Day 9: Black Water by D. J. MacHale
Summary From Goodreads:
Breaking the rules Just when fifteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon thinks he understands his purpose as a Traveler — to protect the territories of Halla from the evil Saint Dane — he is faced with an impossible choice. The inhabitants of Eelong are in danger of being wiped out by a mysterious plague. The only way Bobby can stop it is to bring the antidote from another territory. Since moving items between territories is forbidden by the Traveler rules, if Bobby chooses to save Eelong he could endanger himself, his friends, and the future of every other being in Halla.
When I was younger I loved the Pendragon series but I never got farther then book four (which was published around 2007). Since then I hadn’t touched the series but recently I decided to finish the series that I enjoyed so much and thus book five, Black Water was up.
A little backstory to catch you up if you’ve never read the series, which I highly recommend you do. The series is about Bobby Pendragon, who starting at 12 years old is thrust into being a traveler, someone who goes around different worlds, or territories, trying to protect them. His main nemesis is Saint Dane, who is far from being anything remotely saintlike, and his goal is to try and bring down all of the territories and with it the mysterious Halla, supposedly everything in all of the territories combined. Still with me? Well in Black Water he is now 15 and the lead traveler, but he’s in for a rude awakening when Saint Dane claims that the rules are no longer in place and forces a couple of Bobby’s friends to join the fray.
If I am being honest I am a little biased when it comes to this series. I have a fondness for it and that might blind me to some potential flaws that it could have, but if it did I didn’t see them. One thing that might counteract my bias is that often when I go back and re-read series I read when I was younger, or in this case continue it, I’ll find them to be quite ridiculous or at least less amazing then I did at the time. With Black Water, at least, that was not the case at all, it took me back to my childhood when I spent even more time reading then I do now (or at least pretty close) and the story kept just as much magic as the previous books had.
The characters are dynamic, whether it is Bobby going through all of his struggles whether physical or mental, dealing with other travelers or even just constantly dealing with the realization that the fate of these worlds is on his shoulders. Or if it is the other travelers, with each having a different view of how best to deal with the various problems they face, sometimes their styles conflicting to the detriment of all of them, but never feeling flat or cardboard-like. Even the different races that are encountered have their little quirks that keep them unique and fresh.
The plot is always fast paced in the Pendragon series. Even when they are delving into the culture of the new worlds the action never ceases completely and that keeps the reader engaged. I don’t think I’ve ever even been on the cusp of boredom when reading a book in this series, and Black Water is no different. In Black Water there is a lot of cultural battles between Bobby and the characters he meets on the main world for this book, Eelong, and that serves as the constant struggle underneath the small skirmishes and even the large-scale “battle” scenes.
I could keep ranting on how much I like MacHale’s writing style or how the world building is some of the best I’ve read in any series, he really does bring each new world to life and then some, but since I’ll be reading the other books in the series and reviewing them for the Seriously Series Reading Challenge I’ll stop here. Believe me, by book 10 you’ll probably want to strangle me, though I’ll do my best to space the reviews inside any series I read apart. Thanks as always for reading and make sure to come back tomorrow for Day 10! ^.^