Reviews: The Pendragon Adventure

And so we... wait, what?

Pendragon was close to being one of my favorite series of all time. According to the author, what we now know as The Pendragon Adventure was originally conceived as a series of standalone adventures... but now, with The Soldiers of Halla as its denouement and conclusion, I kind of wish they had stayed that way.

I was with it for the first nine. I could gladly go into more detail with more room, but let me just say that they were good, carefully written, and that when I turned to audiobooks due to extenuating circumstances, William Dufris is scary when he wants to be. You may know him better as Bob the Builder. It was all going so well.

Then The Soldiers of Halla came along. It answers all of the series' mysteries close to the beginning, which at least puts it ahead of the pretentious (a word which here means... oh, never mind) "ending" of A Series Of Unfortunate Events. After a philosophically uncomfortable but promising beginning, it goes on pretty well for most of the story, though since it deals with multiple Travelers on different Territories, it feels a bit like we're missing out. Even so, it's on par with other Pendragon fare, with some twists.

And then comes the ending. Not just to the book, but to the whole ten-book adventure. It manages to combine a rushed, unsatisfying conclusion, anticlimax, and a resolution that doesn't even work within the established rules of the series. And it's not very happy. (A few hours later, Fridge Horror about Quillan kicked in. That kept me up for a few hours and I don't think it was supposed to.) Everything this series has been building up to lurches and falls to pieces.

Here's the deal. If you're one of those readers who can just ignore a bad ending, throw it into Dis Continuity and continue merrily along and/or take refuge in your own or someone else's made-up canon — believe me, there's potential here, though it would take another novel to do it justice — nine-tenths of Pendragon is a fun, well-written ride. Unfortunately, it all crumbles where a satisfying ending should (and, I believe, could) have been.

If The Soldiers of Halla was a turning point, I think Saint Dane just won.

A decent series... Except for the damn 10th book.

One of my favorite book series in my early teens. My friends and I had loads of fun discussing what we thought was going to happen, and managed to struggle through the Totally Radical parts to get to some great plot twists and character development (well, it seemed that way to us). IT ALL SHOULD HAVE BEEN LEFT TO THE IMAGINATION. Uncle Press was a lot better when he was, as was pretty much the entire backstory. The tenth book gave me my first taste of what would make me a troper: the feeling of "SERIOUSLY!?".

My first review, fittingly.