Aparajitabasu's Reviews > The Soldiers of Halla

The Soldiers of Halla by D.J. MacHale
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Jun 28, 11

bookshelves: adventure, children-s, sci-fi, fiction, fantasy, young-adult
Read from June 24 to 27, 2011

As expected I didn't like the end but i'm glad so now i can move onto another series, now that its the final book #10 The Soldiers of Halla of the Pendragon saga is complete. Lets find out why...

Here is the summary :

It has all been leading to this. Every victory. Every loss. All the thrills and sadness; the hope and despair. Bobby Pendragon’s heart-pounding journey through time and space has brought him to this epic moment. He and his fellow Travelers must join forces for one last desperate battle against Saint Dane. At stake is not only the tenth and final territory, but all that ever was or will be. Everywhere. This is the war for Halla. Every question is answered. Every truth is revealed. The final battle has begun.

The book exactly delivers all it promises, all the answers. The answers that have been missing since the book 1 but dumping the whole thing at once as well as adding dump load more - no good at all. In short an epic failure. All the preceding books have been following the same formula but Machale starts to change the game around from 8 and now in book 10 proves and epic downfall.

The Soldiers of Halla begins with the ten Travelers, including Uncle Press, meeting in a crumbling wasteland of a city. They are immediately attacked by a helicopter, forcing them to seek refuge in the buildings. Bobby and Loor are trapped in a pit and watch as a colony of people are caught by the helicopters in a nearby building. When the helicopters leave, however, the Travelers gather back together. The first generation of Travelers quickly appear, such as Osa, Loor's mother, and Seegen, Kasha's father, and lead the other Travelers away. Bobby is met by his family again, who tell him that the wastleand was in fact the New York City zoo on Third Earth.

His family leads Bobby to another place, that is filled with dark clouds and crumbling, gray earth. They confess that they know all that has transpired in Halla so far, including Bobby's murder of Alexander Naymeer on Second Earth. Moreover, they tell him that Solara is indeed the essence of Halla and thus the ten territories. Each victory and defeat inflicted by the Travelers and Saint Dane is reflected in the overall health of Solara. All of the souls of Halla are transferred to Solara after they pass on in Halla. They admit that Saint Dane was once a leader of Solara, along with themselves and Uncle Press, to maintain its health.

This book is more philosophical than any of the previous volumes. We realize that this has not been simply an adventure story, but the screenwriter MacHale has given us a saga that allows us to reflect on the essential reality of humanity: the freedom to choose good and to fight evil. All of the main characters of the earlier volumes make their reappearance here in the final fight for Halla and for the vindication of the human spirit.

I will admit I am a fan of the first few books and really have enjoyed the concept of the Travelers, the different worlds (territories), and the battle against Saint Dane. Unfortunately, the last few books started to feel very repetitive with little suspense. It was almost like the story was only fresh enough for 5 really compact books instead of 10 really drawn out volumes.

My biggest complaint with the final book was that I was expecting something different or new in the conclusion to the story. Instead we get the same opening letter from Bobby which then leads to a series of familiar feeling mini-adventures (bad guy attacks, overwhelming odds, surprise rescue - over and over again).

The entire book is written like the end of every one of his other books. there is no end to the action and no real apex to the story because of it. I loved hearing about mark and courtneys journeys to help bobby and their feelings about it all spaced in between bobby's journals but McHale would have none of that in this book. Its all from bobby's perspective and makes all of the main characters incredibly flat feeling.

The ending was DEEPLY DEEPLY unsatisfying. All the travelers go back to the spirit world except bobby who somehow gets his uncles permission to keep living his life which somehow leads to an ending describing bobby's life if he had never been a traveler and is told in hindsight by bobby when he is about to die in what seems to be an old folks home. none of it makes sense i had to reread the previous two chapters trying to figure out what had happened, to try and find some reason for this ending. there was none im sorry to say.

I really dont know what happened with this book. McHale seemed to love to shout out the moral to the story every chapter or so. it made it a very shallow story. The ending was wrong. just wrong. i cant describe it in a better way.
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06/24/2011 page 256
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