Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Pendragon Adventure Rankings! [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with my LAST summer reading challenge post! I did individual posts on each book, as well as a series discussion post, so here are the links to all eleven posts:

Now, in this post, I'm going to be ranking my favorite covers, travelers, and territories!

Series Summary

The Pendragon Series is a young adult fantasy series. The beginning books could be classified as middle grade, but I think young adult is a better label. The series begins with the main character, Bobby Pendragon, at age 14. One day, his uncle suddenly shows up at Bobby's house and tells him that he needs some help. What Bobby doesn't realize is that he's about to be taken on the biggest adventure of his life. Bobby learns that there are 10 territories (alternate dimensions) and that he is a Traveler, a person tasked with the protection of the territories. Bobby quickly learns that a guy named Saint Dane is attempting to throw the territories into chaos, and it's Bobby's job (along with the travelers from the other territories) to stop him and save all of humanity.

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.

Ranking The Covers

#10: The Pilgrims of Rayne

This cover. UGH. I immediately hated it when I first got the book, because Bobby looks totally different on this cover! If you look at the first 7 covers, it definitely looks like the same guy is on all of them, just aged up a bit each time. This one looks like a totally different person! Also, I recently discovered that this is also DJ MacHale's least favorite cover and that he not-so-lovingly refers to it as "Bobby the blue-eyed reindeer." I hadn't even noticed the reindeer thing. But all the other covers depict Bobby with dark eyes. You'd think they'd at least try to make it cohesive.

#9: The Lost City of Faar

It's not that I hate this cover. I just don't particularly like it. Maybe there's just too much orange. Because the water looks orange, his suit is orange, the bubble is orange, the ship is orange, the lettering is orange. Too much orange.

#8: The Reality Bug

Bobby looks a little weird on this cover. Not like bad or different, I just think that the way it's laid out, it almost makes him look even younger than on the Merchant of Death cover.

#7: The Rivers of Zadaa

Like the covers before it, I don't care a ton about this but it has Loor on the cover, and that bumps it up a lot. Loor makes everything better. 

#6: Black Water

I feel like this cover fits the book really well. You definitely get the jungle thing. Bobby definitely looks like he's aged, which is also indicative of the maturing of the series. And those eyes! Pretty cool cover.

#5: The Never War

I feel like this cover is one of the most well-connected to its story. Just at a glimpse, we can clearly see that it takes place in the past in New York!

#4: The Merchant of Death

When I think of the Pendragon series, I think of this cover. I feel like the first cover in a series is always the most iconic or memorable, and I think that's definitely what it is. 

#3: The Soldiers of Halla

I love the contrast between Bobby and Saint Dane on this one. It's really cool. You can see the beautiful Solara behind Bobby and it's just a really cool cover.

#2: Raven Rise

This book, like The Pilgrims of Rayne, still does make me slightly mad just because Bobby doesn't totally look like the previous books. But I really like the colors of this and the nazi-esque cover.

#1: The Quillan Games

Oh boy, I love love LOVE this cover! Red is my favorite color, so I love that everything is red accented. I love the castle and the depiction of Quillan with the huge screens. It perfectly matches the book and looks amazing while doing so!

Ranking The Territories

Although this list is mostly ranked due to interest factor, there are sometimes where a place won out because I'd prefer living there over another place.

#10: Eelong

I don't think that Eelong is the least interesting territory. Nope, I think that falls to the #9 spot. But this is the territory that I'd least like to live on. I'd rather not be treated like an animal, thanks!

#9: Zadaa

For me, Zadaa is the least interesting of all the territories. Many of the other territories have something really cool going on, but Zadaa is almost as close to Earth as you could get. No crazy weird animals, only a single sun... it's just not as cool and interesting. 

#8: Denduron

I like Denduron. I think it's really interesting with the Bedoowan versus the Milago and the huge castle carved into the mountain. However, I don't think it's quite as interesting as some of the other territories. 

#7: First Earth

If I were to choose a time in Earth's history to travel back to or have characters travel back to, 1930s New York would be pretty low on the list. Obviously, that's when the Hindenburg crash was, so that can't really be helped, but I just really wish that First Earth could have been in a slightly more interesting time in Earth's history. That being said, I'd much rather live on First Earth than any of the territories that fell lower on this list.  

#6: Second Earth

You probably think I'm crazy for putting the territory that we all live on (if we're pretending for a moment that other territories do, in fact, exist) so far down on the list. Allow me to explain. If this list were purely based on where I would want to live, yes, Second Earth would obviously be slightly higher. However, this list is based off of both how interesting I find a territory as well as how much I would want to live there. And because of the first aspect, this is slightly lower. Maybe Second Earth would be interesting to someone who lived on a different territory, but to humans on Second Earth, it's just... normal. 

