Category Archives: D.J.MacHale
Rating: 5 WaterTowers (OMG awesome!!!!)
Spoiler Warning: Do not read this review if you intend to read the previous Pendragon books. This review will spoil it all and the series is way too good to let that happen! Go here for reviews of all the previous books.
The adventure of Bobby Pendragon ends. “Pendragon: The Soldiers of Halla” is the tenth and final book of the Pendragon series. And a fitting end it is.
At the end of the last book, the Travelers (many of whom had died) meet once again and Uncle Press, true to his word, is there. “The Soldiers of Halla” picks up where “Raven Rise” left off.
As the Travelers are walking they find themselves under missle attack. No room for taking a break when you are a Traveler!
Halla has been lost. All the territories are under the control of the Ravinians. The successful chosen few live in idyllic Ravinian compounds (or seemingly idyllic), where the dados rule with an iron hand and can dole out a death sentence at any time. The outcasts live outside the compounds in terror and deplorable conditions. Hope, for most people of Halla, is lost.
But, before I move on, lets take a step back.
The Travelers now know the whole truth. They know where they came from, who they are, and find out that they each have extraordinary powers. They also find out that the place they came from (and where they draw their power from) is hanging to life by a thread. The territories inhabitants positive energy has been all but drained. It is the positive energy, hope and happiness, of all intelligent life in Halla that gives life to “Solara”.
St. Dane has won. Halla is his. Negative energy is feeding St. Dane and his power is unmatched.
But hold on a second….apparently, there is a small ray of hope somewhere in the territories that is keeping the positive force of Solara alive….barely. Bobby and the other Travelers (Loor, Gunny, Alder, Kasha, Spader, Patrick, Aja, Elli, Siry) job is to find those people and protect them. If the “exiles” die, so do the Travelers, and St. Dane will be free to build his own universe.
Problem is…St. Dane is looking for them too. And he wants to kill them all.
The race is on.
The Travelers are sent to their home territories to find the exiles (these are the 70,000 people who entered the giant flume in “Raven Rise”, the “Bronx Massacre”) and protect them at all costs. Oh yeah..there are no more flumes, but, the travelers find out that all they have to do is think about where they want to go and take a step. The next step they take will be in the territory they wanted to be at. Pretty cool, wish I could do that!
I’ll keep this short….and also try not to ruin too much. “The Soldiers of Halla” visits Cloral, Zadaa, Third Earth, and Eelong trying to find the exiles. They find them at Black Water (you will need to read to know where that is) and the process of preparing for the final battle begins with the gar and exiles (“Yanks”) winning a battle against dados and klees. Solara is rejuvinated and hope renewed.
But St. Dane is preparing for a much larger attack.
Will Bobby and the Travelers finally beat St. Dane? Or will Halla crumble and Solara dim to nothing? What happened to Mark and Courtney? You will have to read the book (or the series) to find out.
“Pendragon: The Soldiers of Halla” is the perfect ending to a perfect series. I am so glad my daughter, Kristen, suggested I read Pendragon. A superb adventure ends, but, the characters will live with you forever.
Hobey Ho (for the last time)
Go here to read my reviews of ALL the Pendragon books.
I will pause the ARC’s for a day, or three, to read the last Pendragon book due in…..THREE DAYS!
YIKES! I need to finish “Trust No One”.
Hobey-Ho…..the adventure will conclude. I am psyched…
UPDATE: So far….The Soldiers of Halla is SUPERB! Very engrossing, and all your questions (and Bobby’s) are answered like….Sorry…no way, not gonna ruin it! :-)
Rating: 4 Water Towers
All Halla is breaking loose.
Saint Dane has taken advantage of the mixing of territories and more than one territory is in danger of falling.
Bobby has checked out as lead traveler and is helping the people of Ibara rebuild their civilization. Alder has his hands full on Denduron as the uncovering of tak has emboldened some to attack others.
On Second Earth the rise of the “Ravinians” has Second Earth near a tipping point. Mark, Courtney, and Third Earth Traveler, Patrick are on Second Earth doing the best they can against Saint Dane, Nevva and the leader of the Ravinians. The Ravinians feel that the only way to survive is to marginalize the people who are not as successful as others. Hmmmmm, I would be marginalized for sure.
