Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Book review: "Pendragon" series by D.J. MacHale

Review by Beth
The Pendragon series is a sci-fi series following the life and adventures of Bobby Pendragon, who was an average kid until his mysterious Uncle Press came and announced that Bobby was the lead Traveler of Halla. Halla is the true name for the universe- or, for a better description, all that ever has or will exist. There are 10 territories in Halla, which are basically different planets in different time periods. There is a traveler for each territory (Bobby is from Second Earth, or the Earth that we know). The travelers are the only ones who are allowed to travel between the territories. Each territory has a turning point, which the travelers try to influence. Not all of them try to influence it for the good, however- what would an action series be without an evil villain? In the Pendragon series, the villain is a traveler/demon named Saint Dane, who tries again and again to prove that humans are selfish and will always cause their own destruction when left to decide their fate for themselves. On one hand, it is clear that Saint Dane is the embodiment of pure evil, however whenever he confronts Bobby he makes some very logical arguments. Which only proves how manipulative he can be...

The Pendragon series is a basic good versus evil, however it is also much more complex than that. It contains more depth than simply being good is good and bad is bad. There are times when the "good" characters question their motives. They are very real, and have very real reactions- whether that is to give up if they've had enough, or to go completely insane, or try to avenge a lost family member, or whatever. It raises a lot of questions about the way things are, and possibilities about how things could be. It really is a series that contains almost everything, seeing as it takes place on 7 different planets in different eras, with many different complex characters...The series switches perspectives as well. It's partially written in journal form-Bobby's journal, which is also a letter to his friends- and from his friend's perspective. Occasionally there will be another perspective thrown in as well. This gives several takes on what is happening, and also tells you what is going on in different places at the same time. This is confusing in some parts, when a new character is introduced and then forgotten until 200 pages later, but in the end it all comes back together, with all of its unexpected twists and turns leading into an ending that wasnt expected yet fits perfectly. There will be ten books in the Pendragon series, however only nine are out so far. It begins when Bobby and his friends are 14, and by the 9th they are 18- so it allows for a wide age range of readers.

(click on any link above to find the book at the library)

Many thanks to Beth for her excellent review.

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