Read The Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale Online

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Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby. He is going to save the world.And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to aBobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby. He is going to save the world.And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn't quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution.If Bobby wants to see his family again, he's going to have to accept his role as savior, and accept it wholeheartedly. Because, as he is about to discover, Denduron is only the beginning.......

Title : The Merchant of Death
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780689871832
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Merchant of Death Reviews

  • Stephen
    2018-09-26 07:39

    Not even something as terrifyingly cuddly as a trio of skydiving "ninja" cats could have won me over to this story.However, fans of this book/series can keep their dander down as this is not going to turn rant as I have no reason or desire to bash this tale. My angries were not provoked. The writing is fine, the main character is fairly engaging, there’s a decent back-story and nicely drawn diabolical villain. My less than lofty rating is more a recognition that this sub-genre of light, YA, coming-of-age high fantasy is not, and hasn’t been for some time, my cup-a-happy. I keep coming back to them occasionally because they’re easy, snack-like readings that make a nice palate cleansing sorbet from the more focus-required books I read. Plus, I occasionally find some real gems that make these excursions more than worth it (The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix and His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman). So, after finishing The Price of Spring and Faust, this one seemed like a nice diversion...plus I've owned the audiobook for a few years and needed to get it off my on deck circle. My mistake. It's not the book's fault. Everything about it was dandy. It was just too “not what I wanted” for me be able to say that I “liked it.” It just sorta bored me. PLOT SUMMARY:Bobby Pendragon is a 14 year old who learns from his mysterious uncle that our world is simply one of an infinite number of parallel dimensions known as “territories and that Bobby, like his uncle, is a “traveler” (i.e., someone who can move between these different realms through special portals). So Bobby gets swept away into an alternative dimension called Denduron and must find a away to save the people from the destructive schemes of an evil, shape-changing, traveler known as Saint Dane, whose goal is to spread chaos throughout the territories.Cue infodump on fantasy cultures and people, see exotic animals, learn of subjugated people and need for savior, through in a badass female warrior (this was a nice touch) and some nasty monsters and supporting villains. Shake...stir...pour...consume.THOUGHTS:My thoughts….basically……about sums it up. For what it is, this is a pretty good example of sub-genre. It just left me unenthused and feeling “been there, done that.” There was nothing novel or unique about and no unexpected “wow” factor that was able to red bull my interest back into the narrative once my attention began to peter out. I ended up “wingless” and limping toward the climax and was thankful that it was over.A solid book that works for what it is, but didn’t do enough for me. Thus, the best I can do for it is…2.0 to 2.5 stars.

  • Ariana Deralte
    2018-10-22 12:41

    I wanted to enjoy this book because then I'd have several more good books to read after this one, but I was ultimately disappointed. I found the first person, diary pov grating and impossible to get into. The writing also came off as either uninspired or overly wordy when MacHale realized he needed a bit more exposition. Though actually, it was a lot of exposition since everything kept being repeated several times. On top of that, a lot of things happened in the plot just for the sake of the plot happening (which is why Bobby is so dumb in the first place methinks). Some of the characters are competently characterized, but ultimately dull. This was especially true of the 'evil' villain who mostly gave the impression that he spent his evenings on the sofa watching tv. I think this is, perhaps, a problem of the pov because it was hard to think a man who mostly spent his time chatting with a queen and barely remembers to threaten to kill people or destroy the world, is the great evil villain of the books. It's a technically competent book and was well plotted. Unfortunately, there was nothing new in it. Maybe if I were younger and hadn't read more than a few adventure/fantasy novels, I'd have thought this story was interesting, but as it was, it seemed rather rote. In the end, I'm left not caring at all what happens to Bobby et al. and will drop this series without regret.