The Ravinians started in 1937 after Mark in all his wisdom gave his Traveler ring to Nevva who in turn gave it to a 7 year old dying boy, Alexander Naymeer. That boy was helped back to health by Saint Dane and became the leader of this odd cult on Second Earth.
On Ibara Bobby comes to his senses and finds out that he has been duped by Nevva and Saint Dane into thinking that he has trapped them on Veelox thus ending the battle between the Travelers and Saint Dane. Leaving Veelox (remember Ibara is an island on Veelox) Bobby joins Alder on Denduron. Once there, they discover that the Travelers indeed have more power at their disposal and help each other survive to live and fight another day on Second Earth.
Denduron is lost, Veelox was lost, Quillan is lost……Second Earth is at a tipping point, and Halla is crumbling.
“Pendragon Raven Rise” is the next to last book of the series. It is dark and foreboding. Saint Dane appears to have won and Halla is falling. The future of Earth (Third Earth) has turned from a beautiful place where people lived in harmony with nature into a ravaged scorched earth filled with suffering. Obviously, the vision of the ideal Ravinian society did not work.
There are inconsistencies in “Raven Rise” that I have not seen before. For example, why, if he was Andy Mitchell on Second Earth for many years would Saint Dane not understand the term “bite me”? Also, it seems to be a simple matter for the Travelers to go back to 1937 (First Earth) and stop Mark from giving the ring to Nevva thus stopping the rise of the Ravinians before it starts. Bobby instead chose to fight the powerful Ravinians on Second Earth. Baffling, but, maybe there is a reason to be explained in Book 10. Also, “Raven Rise” is a bit repetitive (according to Kristen).
Even though “Raven Rise” is not the best in the series, the Pendragon books taken as a whole are absolutely enthralling. I am definitely ready for the last Pendragon book to see how this is all resolved.
Spoiler (run your mouse over the next few lines to read the spoiler):
At the end of “Raven Rise” the Travelers all meet again. There is hope.
Next up: Pendragon Book 10 due in May 2009
Hobey-Ho! And so we go.
Rating: 5 Water Towers
The adventure continues with Bobby traveling to the idyllic tropical paradise of Ibara.
As he arrives, he is greeted by a swarm of killer bees….quigs….who nearly kill him. Luckily, he is rescued by fishermen and nursed back to health by Telleo a very attractive young woman with a knack for healing the sick and wounded.
Ibara is at a turning point and the quigs verify that Saint Dane is also there. Unfortunately, Bobby knows nothing about Ibara and finds it very hard to find anything since the first thing that happens to him when he feels better is he is arrested. As he is being detained, the security guards who are taking him to the “tribunal” arrest a small time thief and bring him along as well.
Meeting the three leaders of Ibara Bobby is allowed to go free (since he has claimed amnesia due to the bee stings) but, the thief must follow him around, as a sentence for stealing. This turns out to be a fortunate turn of events since the thief is the new Traveler (albeit reluctant) from Ibara, Siry. It was Siry’s Traveler father who was killed on Quinlan.
Siry is curious about where they live and it’s history. Ibara is a mystery to everyone who lives there except the three Tribunal members. Siry is curious and enlists Bobby (who can fight) to help them seek more information. Bobby needs to learn more about Ibara and decides that this is his best chance to learn. Besides, Siry, whether he wants to admit it or not, is a Traveler.
One night the troop of misfit kids led by Siry steal a boat and head out across the ocean to find the truth. They find it, and more, as several of the members of JaKill (the name they call their misfit band of kids) are killed and they discover thousands upon thousands of dado robots massing for an invasion of Ibara…and of course, Saint Dane.
Spoiler warning: If you want to see where they are, scroll your mouse over the next few lines. If not, continue reading below.
Ibara is an island in the territory of Veelox. Veelox had fallen several centuries ago and Aja Killian set up this idyllic civilization devoid of technology for the survival of Veelox…now it is at a second turning point.
Bobby and Siry barely escape and find that Saint Dane has not only brought dados from Quinlan, but, also skimmers from Chloral. He is mixing territories with abandon.
