Victoria's Reviews > The Soldiers of Halla

The Soldiers of Halla by D.J. MacHale
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's review
Oct 03, 2009

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** This book was interesting in that it broke the mold for a "finale" novel. It wasn't exactly an epic conclusion...but that doesn't mean it wasn't good. It didn't all depend on a rush of action and emotion and a climactic explosion of power and force...but it was it was still striking.

I liked the way Bobby returned to so many of the worlds we've come to know and love over the course of the series and interacted with all the Travelers again; I almost wish more time could have been spent revisiting everything. I was vastly relieved at the way Bobby rediscovered his friends; it was fun seeing where everyone popped up. And I did have my heart knocked around a bit with those close calls...I've really grown to love these characters. And everyone got a couple awesome hero moments, some even more than others, and that was great.

The final revelations of the Travelers gave me mixed feelings. I was okay with the whole Solara and spirit thing...but it kind of contradicted the message, I felt. If it was truly up to the ordinary people of Halla to destroy Saint Dane, than I thought Bobby and his fellows should have been ordinary beings chosen from among those, or maybe ordinary beings that showed extraordinary promise. But for such a huge and potentially ruinous concept, MacHale handled it fairly well, despite the fact that it was kind of a lot for a last book reveal.

The book might have been a touch shorter; it seemed like there was a lot of buildup for a single conflict, and a lot of that preparation and running around could have been shaved out.

And then of course, the big ending. I actually liked the way Saint Dane's defeat didn't have a ton of fanfare; it was cool how he brought himself to ruin and all the ordinary masses turned on him. It just goes to show that even the greatest tyrants can fall like paper when the right mindset and the right pressure has arrived. What kind of spins your head around is the last couple chapters. I felt that could have been a lot less convoluted. I understood about the whole "stay on Third Earth" thing, but what was with the ambiguous time travel, mind wiping, dimension jumping, etc. in the epilogue? Don't get me wrong, I loved that Bobby and Courtney got to be together, but I think the same general ending feel could have been accomplished by everyone just staying on Third Earth and helping rebuild it together.

But all in all, there was a feeling of peace in the ending that I liked, and the series as a whole is no doubt a great fantasy that's more creative and engaging than many things I've read. I definitely recommend all of the Pendragon novels.

And so we go, Bobby. :)
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