Random Musings by Frodosco

Posts tagged “D.J. MacHale

Top Ten Best Sequels Ever

TotallyRandomTuesday

Totally Random Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at The Broke and the Bookish. They love to share their lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

This week on Top Ten Tuesday it is all about the best sequels eveeeeeeeeer! ^.^

1. Eldest (Inheritance Cycle #2) by Christopher Paolini – This book is still one of my favorites and I really need to re-read it soon. It literally changed my life in ways I can’t accurately describe. Also ELVES. Eldest

2. The Two Towers (The Lord of the Rings #2) by J.R.R. Tolkien – Like I wasn’t going to include book two of my favorite series ever, come on. Seriously though The Two Towers has epic battles, ENTS, and whatever the Aragorn and Eowyn ship is called, that, yes please.

3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling – I did it! I managed just to pick one, huzzah! Really I could have put the whole series as it kept getting better, but I picked six which is still my favorite, possibly, just maybe because of a certain kiss. ^.^

4. The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #2) by Rick Riordan – The main reason I chose book two for this series, besides it being really, really good, is that I am a terrible horrible person and haven’t even read book three yet. >.< I’ll get to them I swear! *hides*

5. Girl of Nightmares (Anna #2) by Kendare Blake – I basically lost my mind after I finished this book…to the point where I went on Twitter, asked the author (who was kind enough to respond) if there was a book three coming, and when I found out there wasn’t proceeded to absolutely lose my shit. Luckily this was just done in my house, a few I NEED MOOOOAAAAAAR type tweets, and nothing I really regret. Seriously though. Please? Book three? I’m begging here. GoN

6. Necromancing the Stone (Necromancer #2) by Lish McBride – Well…this series does technically continue into books three and four…but they don’t come until like ~2015 and from what I’ve heard it doesn’t seem like they even follow quite the same arc, just maybe in the same universe or something. Regardless, I really loved Necromancing the Stone, the hard edge that it got after the humorous/light-hearted book one, and how McBride ended what, I thought at the time at least, was a duology.

7. Shades of War (Sevy #2) by Sarah-Jane Lehoux – Another book that had me filled with ALL the emotions. I love Sevy, I think this is my favorite book in the series because of where she is at in her journey and the setting as well (pretty jungle!), and there is a really fun monkey in it. Nope, I’m not explaining that further, go read the book (and the series) if you haven’t already. Thank me later. ^.^

8. The Reality Bug (Pendragon #4) by D.J. MacHale – Love, love, love this series and it kills me that I haven’t finished it. The Reality Bug is my favorite, though The Never War is close, because it addresses one of the big fears some people have today, that we are losing ourselves to the virtual world. It goes to an extreme to make this point, but in a good way, and I happen to really like Aja, the traveler in this world. She’s just fantastic.

9. Ptolemy’s Gate (Bartimaeus #3) by Jonathan Stroud – I’ve re-read this series more than any other besides Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, oh ya, it’s THAT good. Ptolemy’s Gate is the epic conclusion, driving daggers into your heart, filled with awesome battles, and I am all about the Nathaniel/Kitty ship. Yes please. Love this book and the series so much. Ptolemy's Gate

10. The Eternity Code (Artemis Fowl #3) by Eoin Colfer – Another series I stopped reading for no apparent (or at least good) reason that I need to get back to and finish. The Eternity Code is where I felt the series really took off after book two left me a bit cold (pardon the pun), and I really do love me some supercomputers. Oh, and more fairies? Always.

So those are my top ten best sequels ever! I now want to go re-read all of those series. *sobs for lack of time* Some day! What is your top ten list for this week? Do you want to re-read ALL THE SERIES now? Are most of the ones you chose recent series or ones you read when you were younger? Let me know! Thanks as always for reading! ^.^


Day 15: The Rivers of Zadaa by D.J. MacHale

Day 15

Summary From Goodreads: 

The battle continues. The struggle of good versus evil continues as Bobby Pendragon follows Saint Dane to the territory of Zadaa. Saint Dane’s influence has fueled the fire of discontent between two warring tribes: the Rokador and the Batu. This is also the territory where the Traveler Loor lives as a member of the Batu. Together she and Bobby must work to thwart Saint Dane’s efforts to destroy Zadaa.

But as Bobby pursues Saint Dane, he begins to notice changes in himself. He is no longer a flip kid looking for excitement. He is a young man beginning to see this quest as more than a series of adventures. He is also learning that as a Traveler, he has powers no normal human should have.

In this latest installment of Bobby Pendragon’s battle to save humanity, discovery and danger go hand in hand as D. J. MacHale takes readers on an emotional thrill ride they won’t soon forget.

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I love series, but they make it very difficult not to read them one book after another. This is somewhat of a problem when I am trying to avoid repetition. Oh well, the next book in the Pendragon series called out for me to read it and I couldn’t refuse.

This may be the best one in the series yet, save perhaps the first. There are more intricate difficulties and challenges for the characters to face. There is romance, danger much to close to home, and yes, death. As Pendragon and company have to take on these challenges they grow and intensify the bonds between them. Whether it is the resilience of Bobby Pendragon, the fierceness of Loor, the fiesty personality of Saangi or even the steady presence of Alder, the group will keep you invested and enjoying the crazy ride. We also get to see a new side to the antagonist, Saint Dane. His weakness shows and he is overcome by it and his emotions overall at certain points in the book.

