Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Pendragon Adventure Book 4: The Reality Bug 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 a bittersweet success on First Earth, Bobby continues on to the territory of Veelox. The inhabitants of Veelox spend nearly all of their time in their individual, perfect, virtual realities. However, the outside world is not quite so perfect. Although Veelox's traveler, Aja, claims to be getting things under control, food is scarce and the land is a desolate wasteland. Bobby must uncover Saint Dane's plan and save the territory before its inhabitants destroy themselves.

Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

A lot of Pendragon fans say that this one is one of their least favorite books in the series. But I never really understood that, because it's one of my favorites! Because each book is set on a different territory, the books kinda fall into different genres. The Merchant of Death is mostly high fantasy, but The Never War is more historical fiction. The Reality Bug, however, is a mix of sci-fi and dystopian. And those two genres make me very happy.

Aja though... she really irks me. I feel like personality-wise, she's not very different from myself. We're both pretty confident in our intelligence and despise asking others for help. But those qualities don't necessarily add up to a good traveler. You have to know when to ask for help.

One thing that I really like about The Reality Bug is that you never quite know exactly what's going on. It leaves you confused a lot. And because it's crafted to confuse you, I really enjoy it.

I both love and hate the territory of Veelox. I think it's super interesting, but I would never, ever want to live there. It's kinda like with 1984. I think that the world is really interesting and well-constructed and I love learning all about it, but it would be a nightmare to live in. I love learning all about Veelox and their virtual reality, but I don't think I'd ever want to live there, even though the virtual reality is really tempting.

I also really enjoy Mark and Courtney's plot in this one. Finally, finally they get an interesting plot. I like both of them as characters, but I'm always sad when I reach the end of one of Bobby's journals because I know I'll have to read a chapter of them going  through their boring lives before getting back to the action. But this is when they actually start getting actually interesting and I loved it.

As far as rating, I'm going to give it at least a 4.5 out of 5. It might end up getting higher, but it's definitely at least a 4.5.

Spoilery Discussion!

I was so excited when Bobby went and got Loor to help him, and I loved how much sass she gave Aja. Speaking of Aja, I think she has no business being a traveler. She's a great phader but she isn't a good traveler. I can't remember whether or not she shows up later in the series, but I doubt it because she won't even leave Veelox. Compared to Loor, who is a really great traveler, Aja is useless. At least her heart is in the right place. Kinda.

That reminds me. Please tell me there's someone else out there who ships Bobby with Loor and not Courtney. Please? I get that Courtney was that girl he crushed on forever and she's totally beautiful and stuff, but... LOOR. She's loyal and strong and smart and just super awesome. Courtney is kinda... whiny. Especially in this book. I'm not saying that I dislike Bobby and Courtney as a couple. I like them. I just like Loor and Bobby better. Because LOOR.

Anyway, back to the actual book. Saint Dane was pretty absent in this book until the end, which I liked, because it gave Bobby a chance to work things out on his own without Saint Dane constantly trying to stop him. Saint Dane knew he'd won. This time, his plan was pretty much Bobby-proof. I really don't think that Bobby could've done anything to save Veelox. And honestly, I like that it wasn't a happy ending. So far, Bobby has managed to pull everything off, and when he defeats the Reality Bug with only 20ish pages left, you think he's done it again, but then Saint Dane pulls it out at the last second and it sucks. But at least for once, it wasn't predictable. And Saint Dane's win and the rules changing allows the books to get even more crazy and interesting. Again, I don't get why this is one of Pendragon fans' least favorites in the series. I think it's great.

Another reason why it's my favorite is, like I said, that Courtney and Mark actually get an important plot! I can't remember for sure, but I'm pretty sure that now that they're acolytes, they're going to continue having more interesting plots, which is great because like I said above, their stories tend to be a low point for me in the story.

I really like the sequences where they're inside Lifelight. Regardless of whether it's perfect or whether there are imperfections, I think it's a really interesting invention and like to see what everyone comes up with.

Overall, I just really like this book. It's always been one of my favorites in the series, and this re-read reminded me why I like it so much!

Favorite Quotes

Page 165: Loor looked right into my eyes and gave a little smile. That didn't happen often. Loor wasn't the smiley type. But when she did, it made my heart melt. It wasn't until I saw her again, here on her home territory of Zadaa, that I realized how much I had missed her.

Page 173: Loor pumped her legs and drove the guy backward, through the room and out of the portal. She finished him off by flipping him over her back into the waterfall, sending him plummeting into the fast-moving river.
I looked up at the Rokador guy who was operating the water controls. He didn't stop working, but gave me a nervous glance.
"You should see her when she's mad," I said to the scared guy. 
I thought the poor dude was going to faint. I hurried out of the room, jumping over the bodies of the groaning guards, and joined Loor on the ledge behind the waterfall. 
"Finished playing?" I asked. She gave me a sly wink and we were off. 

Page 174: Aja gave Loor an up and down once-over. She then said, "Is Loor a man's name or a woman's name?"
Loor answered,"It is the name of a legendary hero on Zadaa. A woman."
"Really?" Aja said. "What did she do that was so heroic?"
"She killed her enemies and ate them."
Aja's eyes opened in shock. She turned forward and clutched the wheel of the vehicle nervously. Loor looked at me and winked. She was kidding. Great. That's all I needed. 

Page 350: Loor and I had been through some hairy adventures but we were now connecting on a whole new level. I think they call it "normal." I always had a ton of respect for her. Now I felt as if I had found a friend. 

Page 352:"Thank you for coming to Veelox," I said. 
"Gratitude is unnecessary," she declared. "I am a Traveler."
"But I threw you into a pretty nasty situation without a whole lot of warning and... you are an amazing person, Loor."
I wanted to hug her, but she wasn't the sentimental type. So I was surprised when she reached forward and touched my cheek. It was a tender gesture. Something I never thought she was capable of.
"I feel the same about you, Pendragon," she said sincerely. "I am glad you are our leader... and my friend."

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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