  • Mike
    2018-09-21 07:43

    This was one of my very favorite books in elementary school, so I thought I'd go back and re-read it to see how it holds up. And... well, it's not as good as I remembered. I can't pretend I didn't enjoy it, but a big portion of that enjoyment came from the nostalgia value. There isn't all that much to recommend the book apart from that. I have lots and lots of thoughts on this book, and I don't feel like fleshing out a proper review, so here's a pro and con list.Pros:- The characterization is mostly solid. Bobby was a good protagonist. I appreciated that he reacted basically the way an unprepared fourteen year-old would upon being taken to a fantasy world and told that he has to save everyone there - he screws up again and again, he spends a lot of time cowering and hiding, and he mostly only thinks of getting away. His character arc was a little obvious, but for an MG book, it works. The side characters are pretty good as well (except for Alder, who I wish we'd spent more time with).- The pacing is pretty good. The biggest thing about this series that captured my imagination as a kid were the memorable and imaginative fight scenes, and those actually turned out to be almost as good as I remembered them. The pacing is fast enough to hold a kid's attention without being too rushed or relentless.- The exposition is well-executed. There's a lot to introduce here, but MacHale does a good job of spreading out the exposition and weaving it naturally into the story. There are very few infodumps, and when they do happen, they feel necessary and well-placed.- I was surprised by the presence of a strong allegory. The way that one tribe oppresses the other in this fantasy world was surprisingly relevant to real-world oppression, and it makes the book a lot more thoughtful than I expected it to be. It's a nice experience to go back to an old book and realize that actual effort and depth was put into it.Cons:- The writing is terrible. MacHale tries to imitate how teenagers talk, and it doesn't work at all. I feel like this was probably cheesy in 1999 when this book came out, and almost 20 years later, it's completely unbearable. It stopped being as distracting once I got used to it, but the book feels dated as hell, and I doubt it'll find much of an audience with kids today because of it.- The plot and worldbuilding are pretty cliched. It starts, of course, with an ordinary guy discovering that he's special and being whisked off to a fantasy world. The cliche doesn't even work here like it does in Harry Potter or Percy Jackson because here, it doesn't work as an escapist fantasy. Harry and Percy both had miserable lives, and it was a relief to be taken away. Here, Bobby had a pretty good life, and he spends most of his time on Denduron being scared and unpleasant. So not only is the setup cliched, it's also pointless. The world itself is pretty cliched as well - it's a pretty generic, vaguely medieval world, and it lacks most of the fantasy elements that would make that kind of thing interesting.- A black character dies first. She did play a somewhat important role in the story before her death, but still, her death essentially serves as a warning that things are dangerous, which is usually how black characters' deaths are used.- There is some very clunky foreshadowing. In particular, there's one scene that makes absolutely no sense if you haven't already read the book. It comes out of nowhere, the event is nonsensical, and it's never brought up again. There's a lot of stuff like that - most of the foreshadowing is either very obvious, or completely nonsensical unless you already know what it means.- The tone is inconsistent. This is largely a function of the silly writing, but MacHale also makes a lot of ill-timed jokes. The story is actually fairly dark - as I mentioned before, the worldbuilding is an allegory for real-world style oppression, and this is a book that features lots of death, starvation, torture, and even slavery. And yet, even though we're clearly supposed to read this as being dark, Bobby keeps making dumb jokes. The biggest scene where this is a problem is a scene where several characters have been captured, and are about to be killed. This should be a tense scene, but MacHale uses it to introduce a very unfunny comedy villain, and both the drama and the comedy fall flat.- The resolution of the novel felt cheap to me. This was partially because it leaned on some plotholes, but mostly, it was just too easy. The allegory in this novel is about oppression, and ending oppression takes time and hard work. The implication here was that it all went away overnight, and that just... doesn't ring true to me.- Mark and Courtney's story, which was intertwined with Bobby's, felt tacked on. Having read the entire series, I know that this is a persistent problem with the series (I used to skip their parts of each book when I first read the series), and they don't really become necessary to the plot until book 8.- The stakes are very unclear. It's never explained in any detail what happens if a Territory falls into chaos, nor what it would look like if Halla fell. That makes it more difficult to get invested in the conflict - neither the characters nor the audience seem to quite know what they're fighting for.- Saint Dane is a really, really boring villain. He has an interesting place within the allegory, but the actual interactions with him are dull as hell.I didn't want to dislike this book, because it really did mean a lot to me in elementary school. But... well, there's a lot about it that doesn't work. It wasn't horrible, but it was kind of mediocre, and I don't have much interest in continuing with the series.

  • Jemmuel
    2018-10-13 10:19

    The beginning book that hooked me on its fast paced, plot twisting, and at times adrenaline pumping series. This book really cannot be denied. D.J. MacHale, who has created many other favorites for Y.A. has now beautifully written a creative and entertaining book. The story is of youbg Bobby Pendragon, a life of a normal 14 year old, which takes a dramatic turn as he is introduced to a universe that is all so unreal; yet completely in danger. His Uncle Press, who interrupts his great life at the time, appears to swoop Bobby on the fantastic journey through time and space. Every moment, especially for young adults, no matter how fantastic the journey, Bobby relates to most situations in life, and his emotional and mental struggle to get a hold of what's really going on in Halla, and most importantly, himself. Being a young reader, i give this book a definite 5/5 for its creativity and the ability to be able to understand both perspectives of child and adult, which is not very common in authors. A great read for all.

