Thursday, July 10, 2014

Pendragon Book 2: The Lost City of Faar Discussion [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with another summer reading challenge post! I'm continuing on with my July challenge: The Pendragon Adventure!

Series Info

Since this series is a little less well-known than the other series in my Summer Reading Challenge, I decided to discuss the premise of the series as a whole. The Pendragon Adventure is a 10 book series centered around our main character, Bobby, and his adventures through multiple dimensions (or territories, as they're called in the books). The books are told from a dual perspective. Our main perspective is of Bobby, told in first-person through journals which he sends to his best friend to keep a record of what is happening. The secondary perspective is of Bobby's best friend, Mark, and pseudo-girlfriend, Courtney, who receive the journals and go through their own problems on Earth. The majority of the books focus on a single territory each, as Bobby travels there to thwart the evil Saint Dane.

Book Summary
As always, remember not to read this if you haven't read the previous books in the series, because this summary will probably spoil you for any books that came before this one!

After successfully defeating Saint Dane in Denduron, Bobby and Uncle Press follow him to the territory he has escaped to- Cloral. Cloral is a world made up completely of water, and rather than having land, there are floating cities called habitats. But, upon arriving on Cloral and meeting up with Press's friend, Spader, they find that Cloral seems to be doing just fine. But things may not be exactly as they seem.

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

In my last post, I said that I didn't remember much about The Lost City of Faar. That's both true and false. I remembered a lot about the world and a lot about Spader. It was the plot that I couldn't remember. I remembered maybe 2 plot points, but nothing else at all. This second (at least, I think it's only the second time) read reminded me why I really like this book. I'll have to get through the entire series before I make a definitive statement, but Cloral is definitely one of my favorite territories, if not my absolute favorite. It's such a cool world and DJ MacHale does such a great job making it come to life.

Along with that, Spader is one of my favorite characters in the series. He has so many really great qualities along with being just a really pleasant person in general.

Although The Lost City of Faar and The Merchant of Death are about the same length, The Lost City of Faar seems like a much quicker read than Merchant of Death. I guess this could be because in Merchant of Death, we not only learn a lot about everything, but also get a ton of action, whereas Lost City of Faar is less action, more adventure. Which I fine with me, because I've always been more a fan of adventure than action.

Lost City of Faar is also a really important turning point in the books. I obviously won't say why right here since this is the non-spoiler section, but some of the events in this book cause a huge turning point for Bobby continuing on into the rest of the series, and it's definitely great to see the way that Bobby responds to it.

As far as rating, because I really love the territory and the characters and the adventure, I'll go with a 4.5 out of 5 for now. As always, this could change for my final ratings, but that's where it is for right now.

Spoilery Discussion!

I know I said this about both Loor and Alder, but Spader is one of my favorite travelers. A lot of my favorite travelers are introduced fairly early in the series. I had actually forgotten that Spader accompanied Bobby in to the next territory. I remembered him being in more of the series and being a bit of a sidekick for Bobby, but I couldn't remember if it was immediately after Cloral. And I still can't remember how long he's with Bobby. Like I said, it's been a really long time since I read these books. I read most of them in 7th grade, then read books 7 &8  when book 8 came out, and then the last two when they were released. So it's been quite a while. I remember people and places but all of the plots are fuzzy.

As I said, I really like Cloral. That would be a really cool territory to visit. But I also enjoy the adventures they have while on Cloral. And the gadgets that Cloral has are really cool. And, of course, the city of Faar being totally hidden for centuries and centuries is also cool. Saint Dane also got pretty sneaky on Cloral. In Denduron, we saw him pretending to be two people, but this time we got three. I had totally forgotten that he impersonated one of the scientists, as well as the scene where he took the form of an aquaneer to get out of the brig. I'd forgotten how many different forms that Saint Dane took. Also, it seems like my question has been answered- Saint Dane clearly doesn't always have the blue eyes. However, it seems like he retains the blue eyes for whatever main villain he's impersonating, but whenever he actually doesn't want Bobby to know who he is, he'll change his eye color.

