The Merchant of Death (Pendragon, #1) by D.J. MacHale Download (read online) free eBook .pdf.epub.kindle

The Merchant of Death (Pendragon, #1)

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DENDURON

Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby.

He is going to save the world.

And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn’t quite what he thought

DENDURON

Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby.

He is going to save the world.

And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn’t quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.

If Bobby wants to see his family again, he’s going to have to accept his role as savior, and accept it wholeheartedly. Because, as he is about to discover, Denduron is only the beginning….
…more


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    Stephen

    Not even something as terrifyingly cuddly as a trio of skydiving “ninja” cats could have won me over to this story.
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    However, fans of this book/series can keep their dander down as this is not going to turn rant as I have no reason or desire to bash this tale. My angries were not provoked. The writing is fine, the main character is fairly engaging, there’s a decent back-story and nicely drawn diabolical villain.

    My less than lofty rating is more a recognition that this sub-genre of light, YA, com

    My less than lofty rating is more a recognition that this sub-genre of light, YA, coming-of-age high fantasy is not, and hasn’t been for some time, my cup-a-happy. I keep coming back to them occasionally because they’re easy, snack-like readings that make a nice palate cleansing sorbet from the more focus-required books I read. Plus, I occasionally find some real gems that make these excursions more than worth it (The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman).

    So, after finishing The Price of Spring and Faust, this one seemed like a nice diversion…plus I’ve owned the audiobook for a few years and needed to get it off my on deck circle.

    My mistake. It’s not the book’s fault. Everything about it was dandy. It was just too “not what I wanted” for me be able to say that I “liked it.” It just sorta bored me.

    PLOT SUMMARY:

    Bobby Pendragon is a 14 year old who learns from his mysterious uncle that our world is simply one of an infinite number of parallel dimensions known as “territories and that Bobby, like his uncle, is a “traveler” (i.e., someone who can move between these different realms through special portals).


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    So Bobby gets swept away into an alternative dimension called Denduron and must find a away to save the people from the destructive schemes of an evil, shape-changing, traveler known as Saint Dane, whose goal is to spread chaos throughout the territories.


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    Cue infodump on fantasy cultures and people, see exotic animals, learn of subjugated people and need for savior, through in a badass female warrior (this was a nice touch) and some nasty monsters and supporting villains.

    Shake…stir…pour…consume.

    THOUGHTS:

    My thoughts….basically…
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    …about sums it up.

    For what it is, this is a pretty good example of sub-genre. It just left me unenthused and feeling “been there, done that.” There was nothing novel or unique about and no unexpected “wow” factor that was able to red bull my interest back into the narrative once my attention began to peter out. I ended up “wingless” and limping toward the climax and was thankful that it was over.


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    A solid book that works for what it is, but didn’t do enough for me. Thus, the best I can do for it is…

    2.0 to 2.5 stars.

    …more

    Ariana Deralte

    Apr 09, 2009

    rated it
    did not like it

    Shelves:
    fantasy

    I wanted to enjoy this book because then I’d have several more good books to read after this one, but I was ultimately disappointed. I found the first person, diary pov grating and impossible to get into. The writing also came off as either uninspired or overly wordy when MacHale realized he needed a bit more exposition. Though actually, it was a lot of exposition since everything kept being repeated several times. On top of that, a lot of things happened in the plot just for the sake of the plo

    It’s a technically competent book and was well plotted. Unfortunately, there was nothing new in it. Maybe if I were younger and hadn’t read more than a few adventure/fantasy novels, I’d have thought this story was interesting, but as it was, it seemed rather rote. In the end, I’m left not caring at all what happens to Bobby et al. and will drop this series without regret.
    …more

    Mike

    This was one of my very favorite books in elementary school, so I thought I’d go back and re-read it to see how it holds up. And… well, it’s not as good as I remembered. I can’t pretend I didn’t enjoy it, but a big portion of that enjoyment came from the nostalgia value. There isn’t all that much to recommend the book apart from that. I have lots and lots of thoughts on this book, and I don’t feel like fleshing out a proper review, so here’s a pro and con list.