  • Mike (the Paladin)
    2018-09-24 07:40

    Bobby Pendragon is a traveler. Frankly I think if I had a name like "Pendragon" by the time I was a young teen I'd have looked it up and said...wow cool. But apparently being a typical 21st century "youth" our hero doesn't really care about much outside of school sports of course.I give this a 3 star rating as it has moments of..."humm, that was interesting". It's a pretty good idea though executed with some odd logic holes and for a very young audience.I've noted before that "YA" books can be more "Y" than "A" sort of "Ya" or it can be more "A" than "Y", "yA"...occasionally there's a balance I suppose. This book is "Ya".There's a bit of adventure a little romance set-up. The story isn't really anything new, but it's a fairly fast adventure with a few slow-downs when we drop back to "Earth 2" to read the journals.So, not too bad. A low 3 stars with some decent action and continuing plot set up with a continuing arch-villain. I think younger readers will enjoy this more than older, especially more "experienced" readers. If you've been reading a while there will be lots of "been there done that" moments where you'll pretty much see what's coming before it gets there.I don't know if I'll read any more of these, maybe if I need a break and something very light (I got this in audio and often put it on when I was just tired, LOL). So be aware that we have some death, we have some violence so I'd advise parents and guardians check it out first and then decide if their youths are ready for the book.(view spoiler)[The "love story is the traditional "wow I hate him/her" until of course the book moves toward it's end when we discover we don't really hate him/her...of course he (Pendragon) had a crush on a girl (back home) named Courtney.The continuing "magic" villain is named Saint Dane and...dun-dun-dun he'll be back.(hide spoiler)]

  • Jessye
    2018-10-02 06:37

    The Pendragon Series is my favorite book series of all time, probably because it's one of the first book series I've read, it's extremely long which I love in books, and also I've read it over a couple of years. I started reading in 6th grade and finally finished the last book in 9th grade. I FREAKING LOVE THIS SERIES! I recommend it to everyone! The characters are so lovable and you become really attachted to them. The relationships made between them are wonderful and the action and suspense just leave you wanting more. The plot is well thought out (except the last book to be honest)and the writing style is awesome. The concept of the series may not be the most original but the execution definately is. The first book starts out slow but once you keep reading you will get hooked and STAY hooked and pretty much devour each book one after another!I have to say my favorite book of the series was Book 9 Raven Rise. HOLY CRAP I have never read that much suspense in a book before that. So many things are revealed where it was just mindblowing and the cliffhangar at the end...omg. I do have to say the worst book was the last book. It was EXTREMELY and PAINFULLY slow and some of the explanations were just stupid. Besides most of the last book sucking terribly, the ending was well worth it. All in all, Pendragon is a seriously awesome and amazing series. A great read for anyone who loves suspense, thriller, mystery, sci-fi and time travel, and a long well thought out plot. READ IT NOW.

  • Laura
    2018-10-12 06:33

    Within the first two chapters, there is a description of the main character's first open mouth kiss, a swear word, and talk of "making out". I don't like YA books that ask the YA to grow up too fast. I may have pushed through the book if the plot had been remotely original, but it wasn't (ordinary boy sucked into a wormhole to rescue a planet that's being dominated by an evil warlord). If this is your type of genre, go read "A Wrinkle in Time", "The Book of Three" or "The Dark is Rising". They are better quality reads.

  • Lauren
    2018-10-18 10:37

    Somehow, I missed any amount of hype surrounding Pendragon all my years growing up and I have never been more upset. I didn’t know what to think when I picked the book up because I’d heard very very little about the actual storyline aside from little bits and pieces from my boyfriend.This series is one of my boyfriend’s absolute favorites and he’s been wanting me to read it for a while, so he handed it to me last week and told me to read it. My reading time has been awful lately so when I finally sat down to read it, I flew through it. This book was amazing. I don’t know how else to say it. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in the book, Pendragon was such an awesome main character- I loved that he actually had a brain and used it. I loved his friends back home as well. Uncle Press was absolutely amazing. Then you threw in a couple badass female warriors and it really didn’t get much better than that. Even the villain was amazing and I love that he has a real (albeit evil) goal behind everything he does. I loved that even the little details that most people probably file away as useless ended up coming back as something major.I loved the world building and the amazing concepts behind the different “territories”. My boyfriend laughed because when I finished the book (after reading nearly 200 pages in one day), I just kept sighing in exasperation. I immediately went to grab the second book from his shelf and I CANNOT wait to start reading it. Thank you to my amazing boyfriend for getting me to read this.