#5: Ibara

When I first started re-reading this book, I felt a very strong resemblance to 1984 because of how information was withheld and because people could disappear just because they spoke their mind. But then when you dig deeper and find the truth about the society, it's incredibly interesting, and I especially loved the twist about the rest of the territory and the whole reconstruction plan. 

#4: Veelox

I'm a sucker for virtual reality. I wouldn't want to live in Veelox, but I would certainly love to go and visit and jump inside Lifelight just once. And because of the whole everyone-is-in-lifelight-and-not-actually-living thing, it definitely has the feel of a dystopian civilization, which is also one of my favorites to read about. 

#3: Third Earth

And when I say Third Earth, I'm obviously talking about the Third Earth we see at the beginning of the series. The untainted, perfect Third Earth. The technology is astounding, the people live in entire cities underground, on the moon, and underwater. Just... whoa. And they figured out how to stop destroying the earth. The only sad part is that actual books aren't really a thing on Third Earth. But that's a small price to pay... right? I would love to live on Third Earth. If I could bring some family members and a few friends with me, I'd be set.

#2: Quillan

Remember how I said that I really like dystopian worlds? Yep. Quillan. The entire society is really interesting! And though I don't know this for sure, it seems like DJ MacHale might be making some sort of statement about where our society is headed. Blok, a company, basically runs the entire territory. The poverty is out of control and people gamble with their lives. Literally. And let's not even get started on the games. I obviously wouldn't want to live on Quillan because it's a disaster, but it would be really cool to have a Quillan Games channel on my TV. 

#1: Cloral

Was there ever any doubt? Everyone loves Cloral! How cool would it be to live in a world that's made up completely of water and live on a floating city? They have such cool technology too, like the domes that mold to your head so you can breathe, and skimmers! Race you to Grollo's for sniggers! 

Ranking The Travelers

For this list, I stuck to just the travelers with Bobby/ of his generation of Travelers. And I decided to go with Elli Winter and exclude Nevva. Does Nevva even count at this point? Anyway, I also left Bobby off the list. Obviously, Bobby would be #1. Duh. He's our main character. But since that's a given, I decided to just rank the other 9 of them.

#9: Elli Winter (Quillan)

I don't hate Elli. Sure, I'm a little sad when women are really timid and scared and meek, but that's just me. But she's just not traveler material. She just can't handle anything. And she's also the traveler we see the least of, which doesn't help her chances of getting any higher on my list.

#8: Aja Killian (Veelox)

Aja is intelligent, confident, head-strong, and talented. Sounds like a character I would love, right? Well... maybe not so much. As a character, I have nothing against her, but as a traveler, I do. She caused so many problems for Bobby when he went to Veelox. She had problems cooperating and letting go of control so that Bobby could do what he knew best. She thought she knew it all and she didn't. Not a great quality for a traveler to have.

#7: Patrick Mac (Third Earth)

I really wanted to like Patrick. He's a really smart dude, and he's a professor (or is he just a teacher? Can't remember) And once again, I didn't dislike Patrick! I really didn't. But he just panicked and ended up causing problems that he couldn't fix. Cool guy, not so great for the whole traveler thing.

#6: Kasha (Eelong)

I grew to like Kasha eventually, but when we first meet her, she's a doozy. I think I was mostly annoyed with the fact that she didn't want anything to do with Bobby and hated him just because he represented the stuff her dad told her about. But it's always hard to shake bad first impressions, so I only like her a little.

#5: Siry Remudi

At first, he's incredibly frustrating and I wasn't really sure I would grow to like him, but when he eventually came around, he was super loyal to Bobby and I really ended up liking him.

#4: Gunny VanDyke

Gunny is just great. He's one of the most level-headed people in the entire series, and it's great that Bobby can depend on him and trust in him to pull through.

#3: Alder

He's such a lovable, clumsy teddy bear, and yet he's a highly trained fighter. He's such a loyal companion and always eager to jump in and to help Bobby. I'm just glad he's on our side.

#2: Spader

Spader is just great. He always has a great attitude about everything and keeps optimistic. He's such a fun guy but at the same time he's also incredibly loyal and wants to do what's right. He may not be a fighter, but he's lots of fun to have around. Hobey ho!

#1: Loor

How could anyone beat Loor? She's an amazing warrior. It takes her a while to appreciate Bobby but she quickly becomes his go-to traveler for whatever he needs. She's great to have on your side, and she's a great friend to Bobby, not just a companion. She's absolutely incredible, and she's certainly my favorite traveler, and probably my favorite character in the whole series.

So, that's it for my summer reading challenge! All of them are completely done! I can't believe the summer will be drawing to a close in less than a month! Seems really crazy!

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