Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Pendragon Adventure: Series Discussion! [Summer Reading Challenge]

Hey, y'all! I'm here with one of my last summer reading challenge posts! I finished the final series in my challenge, which is super exciting! I did individual posts on each book, so here are the links to all ten posts:

Now, I'm here to discuss the series as a whole, including my opinions about the entire series, my rankings of the books, rankings of the covers, and some of my favorite things in the series.

Also, unlike the other series, there will be one more post about Pendragon. There were so many rankings that I wanted to do (books, covers, territories, and travelers) that I decided to do a separate Pendragon ranking post. I'll do the book rankings on this post, but the rest of them will be in that post, which should be up tomorrow!

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.

Overall Opinions

Like most of the books I read in this reading challenge, this entire series was a re-read for me. I was a little concerned going into this re-read, because I was worried that now that I'm 20, I wouldn't like it as much as I did back when I read it in junior high. But I shouldn't have been concerned, because I absolutely loved it once again.

I really like the dual perspectives in this book, because it's great to see what's going on on Second Earth while Bobby is out jetting across Halla. This is especially interesting after the first few books.

Overall, I was really surprised by which books I really loved and which I didn't. I distinctly remembered not liking one section of the series, but ended up really loving that part this time while I was reading. 

Ranking The Books

#10: The Rivers of Zadaa

This book just is not my favorite, and it's for a combination of reasons. First off, the setting. Of the territories, I find Zadaa to be one of the least interesting. Each territory has something interesting going on with it that makes it unique, but Zadaa is just basically a desert. On top of that, we have a fairly basic plot. There are two tribes warring over water. And the argument is starting to heat up. Yes, many of the Pendragon books have plots that aren't as unique, but it's also the third Pendragon book to feature two tribes having conflicts with each other. It just got old. 

Favorite moment: I really loved the section where Bobby is training at Mooraj, as well as the ending. 
Rating: Overall, on a 10 star system, I'd give it 8 stars out of 10.

#9: The Never War

I knew going into the series that this book wouldn't be one of my favorites. I appreciated that Bobby was faced with his first real moral dilemma, but that was the only really intricate part of the book. And while I do enjoy First Earth, it's not quite as exciting as some totally foreign territories, and old-timey gangster stuff isn't really my thing and got old quickly. 

Favorite moment: The trip to Third Earth. Our first glimpse into Third Earth is just amazing.
Rating: I'd have to give it 8.25 stars out of 10.

#8: The Merchant of Death

I feel kinda sad putting the book that started it all at spot #8, but that's really where I think it belongs. I really love seeing Bobby freaking out about what's going on. Of the books, this is the one that's most obviously told from a 14 year old's POV. It sounds kinda childish, which is part of its downfall. The plot isn't my favorite as far as Pendragon books go, but I really like the way it introduces us to the series. It's very action-packed and exciting.

Favorite moment: Probably just the very beginning because at this point it's just extremely familiar to me.
Rating: I'm going to go with 8.5 stars out of 10 for this one.

#7: Raven Rise

As I expressed in the post about this book, I was very torn on my feelings about this book. On the list, after this one is when we get to the books I really enjoy in the series. Basically, I think that the book was really good, but I didn't particularly super super like it. Obviously, I did like it because it's not just tossed at the bottom of my list, but my kinda aesthetic displeasure got in the way just a smidge. 

Favorite moment: Uh... I guess maybe when Bobby gets back into the game?
Rating: Overall, I'd give it 9 stars out of 10.

#6: The Lost City of Faar

Setting, setting, setting. I've always been of the mindset that everyone's favorite Pendragon books are significantly effected by their favorite territories. Well, Cloral is certainly one of my favorite territories. It's just so much fun! Although the plot isn't super intricate, it's interesting and that is amplified by the fact that the territory is just so cool.

Favorite moment: When Bobby takes Spader to Zadaa!
Rating: I'd have to give it 9.25 stars out of 10.

#5: The Reality Bug

Yet another setting which creates an amazing book. I just find lifelight super interesting and love seeing all the sequences that go on because of it. 

Favorite moment: Any moment in lifelight!
Rating: I'd probably have to go with 9.4 stars out of 10

#4: Black Water

Black Water has possibly one of the best plots in the entire series. I love the back and forth with Bobby and Courtney and Mark, with all of them joining together for a single cause. It's really fast-paced and exciting. This one and #3 are pretty much tied, but it was my love of the territory of the other to set that one in the higher position. 

Favorite moment: I'm not sure that there's just one best moment. But it's always nice when we get to see Cloral!
Rating: Overall, I'd give it 9.6 stars out of 10.

#3: The Quillan Games

This is another one where the thing that made it amazing was the setting. I find Quillan super interesting. I love the games and I love the dystopian-esque world and I love that we got to hear the history of the world. It's just really interesting and I really love this one. 

Favorite moment: I mean, any time that the games are going on. So cool.
Rating: I'd have to give it 9.6 stars out of 10.

#2: The Soldiers of Halla

I went into this book thinking it was one of my least favorites, but my opinion changed very quickly. When I first started making this list, I had this book at #1 originally, but I kept constantly thinking about the book that I'd placed at #2. This one is certainly the most epic of the series and the whole shift in the mission and in the travelers' abilities is really amazing. And while it may be slightly more action-packed and epic than the one I placed at #1, I just completely fell in love with the other one, so this comes up as a mostly tied second. 

Favorite moment: I mean, can you really choose one in this? Maybe *SPOILER ALERT* when they finally defeat Saint Dane? 
Rating: I'm going with 9.8 stars out of 10.

#1: The Pilgrims of Rayne

Just like with The Soldiers of Halla, I originally didn't like this book. But when I re-read it this time, I fell in love. I wish that I could have erased my memory of this book so I didn't know about the major plot twist, but even though I knew that one, there were many things I forgot and got to experience as if it were the first time. The society of Ibara is so secretive and controlling of knowledge, and the plot of the book is really great... I just really love this book. Oh, and plus it has probably my favorite Mark/Courtney plot of the entire series.

Favorite moment: Oh man. All of it? Or maybe the part where the council explains stuff?
Rating: I was very tempted to go all out on 10 stars, but because it only edged ahead of Soldiers of Halla because of my love for it, I went with 9.8 out of 10 stars for this one as well. 

I got rid of those little favorite/least favorite sections, because one wasn't relevant, and others will be talked about tomorrow in my rankings post, which will be my last summer reading challenge post! Woohoo!

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