  • Halley Hopson
    2018-10-02 08:16

    Reread 2016----------One of my favorite series from middle school/early high school! Still loving it just as much as I did the first time. Press is still my favorite.I just love the premise of this series so much. The idea of there being ten territories that exist in Halla throughout different points in both time and space that you can travel to through Flumes, ugh yes, sign me up. Saint Dane is such a fantastic villain as well. I can't wait to get to last couple of books seeing as I only read the last three once each as they came out and don't remember a whole lot of how it wrapped up.

  • Martinibeerman
    2018-10-01 12:21

    I just finished reading the first book in this series and I am excited to have 7 more to plough through! I realize that few can come close to the genius of J.K Rowling, but I had hoped that this series would. While I am thoroughly enjoying reading them (I just started the second book,) the set-up is far too obvious. I appreciate when an author tries to take the format of a book into a direction that has not been done before, but with the journal format of the book, I feel like he is constantly trying to explain to Courtney and Mark...and me, the reader, and by doing so, makes me totally aware of the fact that I am an observer, a third unseen entity that is getting unecesary special attention. Simply put, the flow of the book does not allow me to jump into it, it keeps me separate and makes me constantly aware that these 'journal entries' are just a flowery way of telling Bobby's story and are not intended for Courtney and Mark at all.

  • Kim
    2018-10-21 08:35

    I really wanted to like this book. I am a big fan of young adult fantasy fiction and I was looking forward to a new series to get lost in... In an effort to connect with the "kids" of today, the dialogue is wordy, cheesy and too focused on surface observations. It needs a filter. The story had some interesting components but I couldn't get past the back and forth style between the journal entries of the main character, Bobby Pendragon, and the reactions of his friends, Mark and Courtney. Repetitive and slow moving. I will be interested to speak with my students who have read the book and see how it compares in their eyes with works of Garth Nix, JK Rowling or John Flanagan.

  • Tina Beck ♥ in platform 9¾
    2018-10-18 10:29

    BEST SERIE I'VE EVER READ! I RE-READ & RE-READ THEM AGAIN & AGAIN..... I was very lucky my friend recommended this serie to me. I LOVE BOBBY! I LOVE PRESS!the plot & environment of the serie is absolutely PERFECTION.RE- READING THIS SERIE SO MANY TIMES!-why I just feel I want to re-read it? 😁 (I re-read it 10 months ago XD) I want to drown in its world & its Humour is EPIC. I don't like first person POV a lot, but THIS style is my favourite! (I really felt like skip the 3rd person chapters to reach to Bobb's again. but I didn't tho.)-maybe you like it depends on your age. I read it at 15 & I loved it.

  • Ahmad Sharabiani
    2018-10-22 10:19

    The Merchant of Death , D.J. MacHaleدنیای فانتزی دنیای دیگریست، گاه جهنم است و گاه سرودی از بهشتپندارگن نام فارسی مجموعه اشتباه چاپی است پندراگون درست است

  • 4rachel
    2018-09-28 14:22

    IIITTTT WWWWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSSSS AAAAAAAAAAAAMMMMMMMMAAAAAAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGGIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Jeremy
    2018-10-15 07:19

    The homeless guy jumped and got hit by a train. In the “Merchant Of Death” by D.J. McHale there were many different things that kept me interested in the book. One thing that made me enjoy this book was that this book’s cover was kind of cool looking. The cover had a boy in a tunnel with a light shining through the door. Another reason I liked this book was because the personalities of the characters were defined they each had a different one. Like how Loor thinks bobby is unworthy to be a Traveler. My favorite part is where bobby destroys all of the explosive tak by blowing it up and Saint Dane sees his plan go up in smoke literally. One thing that I don’t understand is where his family is. Where did his house go. It all just vanished. I want to know where it went to and why there is no trace of them. I think the author should have told us some more about that. Most of this book is a mix of unrealistic and realistic. Like how if the miners are slaves that could happen. Or when they travel through the flume it is very unrealistic. The one thing that seems unrealistic is that one small event could destroy a world throw it in chaos is very unrealistic. I read this book because I had already read a book farther in the series and I wanted to see how the whole thing started. I wish I had read this first because this sets-up the series to make it more interesting. This is one of the best books I have ever read.

  • Azadeh sharifi
    2018-10-03 06:42

    با کلی تاخیر، در 25 سالگی...با این توضیح که هیچی هری پاتر نمی شه...

