Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Pendragon Adventure Book 3: The Never War 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 another successful defeat of Saint Dane and the devastating loss of Uncle Press, Bobby and his newest companion, Spader, follow Saint Dane to First Earth in an attempt to thwart his evil plans once again. But Saint Dane's plans to send 1930s Earth into chaos aren't quite so easy to uncover, especially when gangsters are constantly after you.



Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

I went into this one remembering what the "turning point" was, but not remembering which way it was supposed to play out. The only other thing I really remembered about the book was that it hadn't been one of my favorites in the series, but I didn't dislike it.

The one problem that I had with this book was that some of the characters' thought processes were totally illogical concerning the turning point. I'll go into more detail in the spoilery section, but Bobby, being from Second Earth and knowing things about the incident as well as about the future of Earth, should have figured out Saint Dane's plan really early on in the book. Like I said, I went into the book not remembering how the turning point was supposed to play out and was able to figure out what was really going on pretty quickly just through logic.

As I've said in past posts, my favorite territories tend to dictate which books I really enjoy in the series. As far as territories go, First Earth floats somewhere in the middle for me. In a fantasy series set in all of these fantastic worlds, being on Earth isn't quite as exciting. I want to be on one of the territories I didn't learn about in history class.

As far as the plot goes, it's ok. I think that may be why it's not necessarily my favorite. And I can't really pinpoint why I don't like it quite as much as the previous books. I don't think there was anything wrong with it. This is, I think, the shortest Pendragon book, and I feel like if the book didn't have the flawed logic I talked about earlier, it would be more successful plot-wise. However, it would be significantly shorter. Maybe the flawed logic was added in to make it a little longer? I don't know. Like I said, I'm not totally sure why I don't like this one quite as much.

As far as rating, I'm going to give it similar to The Merchant of Death. Maybe around a 4.25 or maybe just a 4. 

Spoilery Discussion!


So, as I was saying earlier, some of Bobby's logic annoyed me. Once it was mentioned, he remembered learning about the Hindenburg explosion. Therefore, if he was actually thinking, he would have realized that the explosion of the Hindenburg didn't send Earth into chaos. I can understand that his immediate reaction would be that Saint Dane was using the explosion to create chaos, but if he would've just thought about it for more than two seconds, he would have realized that nothing that had actually happened in the past would have sent Earth into complete chaos or Second Earth would have been affected.

I've never been on-board with there being more than one Earth. Earth shouldn't get multiple territories just because the main character is from there! Also, I have so many questions about the logistics of it. If a traveler, 10 years later in Second Earth, went to First Earth, would they still wind up in 1937? Or would it be 1947? And why are 1 and 2 so close in time? So, so many years have been neglected prior to 1937. Also, story-wise, I got kinda annoyed with Patrick discussing details about the 20th century so easily. That's like me giving a detailed account of something going on in 1000 BC. And yes, he has fancy computers and is a scholar, but he was discussing a 1969 football game. There's no reason for him to have that random knowledge stored up in his head. 

I really enjoyed the trip to Third Earth. It's probably my favorite part of the book. I think that the future that DJ MacHale has set up is a fairly unique one. While it is the very technologically advanced society of science-fiction, there are many differences. It's a very environmentally conscious world. People have discovered new ways to expand, such as living underwater, on the moon, and underground. I think this part of the world was really well done, because it seems like that would take a very long time to come to fruition. There are, however, a few things that I'm not sure were quite so well done. For example, there were still cars. 3000 years in the future, I'm pretty sure that they would have discovered a better way to travel. Logically, I also think that computers would be more advanced than they actually were. Also, the fact that trains/monorail were even used at all seems a little far-fetched. We're talking three thousand years. Like I said earlier, that's basically the time between us and the people living in 1000 BC. That's biblical times. Think how much technology has changed between now and then.

I was surprised at how much of the plot I'd forgotten. I forgot that there were gangsters. And the conflict between gangsters is literally the center of the entire book. I had also totally forgotten the role that Saint Dane played. I'd forgotten that he was Farrow, a gangster, and Zell for a brief bit. I forgot several other things, but the point is that I forgot nearly everything that happened in this book except that the explosion of the Hindenburg was the turning point. And at first, I couldn't even remember whether it was supposed to blow up or not. It was almost like I was reading it for the first time. Almost. 


Favorite Quotes


Page 1: The way things are going, I know what I want for my fifteenth birthday... the chance to have a sixteenth.

Page 48: "Is there anyone in this town who isn't a gangster?" Spader asked.
"I know three for sure," said Gunny. "You, me, and Pendragon.
"Swell," said Spader sarcastically.

Page 60: Spader said, "So maybe we should go over to Germany and talk to this Hitler fella."
I laughed at that. "You don't get it," I said. "We can't just go over to Berlin, knock on Adolf Hitler's door and say, 'Excuse me, Mr. Hitler, you don't know us, but we'd really like you to reconsider this Holocaust thing. Okey dokey?"

Page 64: "Then tell me about this World War Two. Is it really the natty-do you're saying?"
"Worse," I answered solemnly. "I don't know the words to describe how bad it was. If there's a chance we could stop it, it would be beyond incredible."
Spader stood up and smiled. "Right then! I have a sudden urge to pee. Not that I'm nervous mind you. I'm just... scared to death."

Page 112: The bodyguard sitting next to Rose went for his gun. But he was too late because just as he pulled the gun from under his jacket, Max Rose got slammed with a wave of tableware, flowers, and Bobby Pendragon, Undercover Traveler.

Page 121: Spader looked at me with a sick expression," If I fall out, pull this ring?" he repeated. "What happens then? I sprout wings and fly?"

Page 183: I don't know how long the trip took. Actually, now that I think of it, it took around three thousand years. Time sure flies when you're having flume.

Page 253: A few times I looked back to check on Gunny. The poor guy was having a rough time. His face looked green, but he still have me a brave thumbs up. At one point I wondered if gunny thought the thumbs up meant "I'm going to puke again," because that's pretty much all he was doing.


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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