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The Pilgrims (Pendulum #1)

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  129 ratings  ·  25 reviews
Eric Albright is leading a normal life until a small red door appears under a train bridge near his home. Then a ghostly being wakes him in the dead of night, with a message from another world: You are Shadow. In Levaal, the world between worlds, the dragon-gods grow restless in their sky prisons, and the Great Spirits struggle to contain them. Vous, the worlds Friend and ...more
Paperback, 528 pages
Published April 1st 2010 by HarperCollins Publishers
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2010 DGLA Fantasy Book Nominees
36th out of 48 books — 31 voters
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8th out of 22 books — 14 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,245)
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Amanda
**I received a free copy of The Pilgrims from Tor in exchange for an honest review.**

Ah, the fantasy quest novel. Been a while since we've bumped into each other, but, damn, we used to have some good times when I was a teenager. I swear you haven't changed a bit since the last time I ran into you. So, anything new with you? No, not really? Still just rambling off down the road to adventure, eh? Meet a mage or two, maybe some stone giants, a few angels? Choose some ordinary schmuck to save the wo
...more
Branwen *Blaidd Drwg*
"The point isn't about good guys and bad guys, it's about surviving."

This book...was really quite amazing! I fell in love with it because of the gorgeous cover (I know I'm shallow when it comes to book covers, so sue me) and fell even more in love with it while reading it!

It's fantasy, and set mostly in a fantasy world, but it felt so REAL to me. All of the characters, even the bad guys, had a side to them that you grew to like and even empathize with. The worldbuilding was nothing short of fant
...more
Matthew Tait
An author that needs no introduction, Will Elliot burst into the mainstream from relative obscurity after winning the ABC manuscript award with The Pilo Family Circus. It was a novel of disturbing ideas and grisly images that took on a life of its own, breathing fresh blood into our literary scene and showcasing that young Australian talent could mix it with the big guns on a world stage. With Pilgrims, Elliot shifts gears in a largely new direction, moving into the invented world genre and tryi ...more
Melliane
Mon avis en Français

My English review

The synopsis immediately intrigued me when I saw it. Indeed, here the author presents us a strange mix of characters from our world and fantasy characters. You can imagine that the confrontation will be brutal. I was so curious to see how it would be conducted.

Eric and Casey are two men who let themselves be led through life without really having a goal. When one day a door appears under a bridge, they were immediately intrigued, especially when people come t
...more
Evelynne
I received a copy of The Pilgrims by Will Elliott from Tor McMillan free to review - thank you, guys! It tells the story of journalist Eric Albright and Stuart Casey, a homeless drunk, who stumble across a hidden door which leads them to the fantastical world of Levaal. Naturally, there is an evil overlord they have to defeat. As can be inferred from the ages of the protagonists, this is more adult contemporary fantasy than young adult. The language and attitudes of the two main characters is mo ...more
Jasper
originally posted at: http://thebookplank.blogspot.com/2014...

I have been reading a lot of Urban Fantasy and Science Fiction lately and I was really craving for an epic fantasy story, so when I went through my books that I still have up for review and I came across this book. It quickly reminded me of a one of my favourite series ever: The Dark Tower by Stephen King. Where you have a group embark on a quest in a world mixed with fantasy and contemporary and science fiction influences so without
...more
Clay
Will Elliott's “The Pilgrims” (Tor, $26.99, 437 pages) is the first of a promising trilogy (though you have to dig deep into the book jacket to figure that out before spending your $30). The setup drops two New Yorkers into a strange world of magic and terror, and the reader has to try to figure things out along with the young journalist and homeless alcoholic as they wind up in the middle of a complex political and cosmological situation.

The two protagonists get caught in the struggle between a
...more
OpenBookSociety.com
http://openbooksociety.com/article/th...

Review brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra

Fantasy all the way. The writing was vivid, descriptive and dynamic and for that I am grateful. The story seemed to drag occasionally, but if one perseveres….you get to the end.

Vous….definitely an odd character. Especially the section where he describes the five whom he murdered with their spirits living within or around his mirror, that was actually creepy. His goal is to rise to the rank of a god…in his mad way.
...more
Phil Leader
The Pilgrims is the second book by Will Elliott and the first in the Pendulum trilogy.​ It follows Eric (a down on his luck journalist) and Case (an old vagrant that Eric befriends) who discover that a small door under a bridge leads to a different world.

The story follows them as they travel across this new land of Levaal and encounters various inhabitants - human and other races. There has been a war simmering between The Castle - ruled by the (not to beat about the bush) insane Vous - and a co
...more
Ian Mathers
I read this one to review elsewhere. I see that Elliott has sort of disowned this series, which is a shame; I'm not a fan of the trope of people from our world going to a fantasy world, but this one worked for me. Part of it is that our nominal protagonists seem like fairly average people; not really heroic or villainous, with mundane motives and making plenty of decisions based on incomplete information or irrational reactions. Part of it is that Levaal is so convincingly weird; dragon-gods in ...more
Blake
This book, although slow at first, really picked up the last 200 pages and totally surprised me. Wizard of Oz like, this brand new world was, you could tell very thought out, tangent, real, described and written beautiful. Elliot's talent also, as an award winning illustrator and designer, I loved how descriptive Elliot was from everything from the types of grass in his new world, to the beards on the War Mages. He had my imagination running throughout this whole book, and he also had me wanting ...more
Cori
This was a book that kept popping up everywhere I looked - asking me to read it. Begging me to give it a chance. I bought it right before I left on my vacation, but didn't get a chacne to read it until after we were home again. Once I opened it - it was hard for me to put it down. The story just kept hauling me in again and again.