Mysterious underground cities, droughts killing civilization and fierce battles all come to life and will leave you anxious to read book 7 in the series. I know I can’t wait to! I love this series and I expect to rave about the next book soon. As always thanks for reading and come back tomorrow for day 16!

Mount TBR Challenge #15/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #15/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #15/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #5/44

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Day 9: Black Water by D. J. MacHale

Day 9

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.

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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! ^.^

Genre Reading Challenge #8/30 – Category – Fantasy; Mount TBR Challenge #9/150+; 2013 TBR Pile #9/50; Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #9/365; Seriously Series Reading Challenge #2/44

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Randomness #1: Reminiscing and Books

If you read my (ridiculously long) post during Dewey’s Read-A-Thon you would have come across one of the mini-challenges I participated in called Literacy Mini-Challenge. The point of that challenge was to celebrate the reading child in some way, I chose to do so by discussing my relationship with reading when I was younger. For those who don’t want to scroll through that crazy-long post here is what I wrote:

I was a very lucky kid when it came to reading and books in general. My mom is a high school teacher and my grandmother was a librarian, so my love of books began almost immediately when my mom and grandmother would read to me before I learned how to myself. A little after I turned four years old I started reading by myself, small books at first, but chapter books followed soon after. Reading to me still reminds me of that time with my family, even if we weren’t reading the same thing it was a closeness that we shared and still do at times. I also remember feeling that because I could read I was growing up, I was capable of doing the same things as the people I looked up to the most and that made me feel special. I’ve never lost that love for reading, books fascinate me in a way that nothing else can and I am forever thankful to my family for sharing that gift with me.

As you can see my love of books stems from an upbringing that allowed me to surround and immerse myself in them from a very early age. Now, you may be wondering why I am bringing this up again. I went with my mother and sister to a 2-day gigantic book sale held by Half-Price Books where EVERYTHING was 3$ or less. I should have taken pictures of the event itself to give you an idea of the sheer size but alas I did not. You walk into this giant area where on rows upon rows of connected long tables there are thousands of boxes of books. There were also rows of cds and dvds but my focus was solely on the books. Of course, if they are offering them at 3$ or less you won’t find many new books, but the selection was still quite astonishing. How does this connect with reminiscing? It was the kind of books I found and ended up purchasing. Did someone ask for pictures? Why yes I do have some!

As a kid I immersed myself in fantasy books and as such there were three main series of books that I loved dearly. (I apologize for the photo quality, all I have is my phone =/)

The Pendragon Series by D.J. MacHale:

The Star Wars Books:

The Dragonlance Books by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman:

Only the Pendragon books could be considered a true “series” just based on length and having one true ending. The Dragonlance and Star Wars books, amazingly, are still being continued with no true end in sight. I don’t see the interest, especially in the Star Wars books, dying out anytime soon so they will keep being written for quite some time.

All three sets of books captivated me when I was younger, sending me into different times and realms, filling my head with intergalactic battles, a variety of alien races and even a romance or two. My imagination was at its peak while I was reading these books and I wish I could thank the authors for that with more than just a blog post.

With all of the new books out there now, and a seemingly never-ending stream of ones being written as I type these words I can see how it would be hard to go back and read some of the books that you enjoyed as child or teenager. So my questions to any who read this are:

What kindled your passion for books?

Do you ever go back and read the books you loved when you were younger?

Did you keep all of them so that you could re-read them or did you, like me, have to give away or sell them at some point?

While reading this what books were you thinking of and are you now more inclined to go back and read them?

To be honest I have no idea when I will get to read any of these books. I may be participating in another read-a-thon next week (more on that in a later post if I decide to do it) which could help with this but I have a hard time keeping up with the new books I get as I imagine many of you do as well. Blogging every day and reviewing about three books a week keeps me pretty busy so as much fun as reliving my childhood by reading these books would be, I don’t know when I will, though I know I will get around to it someday.

You may be wondering how I could only get books I’ve read the majority of before when there were countless rows of books to choose from. Don’t worry, I got some other ones too! One of my favorite authors is Stephen King but I don’t actually own that many of his books (it pains me to admit) so I picked some up while I was there.

The Stand, Pet Sematary, IT, Everything’s Eventual, Four Past Midnight, Lisey’s Story, Hearts In Atlantis

I can’t wait to read these, though again I don’t know when I’ll be able to.

Finally, I did pick up some random books! Here you go:

Tersias by G.P. Taylor, Snow Garden by Christopher Rice, Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook, Bad Moon Rising by Sherrilyn Kenyon & Emperor: The Gates of Rome by Conn Iggulden

These ones I had never heard of and simply got because they sounded really interesting. I’m a bit of a Roman history nut so that’s the reasoning for that one.

Thank you for putting up with me while I took a bit of a trip back to when I was younger. I really appreciate it. ^.^ Please leave comments if you enjoyed this kind of post so I know whether I should do other “randomness” ones in the future and if you’d like to answer those questions I asked earlier feel free! That’s all from me for now (thankfully), as always thanks for reading. 🙂