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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Book One of the Travelers (Pendragon: Before the War) by D.J. MacHale and Carla Jobinski

The Travelers: Book One (Pendragon: Before the War)Before Bobby Pendragon. Before Saint Dane. Before the war...

 Every territory of Halla has a Traveler. They lived for years -- some even for decades -- before learning of their true destiny. What was life like for Bobby Pendragon's fellow Travelers before they joined him in the fight to save every time and place that has ever existed? What led up to their becoming the guardians of Halla? The answers are here! 

In this first of three thrilling Pendragon prequels, read about Vo Spader's death-defying adventures in the underwater world of Cloral, Gunny Van Dyke's race to find a murderer in 1930's Manhattan on First Earth, and the tough challenges Kasha faced on Eelong well before Bobby Pendragon arrived...

Note: I can't review this like I normally do, because this book is actually three shorter stories.  They revolve around the Travelers Kasha, Gunny, and Spader, from D.J. MacHale's Pendragon series.  The stories are about what happened before the war began and Bobby dropped in.  They aren't written by D.J. MacHale.

I picked this up at the library because I'm such a huge fan of the Pendragon Series.  I loved every page of those books.  So, naturally, I figured it would be awesome to get some insight into the lives of the Travelers.

I was disappointed.

First, I wasn't happy to find out that D.J. MacHale didn't actually write this.  The writing in this book just didn't work for me.  Words were repeated over and over, sometimes in the same sentence.  Dialogue was a bit sloshy in places.  There was a lot of 'telling'.

I was hoping for some pretty intense foreshadowing here.  Like, for example, Gunny could make some reference to how he could never live without his hand.  But the only real foreshadowing was that we got to see the beginning of Spader's anger problems. 

I had a hard time getting into Kasha's story.  Gunny's was alright, but I found a plot hole that is...currently escaping my mind, but it's there.  I did like the insight as to where his name came from.  I liked Spader's story best.  Then again, how can you not love Spader?  I could actually get into his story and was anxious to find out what happened next, but the whole I-hate-you-but-if-we-want-to-survive-we'll-have-to-work-together was really cliché.

I understand know why the stories were in the order that they are.  First Kasha, then Gunny, and finally Spader.  A lot of people will go into this just for Spader's story, so why not make them read all the others first to get there?  If Spader was first, so many people would just put the book down.

Overall, this disappointed me.  The characters were so much less in-depth than the actual series, especially since I was pretty much expecting 243 pages of character development.  I didn't like the writing, and the plots just weren't that gripping.  If you've read Pendragon, you can try this if you want to, but they don't add much to the series.  Three stars. *****


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