Colorbomb's Reviews > Black Water

Black Water by D.J. MacHale
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Jan 31, 12

Read in January, 2012

Joseph
Schiedemandel
1/31/12 Book Review
Pendragon Book 5: Black Water

Pendragon, or rather the Pendragon series, is a series of science fiction books about a group of people who possess the ability to travel through time and space through the use of portals called, “Flumes”. This, In my opinion, was one of the stronger entries in the series, solely because of the unique setting. For me, a books setting and characters really sell a book. If it has characters that I can relate to, or a setting that just grabs my attention, I usually really like the book. However, The book was not without the obligatory misstep here and there. Let's take a closer look at this fantastic book, and examine the characterization, setting, and plot. Ah, the plot. Probably one of the most important parts of a book. The plot of this Pendragon entry appears to start the same, but quickly opens up to a strange twist that will change the course of the series. When Bobby Pendragon (Main Character) arrives on the territory of Eelong, he is greeted with the information that the territory of Eelong's evolutionary cycle went a different direction, and the dominant species of Eelong are huge humanoid cats. Bobby is treated like a pet, along with every other human on the territory. The cats, also know as, “Klee” are cruel to humans on the territory, and use them as a means of salve labor. I rather liked the idea, for it reminded me of the famous movie, “planet of the apes”. Of course, The territory is reaching its inevitable turning-point, and the travelers must do what ever can do in their power to prevent the now-demonic Saint Dane from interfering with the territory. The biggest plot twist is that all of the acolytes (friends of the travelers that volunteer to help the them indirectly) are now able to use the Flumes. Courtney and Mark (Bobby's friends) are visited by the traveler from Eelong and are informed that the crops on Eelong are being poisoned by Saint Dane. Shortly after, he drops dead with green fluid dripping from his big cat nose, for he was poisoned by Saint Dane him self. Mark and Courtney know that the only way they can inform Bobby about the poisoning is to travel to Eelong and tell Bobby face-to-face. This was a major plot twist, for it is the first time that the to story lines of Mark and Courtney and Bobby are combined. I like how all the travelers Bobby has met so far are all gathered together for the first time, as all the travelers express there thoughts about one another. It's rather funny if you ask me. The most interesting part of this book is its setting. The book takes place in an alternate territory where the sun is a belt and the dominate species are huge, tailless cats. The cats, or Klee, live in massive tree houses, and utilize solar power to power everything from trains to elevators to helicopters. The funny thing is that everything is made out of bamboo and vines, giving everything a Swiss Family Robinson feeling. The Klee rule also use humans, or Gar as they are referred to on Eelong, to do slave labor. They are used for everything from cleaning farms, manual labor, blood sport, and hunting bait. The interesting thing about the Klee is that about 80% of their food comes from game, so a Klee's main job is to hunt for a variety of birds, elk, zebras, horses, and occasionally giant lizard creatures with massive butcher knife-like arms. An interesting location in the book was Black Water, the secret Gar town that contains highly intelligent Gars that have discovered the answer to Eelong's famine. The Klee counter-part would be the city of Leeandra. Leeandra is a civilized city that uses many different technologies, like helicopters, called, “gigs”. So all in all, The setting was very well detailed, and was the most interesting part of the story, in my opinion. The characterization in this story was kind of awkward in this story, as it introduced several new characters, like the traveler from Eelong, Kasha. Kasha is to be the next traveler of Eelong, yet she is unaware of this until her father, who was the previous traveler is poisoned by Saint Dane. Kasha is developed rather slowly, as she strictly apposes all things to do with the travelers, but in the end accepts the duty of being a traveler, as it was what her father would of wanted. Unfortunately, Kasha dies at the end of the book when her head is smashed by a falling rock. Spader makes a makes a return when all the travelers are on Eelong, only to take a liking to Courtney. This was kind of strange, as it seemed like the author threw it in last minute. Bobby's character development was handled in a cliché manner, for he apparently discovers his place in the universe. Bobby is looked at as the, “lead traveler” and he is starting to act the part. All in all, the character development and characterization was probably the worst part of the book. Not to say the book was bad, I did say that it was one of the stronger entries. I just thought that the Courtney-Spader relationship could have been done away with. All in all, I really liked this book, and it was probably one of the best books in the series so far. However, there are 10 books in the series, and this was just the 5th. I only hope the 6th book is as good.
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01/31/2012 page 448
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