One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Bobby takes Spader to Zadaa to talk to Loor. Like I said in my last post, I used to not like Loor, but she's now one of my favorite characters. She's always there when Bobby needs her. Always.

And, we have the turning point of the entire series- the death of Uncle Press. Uncle Press's death always makes me thing of Dumbledore's death. Both are the only real mentors that the main character has, and their death shows that the main character is now on his own and has to solve his problems by himself. I think that's why, on my first read-through, I was shocked that Uncle Press died. I think I knew it would happen at some point in the series, but I don't think anyone expected it that early in the series. And it was just so sudden.

I haven't talked a ton about Mark and Courtney up until this point. Obviously, their plot isn't as exciting as Bobby's. I don't really remember a ton about their plot throughout the rest of the series, although I do remember bits and pieces. But I do know that their plot throughout this book is frustrating. Mitchell is just so annoying and I wanted him to go away. I had totally forgotten about Mark and Courtney tricking him, but I still wasn't sure why that was necessary. Once Mitchell had started claiming that the pages had come through some magic passageway in Mark's ring, the police would've just thought he was some crazy kid. Either way, their little trick worked, so yay.

Favorite Quotes

Page 58: "Nice of you to say, Press," replied Spader. "Last one to Grallion buys the sniggers?"
"Snickers?" I said. "They have candy bars here?"
"Sniggers, Bobby. It's a drink," answered Uncle Press

Page 71: A small grocery store was next to a small library and that was next to a shop that carried a little bit of everything from tools to toys to cookware. On Second Earth we had a name for this kind of store. Target.

Page 172: Unfortunately nobody else in the stadium was as excited as I was. Here I was jumping up and down like some crazed fan from the Cleveland Browns Dog Pound, and everyone else was just sat there, watching me, wondering who this idiot was who had lost control. Every eye in the stadium was on me, including the warriors down on the field. I felt like a total imbecile.
"Is this a custom where you come from?" asked Spader, who was just as surprised at my enthusiasm as everyone else in the stadium.
She didn't even know who I was. I felt horrible. Then, a moment later, I saw it in her eyes. She finally recognized me; that's when something happened that I never would have expected. It was so shocking that I no longer cared about being embarrassed. It just didn't matter anymore, because as she stood there breathing hard, Loor looked up at me and smiled.

Page 236: If I had only one sentence to describe what it was like to be a Traveler, it would be this: "Just when you think you've seen it all... you haven't."

Page 309: "You want to know what I think?" I asked Saint Dane. "I think if you truly knew what was going to happen, if you really believed this was all part of your plan and that you couldn't be beaten, then you wouldn't keep begging me to join you."
Saint Dane blinked. I saw it. I had hit a nerve.
"What do I think?" I added. "It might not be here, it might not be today or even on this territory, but for the first time since I met you on Second Earth, I think that when this is all over, I'll be the one who's beaten you... because that is the way it's supposed to be."

Page 343: "Okay," I said, not really understanding. "What will stop his quest?"
Uncle Press didn't answer at first. I wasn't sure if he didn't want to tell me, or he didn't know. Finally he said:
"It won't end until he thinks he's won. That's when he'll fail.

Page 350: "I've told you there is only one Traveler from each territory," he said. "You never asked why there were two from Second Earth."
He was right. I never did. I don't know why, but the thought never crossed my mind. It was so obvious, but I never thought about it. Or maybe I didn't want to.
"Are you going to tell me?"
"The answer is, there can't be two Travelers from Second Earth. I knew my time was short. That's why I brought you from home. It was your time. It was Loor's time, and Spader's too. You are the next Travelers."
"I'll tell you something else," he said. "You are the last. All that has gone before is prelude. The fight is yours. You will take it to the end. You are the last Travelers."

Page 360: I seriously thought about getting back to Second Earth and hiding under your bed, Mark. You could feed me leftover mac and cheese, nobody would know where I was, and I'd never have to think about anyone named Saint or Dane again.

So, there you go, that's all for this summer reading post! Have you read the Pendragon series? What do you think of the series? Let me know in the comments!

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