I just finished the first book in the 'His Dark Materials' trilogy, The Golden Compass. This is young adult/children's fantasy book and seems to have sort of fallen under the might shadow of Harry Potter. Having read the first book in each series, I think that's a shame. The Golden Compass is a far superior book to the first HP book in every way. Phillip Pullman is twice the writer JK Rowling is, having none of her annoyingly juvenile writing problems (every other time someone speaks in the HP books it's "Look over there," he said, surprised. "What is it?" she said, questioningly. That's what little children's authors do, not adults.) I feel real danger about the things happening in TGC, as well, something I never felt in the HP book. Harry Potter is "the chosen one" or whatever he is so you know nothing is going to happen to him and I would seriously doubt Rowling has the guts to really hurt his companions either. The main character in TGC has a destiny, as all fantasy heroes do, but it's made clear she might screw up and things might go very badly. I'm way more into the books than I thought I would be and I'm counting the minutes until I can dive back into the second book, The Subtle Knife. I recommend these books wholeheartedly, especially if you have kids.