Saturday, January 31, 2009

"PENDRAGON Prequel 1" review

First of all, this book is a toughie to name. It's officially listed as PENDRAGON: Before the War-- The Travelers Book One, but that's a really, really, REALLY stupid title. So in this review, I'll just call it Prequel 1. It makes things easier. It's the first of three Travelers books, and just came out this week. Now it's only 250 pages long, so it didn't take long to read.

Prequel 1 shows a glimpse of Halla before the events of the PENDRAGON series, before Uncle Press took Bobby Pendragon on that fateful motorcycle ride the day of Bobby's big basketball game (try saying that three times fast). In fact, it's the only book in the series where the protagonist and title character is absent.

Kasha, a klee from Eelong, is on the brink of finging her plade in the world. She's good at her job, and a talented player on the Wippen court. But she is challenged to see things a different way after a gar named Press talks to her father and tells him of something greater than himself. What if the gars really do have feelings? Will she bring her team down in her attempts to make wippen easier for the gars?

Gunny Van Dyke, who works at a hotel in First Earth Manhatten, has just become a part of something dangerous. A friend of his was gunned down, and another friend is being accused of committing the murder. Now Gunny has to watch over the deceased friend's teenage son, as well as find out who really killed his friend. He just has to hope the search doesn't kill him.

Vo Spader, who just graduated from the aquaneer academy on Cloral, has gotten a choice assignment: working on the ship Grallion. But there are some problems. First, he has to work alongside a rival student in his new job. And those conflicts are hurting him in his job. Worse still, Grallion gets attacked by raiders, and he and his rival are the only ones left. Talk about a tum-tigger!

Prequel 1 wasn't actually written by D. J. MacHale, for he is still hard at work making sure The Soldiers of Halla is ready for release on May 12. Each prequel was written by a different author-- this one's was Carla Jablonsky, who I've never heard of or read anything by before. But she does a very good job of channeling MacHale, keeping the style consistent, adding to the world while carefully making sure that characters act as they should. Prequel 1 was a pleasure to read, and I'm looking forward to the release of Prequel 2, set to come out late February.

My rating: 8.5/10

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