So. The Amber Spyglass was the longest book in the His Dark Materials trilogy. It also felt the slowest to me. Perhaps this is because I was beginning to feel the push towards DragonCon, and my mind was elsewhere, but it seemed as if it wasn't doing anything all that extraordinary by comparison. There were a number of characters, and even creatures, added that seemed shoe-horned in just to provide a plot device. The exception to this was the new race that is seen, the mulefa, which exist in a separate world from any of the worlds that have been traveled so far. The mulefa provide some perspective because they are the only race that know of Dust without the aid of science. They are also extremely strange looking, which at first seemed kind of pointless to me, but does serve to make the point that intelligent creatures are all "people" - that creatures found in another world, no matter how strange they appear, have a quality that open-minded humans would recognize and be able to feel empathy for. This, of course, is the quality of creatures that attract Dust.
Overall, the trilogy is very good, even if the final book slows down a bit. I love the final moral of the story - seeking knowledge is good, suppressing knowledge is the greatest evil.
-------------------------------Until after DragonCon, I am reading the Scott Pilgrim graphic novels. Comic books are always good fillers when I have other things going on, because I can read them in those little moments when I would otherwise be holding still with nothing to do. I saw the movie and loved it, and am enjoying the graphic novels very much. In this case I'm also following a friend's rule: whenever you have a choice, see the movie before reading the book. This way, you will be more likely to enjoy them both. It worked for her and The Watchmen.