different actors for the different characters.)