I listened to the audiobook and it was difficult sometimes to understand because of the strong British accents and the very quick dialogue. And I don't know if had read the book if I would have imaged Lyra as shouting as much as she does in the audio version. It became a little off-putting after a while.
I enjoyed much about the book: the unique idea of having a small creature connected to each human representing their souls, the old-fashioned time period, the magical alethiometer. It was disconcerting how Lyra acted like such a little girl at first but then she seemed so much older and more mature later when she was at the clinic at Bolvanger and when she tricked the bear king. I think Lyra is a little too clever for a 12 year old, but on the whole I would recommend this book.