From the dustjacket:
Eric Albright is a twenty-six-year-old journalist living in London. That is to say he would be a journalist if he got off his backside. But this luc
...more
Matt
This was a fun little story, if a bit unoriginal. I'm a little disappointed that it's the start of series/trilogy, as I'd been under the impression it was a stand alone. I'll definitely read the rest of them, once the whole series is published.

Echoes of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever and standard fantasy tropes. Nothing overwhelmingly original, characters a little flat, and writing sometimes a bit dodgy, but for all that, this was a fun read.
Lis Ann
See full review @ The Indigo Quill

I can be accused of judging a book based on the genre it’s from. Fantasy is one of those genres for me. Apart from a few exceptions and classics, fantasy is one of those genres that is littered with busty elves and all powerful Gandalf knock-off wizards and talking dragons acting out one trope after another with shameless regularity. The beauty of The Pilgrims by Will Elliott is that he uses a lot of the same set pieces that make up trashy dime-a-dozen fantasy,
...more
Shannon
I picked this one up, not usually a sci-fi/fantasy kinda gal, purely because I've met the author a few times. Overall I did enjoy the book on the whole and I'm intrigued to see what happens in the next part (unfortunately this won't be until next year). The story did drag in a few parts but I'm not sure if this is because I don't usually read this style or because it actually dig drag but in saying that the whole idea of Levaal was a completely new idea to me. We've all heard of doorways leading ...more
Josh
When I was reading this book and my friend, Josh, asked me to describe this book I said, "It's not really that well written and I don't think it's that interesting" I spent most of this book trying to be excited about it. The plot, the setting, and a few of the characters were interesting, but I found the writing style and lack of character development seemed to hurt it. It just seemed like it was thrown together, and not really developed.
Melbourne on my mind
Oct 12, 2013 Melbourne on my mind marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: fantasy
Pure fantasy and I have a complicated relationship. I'll either adore it pretty much instantly, or I just can't get into it, no matter how much I keep reading. I'm not sure if it's something to do with the world building or the characters or quite what the deal is, but this was another prime example. I wanted to like it - the blurb sounded awesome - but when I'd made it 100 pages in without caring about any of the characters (not to mention the fact that it had taken me several days to reach the ...more
James Eckman
Couldn't finish it, it's a bit too bizarre. I will try future books from this author.
Thoraiya
In spite of my reservations, I did read this to the end. I do care what happens next to most of the characters. I got caught up in the adventure.

Did I mention that the actual writing is good? (Strike that 132-word sentence on p500!) The writing is really good. I can't help but wonder if I might find same author, different subject matter to be more to my taste. Will try "The Pilo Family Circus" next, or maybe "Strange Places," if I can bring myself to venture into such personal territory.
Whitney
This was one of those books that I struggled to read from the beginning. While I enjoy world building as much as the next fantasy buff (and there was plenty of that to be found in this book), I found that I couldn't connect to a single character. Flat characters and stilted dialogue made The Pilgrims a trial rather than an enjoyable experience. However, if you're the kind of person who loves world building above and beyond everything else, go ahead and give this book a try.
Joy
Fast paced and very original with lots of humor despite the gore and horror. Written clear and without padding the characters are interesting enough to hold your interest constantly and the creatures also are non-traditional. The usual ones like dragons, giants and gods live in an almost zen like parallel dimension that often seems more like syfy.

By the third book the world gets very metaphysical
Paul Sparks
ARC received from Tor.com

I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Worldbuilding was excellent and it had a darker edge than most fantasy that I have read.
Book Bazaar
A quest fantasy in the lines of Stephen Donaldson - misfit humans from the regular world are drawn into another realm where great things come to be expected of them. Quite a good read but didn't blow me away as I had hoped.
Jenny
I won't go into plot details here; will simply say that this book, the first in a new series, is incredibly well-constructed and entertaining. A must-read for all fantasy fans!
T.W. Spencer
T.W. Spencer marked it as to-read
Jan 28, 2015
Patricia
Patricia marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Katherine
Katherine marked it as to-read
Jan 27, 2015
Kirk Levesque
Kirk Levesque marked it as to-read
Jan 26, 2015
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Will Elliott (born 1979) is an Australian fiction writer who lives in Brisbane, Queensland.

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.
More about Will Elliott...

Other Books in the Series

Pendulum (3 books)
  • Shadow
  • World's End
The Pilo Family Circus Strange Places Nightfall Shadow World's End

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