  • Giselle (Book Nerd Canada)
    2018-09-30 12:14

    Still such a great series. Very detailed time travelling adventure! Let’s see if I can keep rereading the series?

  • Roxane
    2018-10-04 08:32

    The Merchant of Death is the story of Bobby Pendragon, a normal fourteen year old boy who is going to save the world... yeah, nothing out of the ordinary so far I know, your basic fantasy story... Bobby doesn't know it until his Uncle Press takes him through the gates of an alternative world called Denduron, preventing Bobby from attending a basketball game... the basketball game and a certain Courtney Chedwynde are pretty much all that are on Bobby's mind. Imagine his surprise when he learns that he is Traveller, meant to go through time and space to help prevent the end of Halla (all time, space, world that ever existed, exist and will exist)... he's not the only Traveller. His uncle is one of them too, so are Osa and Loor; a mysterious mother and daughter couple of dangerous warriors. Loor, the daughter, regards Bobby as a nuisance, half way between a coward and a fraud... which he himself pretty much recognizes that he is. The world of Denduron is ruled by an evil tyrant who enslaves part of the population... but the Milagos are tired of being slaves and so Denduron is on the verge of a bloody revolution. So yeah, like I said, your basic, typical fantasy story... but MacHale marks a few points in originality for the way in which he chose to relate his story... Bobby's tale takes the form of a journal that his bestfriend Mark and near-girlfriend Courtney read... but Mark and Courtney are also active throughout the story, trying to get things done on their side of the universe. Overall, it's a fast and entertaining read. Bobby's narration made me laugh outloud a few times and I'll admit that I was gripped enough to want to read the following books... apparently there are seven in the series already and book 8 is due in 2007. Recommended if you're looking for something light and fast and of course if you enjoy yound adult books. I think my little cousin would really appreciate this.

  • Kathleen Villanueva
    2018-10-10 08:37

    Pendragon: The Merchant of Death by D.J. Mchale is an adventurous fantasy book filled with hilarious modern, real-life references. This book contains many lovable characters but the main character is Bobby Pendragon, a fourteen-year-old boy who is also a Traveler. As a Traveler, his duty in life is to save territories from the destruction of their existence. In this book, he is in the territory of Denduron, which is on the verge of a destructive civil war. With his Uncle Press, his partner Loor, and his friend Alder, they embark through many dangers in Denduron. I find the characters in this book as very interesting, lovable, and relatable characters because D.J. Mchale, somehow, chooses the same personality for the characters as the personality of my friends. Some of them are like Loor, some of them are like Alder, and some of them are like Uncle Press and Bobby. The writing style is also unique because some chapters are written in Bobby’s perspective, which is written in first person, while some chapters were written in his friends’ perspective, which is written in third person. I really relate to Bobby because he uses a lot of jokes or references inside his head (but expresses it in writing them), and his character is somewhat like me. Overall, this book makes me not want to put the book down because it is a page-turner. With the author’s descriptive setting, I can picture myself being in the adventure with Bobby and his friends. I recommend this book to any pre-teen or teenagers who are interested in fantasy, adventure, and/or comedy.

  • سحر
    2018-10-08 10:24

    این چیزی که دارم می نویسم مروریه بر کلّ مجموعۀ پندراگن. کتاب الکترونیک خوندن تجربۀ عجیب غریبیه. ساعت دوی بعد از نصف شب جلد یک رو تموم می کنی و خب...آدم مگه می تونه تا فردا منتظر بمونه؟ همان دوی نصف شب جلد دوم رو می خری و بیداری تا صبح. این جوری بود که تا جلد پنجم یک نفس خوندم. فکر کنم شش روز طول کشید.اوّلش برام سوال بود که تا وقتی پندراگن هست اصلاً هری پاتر برای چی این قدر معروف شده؟ بعد که به خودم مرخصی دادم و کمی فاصله گرفتم از کتاب، تازه فهمیدم که ایراد کار از کجاست.یک: کتاب من رو برای دوباره خوندنش ترغیب نمی کنه. ظرافت های پنهان و هنر داستان پردازی به قدری نیست که بعد از فهمیدن آخر ماجرا دوباره بخوای برگردی.دو: قهرمانهای داستان خیلی «بچه آمریکایی» هستند.سه: بچه امریکایی بودن به کنار، خیلی خاص هستند. یا خوشگل یا قوی یا باهوش، که این همذات پنداری رو کم می کنه.چهار: ساختار کلی داستانها تکراریه و توصیفات گاهی طولانی هستند و مدتی طول می کشه تا داستان واقعا شروع شه.