On First Earth, Courtney and Dodger (Gunny’s acolyte) try to find Mark and stop him from introducing Forge. Remember Forge is the technology that results in the dado robots….on First Earth, Courtney and Dodger battle…of course Saint Dane and now his disciple the traitor Traveler, Nevva Winter.
Fighting fire with fire, Bobby decides to do the same. With the help of Siry and Alder from Denduron, Bobby brings tak (the extremely explosive material mined from Denduron), the dado killer sticks from Quinlan, and the tunnel digging machine from Zadaa to help in the battle to save Ibara.
Does he succeed? What is success? Is Bobby just as evil as Saint Dane?
Bobby will soon learn not to trust anyone that comes into his life….the last page in “Pendragon The Pilgrims of Rayne” reveal a shocking turn of events to be continued in Book 9: Raven Rise.
This much I can tell you: The territories are falling…Saint Dane is winning and Bobby appears to be totally out of his element and overmatched even though the Travelers are ahead in the win column.
I have to say, these books cannot be put down. I walked away from two days of reading (while the family shopped in the Mall) dazed and dumbfounded. Every action Bobby takes is met with a more powerful counteraction by Saint Dane. Every time Bobby (or Courtney for that matter) think they have done the right thing, they learn that Saint Dane has turned it to his advantage. It is very frustrating….for example, mixing the territories is fine for Saint Dane but when Bobby does the same thing has left an opening for Saint Dane that may result in the fall of Halla.
In short: It is looking pretty grim for Halla….Convergence is underway.
4 down, 1 to go in the Pendragon Book Review Marathon.
Next up: “Pendragon Raven Rise”
Rating: 5 Water Towers
On Second Earth, Mark and Andy Mitchell join up to design a really cool technology called Forge. This is a combination of Mark’s robotic expertise and Andy’s remarkable stretchable material. On voice command, the initial Forge prototype can change shape from a cube, to a pyramid, to a sphere. Very cool. The Forge prototype won Mark and Andy a trip to a Science Exposition in Orlando, FL.
Rating: 4 Water Towers
Bobby, Loor (the Traveler from Zadaa and a Batu warrior), Saangi (Loor’s acolyte) and Alder (the Traveler from Denduron) match wits with Saint Dane to try to save Loor’s home territory of Zadaa.
Zadaa has been hit hard by a drought. The Rokador, who live underground and control the rivers and water, and the Batu who live on the surface, grow the food, and protect the Rokador from invaders are close to fighting. Water is scarce, food is scarce, and tensions are high.
After a somewhat slow, seemingly predictable, start D.J. MacHale revs up his writing engine and finishes with a flourish. We learn more about Loor and Alder and meet Saangi. We also learn more about Andy Mitchell….the mean kid on Second Earth who Mark and Courtney both despise.
As “Pendragon The Rivers of Zadaa” progresses Bobby is trained by Loor, Saangi and Alder to become a better fighter. He finds himself getting stronger and much more capable of handling himself in a physical situation.
And there is more.
Bobby finds he has powers that most normal humans do not have. As do the other Travelers. They heal very quickly from injuries and much more (you will have to read the book to find out more, I will not ruin it here). It is clear that as Bobby grows up and endures the hardships of being a Traveler he is becoming more powerful. It will be interesting to see how powerful he can become.
As Bobby matures, we also see a different side of Saint Dane. He is becoming openly vicious and has taken to laying some hurt on people himself (where in the past he always had others do his dirty work). He has a hot temper and Bobby can easily push his buttons. Of course Bobby pays for that, but, again, he heals quickly and is becoming more capable of returning the beatings.
In a disturbing turn, Saint Dane is now directly manipulating Courtney and Mark on Second Earth. In “Rivers of Zadaa” a good bit of time is spent on Second Earth as Courtney tries to recover (mentally) from mistakes she blames herself for on Eelong. As a reader, I am beginning to suspect that Saint Dane is afraid of Courtney and wants her out of the way…I may be wrong.
To keep this short, Zadaa is……oh, I forgot, no ruining the story.
So take a deep breath and read “Pendragon The Rivers of Zadaa”. You will enjoy the ride.
Next up in thePendragon Book Review Marathon: Quillan.
2 down, 3 more to go. See the announcement of the Marathon here.
Rating: 5 Water Towers