    Pros:

    – The characterization is mo

    Pros:

    – The characterization is mostly solid. Bobby was a good protagonist. I appreciated that he reacted basically the way an unprepared fourteen year-old would upon being taken to a fantasy world and told that he has to save everyone there – he screws up again and again, he spends a lot of time cowering and hiding, and he mostly only thinks of getting away. His character arc was a little obvious, but for an MG book, it works. The side characters are pretty good as well (except for Alder, who I wish we’d spent more time with).

    – The pacing is pretty good. The biggest thing about this series that captured my imagination as a kid were the memorable and imaginative fight scenes, and those actually turned out to be almost as good as I remembered them. The pacing is fast enough to hold a kid’s attention without being too rushed or relentless.

    – The exposition is well-executed. There’s a lot to introduce here, but MacHale does a good job of spreading out the exposition and weaving it naturally into the story. There are very few infodumps, and when they do happen, they feel necessary and well-placed.

    – I was surprised by the presence of a strong allegory. The way that one tribe oppresses the other in this fantasy world was surprisingly relevant to real-world oppression, and it makes the book a lot more thoughtful than I expected it to be. It’s a nice experience to go back to an old book and realize that actual effort and depth was put into it.

    Cons:

    – The writing is terrible. MacHale tries to imitate how teenagers talk, and it doesn’t work at all. I feel like this was probably cheesy in 1999 when this book came out, and almost 20 years later, it’s completely unbearable. It stopped being as distracting once I got used to it, but the book feels dated as hell, and I doubt it’ll find much of an audience with kids today because of it.

    – The plot and worldbuilding are pretty cliched. It starts, of course, with an ordinary guy discovering that he’s special and being whisked off to a fantasy world. The cliche doesn’t even work here like it does in Harry Potter or Percy Jackson because here, it doesn’t work as an escapist fantasy. Harry and Percy both had miserable lives, and it was a relief to be taken away. Here, Bobby had a pretty good life, and he spends most of his time on Denduron being scared and unpleasant. So not only is the setup cliched, it’s also pointless. The world itself is pretty cliched as well – it’s a pretty generic, vaguely medieval world, and it lacks most of the fantasy elements that would make that kind of thing interesting.

    – A black character dies first. She did play a somewhat important role in the story before her death, but still, her death essentially serves as a warning that things are dangerous, which is usually how black characters’ deaths are used.

    – There is some very clunky foreshadowing. In particular, there’s one scene that makes absolutely no sense if you haven’t already read the book. It comes out of nowhere, the event is nonsensical, and it’s never brought up again. There’s a lot of stuff like that – most of the foreshadowing is either very obvious, or completely nonsensical unless you already know what it means.

    – The tone is inconsistent. This is largely a function of the silly writing, but MacHale also makes a lot of ill-timed jokes. The story is actually fairly dark – as I mentioned before, the worldbuilding is an allegory for real-world style oppression, and this is a book that features lots of death, starvation, torture, and even slavery. And yet, even though we’re clearly supposed to read this as being dark, Bobby keeps making dumb jokes. The biggest scene where this is a problem is a scene where several characters have been captured, and are about to be killed. This should be a tense scene, but MacHale uses it to introduce a very unfunny comedy villain, and both the drama and the comedy fall flat.

    – The resolution of the novel felt cheap to me. This was partially because it leaned on some plotholes, but mostly, it was just too easy. The allegory in this novel is about oppression, and ending oppression takes time and hard work. The implication here was that it all went away overnight, and that just… doesn’t ring true to me.

    – Mark and Courtney’s story, which was intertwined with Bobby’s, felt tacked on. Having read the entire series, I know that this is a persistent problem with the series (I used to skip their parts of each book when I first read the series), and they don’t really become necessary to the plot until book 8.

    – The stakes are very unclear. It’s never explained in any detail what happens if a Territory falls into chaos, nor what it would look like if Halla fell. That makes it more difficult to get invested in the conflict – neither the characters nor the audience seem to quite know what they’re fighting for.

    – Saint Dane is a really, really boring villain. He has an interesting place within the allegory, but the actual interactions with him are dull as hell.

    I didn’t want to dislike this book, because it really did mean a lot to me in elementary school. But… well, there’s a lot about it that doesn’t work. It wasn’t horrible, but it was kind of mediocre, and I don’t have much interest in continuing with the series.
    …more