Monday, July 28, 2014

The Pendragon Adventure Book 8: The Pilgrims of Rayne 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!


Following a defeat on the territory of Quillan, Bobby follows Saint Dane to the territory of Ibara, which appears to be an island paradise. But not everything is as it seems in the town of Rayne, where secrets run rampant and the Traveler doesn't want anything to do with the battle for Halla. Meanwhile, Courtney is busy trying to find Mark, before he sets a devastating series of events into motion.



Overall Thoughts

Non-spoiler section!

I'm eating my words. All of them. I'm not sure if I've said this on any previous posts, but I've always disliked the turn this series took near the end. I distinctly remember being disappointed with books 8-10. But I also read #8 at the age of 13, #9 at 14, and #10 at 15. And I haven't re-read them. So it's been a while. Which is why I'm currently eating my words.

This is easily the most complex and intricate Pendragon book so far. Both of the plots (Bobby's and Courtney's) were extremely interesting and compelling. Rather than the little breaks in action that we get from Courtney and Mark's plot, Courtney's plot is just as full-speed-ahead as Bobby's. I remembered one of the major twists in the book, but forgot a few others, as well as forgetting some of the Courtney plot. This read-though, I was significantly more impressed than I was the first time. Honestly y'all, depending on how much I enjoy books 9 and 10, this may be my new favorite. That's how impressed I was with this read-through.

If I were to choose one word to describe this book, it would be INTENSE. There's constantly something exciting going on, whether it's on Bobby's end or Courtney's end. Speaking of ends... THAT ENDING! I remembered that something major happened near the end, but I couldn't remember what events caused it to happen. I remembered it being an accident, when it was actually very purposeful. Whoa. Very intense.

As far as rating, I'm  not going to jump and give it a full 5 stars out of 5, but I will say that it's at least 4.5- 4.75 and might be bumped up in the series post. 


Spoilery Discussion!


Before I get into everything I really enjoyed about this book, I need to get one big complaint off my chest. And it's not so much a complaint about The Pilgrims of Rayne as it is with the entire series. Every single book, Bobby does some sort of recap in his journal. We get told information that we already know from the series. Bobby is writing this journal to Mark and Courtney, who have read all the journals, and who even experienced some of the events, so explaining what Halla is or that he's a traveler is just ridiculous because they already know all that stuff. These little recaps were clearly thrown in there in case someone randomly picked up a book in the middle of the series and started reading it, but I find that stupid. The recaps don't give enough information to sufficiently inform a new reader about what's going on, and I'm not sure why you would even cater to them. By recapping, you're discouraging someone from picking up the series from the beginning. Authors should be catering to their dedicated readers, not some idiot who would start reading the 8th book in a series without reading any of the previous books. But enough of my rant.

Ok, so there were a lot of twists and turns going on in this book. Let's start with the one I remembered most vividly from my first read: the fact that Ibara was actually part of Veelox. I remember being shocked the first time I read it. Just, whoa. I hadn't seen that coming at all.

Secondly, Saint Dane's dado army. I forgot the majority of the plot of this one, except for Courtney's plot, so the dado army surprised me. I'd forgotten that he was using a dado army. But it's Saint Dane, so I shouldn't be surprised.

I also found the whole Ibara/Veelox story really interesting. Back when I first read this, I'm not even sure I knew what world-building was. And I certainly didn't know what aspects of books that I really wanted fleshed out. Oh, how times have changed. I've said it before and I'll say it again: world-building/a very fleshed out world is one of my favorite aspects in books. And that's done so well in this book. First, we see this very secretive society of Ibara- the one where the Tribunal keeps secrets from the people and people disappear for voicing opinions. Then, we discover the bigger picture and the destruction of Rubic City. Finally, and my personal favorite, we learn how everything happened through the Tribunal and everything makes sense. It's just so well crafted and I loved every second of it.

Finally (for Bobby's plot, at least), the mixing of the territories. Oh boy. I've got to hand it to Bobby- he was really clever about it. He planned it out and in theory, it was a great plan. He thought several steps ahead, and honestly, it's kinda Saint Dane-like thinking. This also brings up a bit of a "moral" dilemma about whether mixing the territories is allowable or should be avoided. I'm about to spoil some stuff about the later books, so if you haven't read past this book, skip the rest of the paragraph. *SPOILER ALERT* It's been 6 years since I read Raven Rise, and 5 since The Soldiers of Halla, but if I remember correctly, the Convergence is all about mixing the territories (hence the title "Convergence"). This is clearly why Uncle Press told Bobby not to mix the territories, because although it might help an individual territory, it's also helping Saint Dane's long-term plan. Why couldn't Bobby trust Press and not the villain?! *SPOILER ALERT OVER*

Now, on to Courtney's plot. Like I said, this was also really exciting. It wasn't quite as intense as Bobby's plot, but it's pretty intense. Courtney and Dodger's journey to stop Mark was really exciting, and the action just kept building and building, along with the confusion. I think a lot of the reason I got mad at this book the first time through was because it seemed like Mark was too easily manipulated. But honestly, if it had been my parents who died, I would've done anything to save them. So it's very understandable. Although I did get really annoyed at Mark. I could kinda understand that he might believe or want to believe that Courtney was the one who was confused and had been manipulated, but I draw the line at Mark thinking Courtney was purposely lying to him. Sure, trust this bully-suddenly-turned-nice-guy over your best friend. That makes sense.

OK, that's way longer than I intended, but I just had so much to say!

Favorite Quotes


Page 1: The future isn't what it used to be.
I love that as an opening line. Too great.

Page 209: P.S. This is from Spader, mates. Tell Pendragon that I've thought long and hard about the things he's said to me. I guess you might say I've done a little growing up here in the jungles of Eelong. Tell him I'm ready. I'm with him. And when the time comes, I'll follow him to the ends of Halla.
After that, the last one to Grolo's buys the sniggers.
Hobey-ho,
Your mate, Spader
Honestly teared up while reading that. I absolutely love Spader.

Page 328: "Who are you!" Siry screamed in anger.
I gripped him tighter, holding him back.
"Don't you know?" Saint Dane said with glee. "I'm the boogeyman."
Oh hey, Saint Dane does have a sense of humor! A really twisted one, but I wouldn't expect anything different from him.



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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