Posted in Books, Opinion, Review

Book Review-Pendragon: The Merchant of Death

I promised last week that I would provide a book review on a new series I started a couple weeks ago called Pendragon by D.J. Machale. The first book was published in 2002, but for some reason has not received as much credit as Harry Potter did (the first one published in 1997). Perhaps the idea of Harry Potter being British was something that we turned toward, who knows? But I am here today to give you a little insight to the Pendragon series and hopefully pique your interest enough to get you to read it as well.

Pendragon

The Story

The story takes place in a small town/city/suburb in the United States. It starts with following the Main Character, Bobby Pendragon, a 14-year old high school basketball player who has no cares in the world. Bobby is a popular boy in school but his best friend, Mark, is nerdy and different. Bobby is getting ready to go to a very important basketball game and just as he is about to leave the house a girl, Courtney, shows up at his doorstep. This is what the readers are introduced to, not a whole lot happens because Machale is setting the character stage.

Machale does a fantastic job of not providing too much about the characters to where we end up getting bored of them too quickly. This is especially interesting to me because I find too many books that the first 100 pages are a complete bore because the author has decided to tell me too much of the past without revealing enough of the present or future.

Moving on.

The story takes off pretty quickly after Courtney shows up. Bobby’s Uncle Press shows up and takes him off on his motorcycle to an abandoned subway station. The story continues with Bobby using a type of portal called a flume to travel to another territory (a type of world). Soon after arriving, and commence drama, Bobby finds out he is a traveler, which is not fully explained but he is basically someone who is destined to travel between territories and assist the territories during dark times.

Now this is all special and whatnot but what makes this book stand out over all the other books about young teenagers, is that it is written from the POV of Bobby to his friends Mark and Courtney. Bobby writes to them in journals throughout his adventures, recapping what he has done since he has written or seen them last. Machale actually numbers the journals so that the readers don’t get lost and can understand how many he has written to his friends. This way of writing is not a common form of separating out a novel but I like it.

So anyway, loads of weird stuff happens that I can’t go into full detail on or else I would be giving too much away. Bobby finds himself in a village of people called the Milago, they are basically slaves of the people called the Bedoowan (big bad dudes). Bobby is expected to assist the Milago in getting out from their enslavement and overcome their struggles but he must accept his new life in order to help them.

The story has its own ups and downs where the MC makes stupid mistakes, assumes too much, but eventually redeems himself. Machale introduces many new creatures to the world of stories. I think a lot more will be explained as the books go on but the first one definitely captured my attention. I want to know what happens to Bobby, to Uncle Press, to Courtney, and to Mark. Why is he a traveler? I have so many questions and I am sure this review did you no justice because you’ve never read it before, but I implore you to do so.

The Characters

Bobby Pendragon- is the main character. The story, mostly, takes place from his point of view through journals that he writes to his two best friends, Mark and Courtney.

Mark- is a side character that gets his own POV from time to time and only then has to share with Courtney. He doesn’t add much to the story but gives the readers a character who helps tidy up the story.

Courtney- is the other side character that shares POV moments with Mark intermittently. She has less to give to the story but that may change as I get further into the books.

Everyone else- there is the comic relief that is Uncle Press, the hard-ass that is Loor, and the goofy side-kick that is Alder. They are Bobby’s peeps when he is not on Earth. They move the plot along and provide any new information that Bobby, and subsequently the readers, need.

Originality

The originality score for the Pendragon series ranks pretty high or well for me it does. There aren’t many books or series that can be published without being compared to a book or series that already exists (Twilight will be forever compared to everything for some reason). Machale has done an excellent job of taking his readers into a different set of story all together. We haven’t ever been to the different territories before or anything similar to them but now we get to explore them. I look forward to reading his other books and letting you all know how they turn out. 🙂

Overall 

Machale wrote ten books in the Pendragon series, each taking place in a new territory with a new problem. I don’t plan on writing a review for each book that I read, though I might, but I will write a final review going over the entire series. I don’t want to spoil too much of the series for anyone who plans on reading it or who might read it in the future.

 

 

 

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