  • Autumn
    2018-09-30 07:34

    Well, this book was an interesting enough read that I finished it, but I doubt I'll be checking out any more in the series. Not a bad story, but parts of it felt very cliched and I was a little annoyed by the tone - it seemed to be trying too hard to be cool and current (for teens). Other than that there wasn't really anything wrong with it, it just wasn't as compelling as some of the other great young adult fantasy series that are out there.

  • Totoro
    2018-10-06 14:23

    the merchant of death....reading for the second time , well the first time was the translation and now the english version.the base of the story is traveling between worlds, a fantasy of mine ;) the "hero" of the story is a young boy named Bobby Pendragon, the first word that comes to mind is : naaaaagger :/....second one : cowaaaaard :/i didn't like the protagonist at all, for 170 pages he just nagged like a baby, but i guess the characters ought to have some developments throughout the series , well , i'm counting on that ;)another thing that really picked my interest was the fact that all the female characters in the book were tough, independent and cool, i liked that, it really appealed to my feminist character :) and i think that if there were to be any antagonist women in the other volumes of the series , she would be a real bad-ass ;D

  • Désirée
    2018-10-20 08:37

    Maybe I'm too old to enjoy this. But it was so badly written and juvenile it pisses you off.

  • Annie
    2018-09-29 09:33

    This series.  Just...this series.I don't even know what I can say to do justice to my feelings for it.  I first read The Merchant of Death in fifth grade.  I can't quantify the impact it, and the other nine books, have had on me since then.  It's an absolute masterpiece of character development and complex plotting.  It shows the good guys losing to the bad guys.  It shows kids growing up to become adults in a believable way.  It shows that everyone, even the best protagonist and evilest villain, is composed of shades of gray.  Even five years after the release of the final installment in the series, it still stands as one of the best things I've ever read.  And, as you know, I read a lot of things.   Still, I was nervous to reread this.  My fifth-grade self had different standards and tastes than I do now.  I know more about what makes good writing and good storytelling.  What if Pendragon no longer met this standard?  Then again, I had this same worry with Eragon, and it proved needless.Yes, I did find issues with The Merchant of Death that I didn't in fifth grade.  The narration is awkward and simplistic at times.  Action sequences still take place in block paragraphs.  A few slang terms slip out that sound odd coming from a 14-year-old.  The beginning is cliche and overused--normal suburban kid gets whisked off on some grand adventure and is chosen to save everyone.It's not perfect.  But who am I kidding?  I love it.  I had so much fun rereading this.  I forgot how completely inept Bobby is at the very beginning.  I forgot Loor's incredible sass.  The implied Press/Osa ship.  Don't tell me that's not a thing.So many things I didn't forget just made me incredibly happy upon rereading them.  The twistiness of a certain reveal (reread=look for foreshadowing!).  The fabulousness of Osa.  Mark Dimond's endearing awkwardness.  Courtney Chetwynde, a somewhat "masculine" female character whose personality runs far deeper than just "can beat boys at sports". Like I mentioned before, Bobby Pendragon starts out as a useless protagonist.  For much of the book, every time he tries to help, he messes up.  Big time.  Let's face it--if many of us were pulled out of our normal lives into this type of adventure, we'd probably mess everything up, too.  And yet, Bobby just keeps going.  He keeps trying.  It's believable, it's real, and it's also a lot of fun.  More than anything else, that was my reaction to this book: it's just a ridiculous amount of fun to reread.It's worth noting that I have the advantage of knowing how the series progresses from here.  Without this, I would be far less excited about The Merchant of Death itself.  I know how much more complex it gets, though.  I've read through the next nine books of character development and writing improvement.  I've gone with Bobby and the others as they change and mature.  More than anything else, though, I have the ability to see the series as a whole and appreciate the immense planning that must have gone into it.  Everything builds on everything else, and all foundations are laid early on, setting the series up for increasingly bigger, better things.  It just gets cooler from here.  Darker, yes, but also more awesome.  I'm excited to reread the rest of the series.Similar Books: It has a teenage-kid-has-to-save-the-world fantasy plot with crossover YA and MG appeal, like the Percy Jackson series or Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel.  It's worth noting that I was really into Artemis Fowl when I first read The Merchant of Death (if nothing else, the sass levels are pretty comparable).

  • KatHooper
    2018-09-24 08:17

    Originally posted at FanLit. Bobby Pendragon is a normal middle-school kid and life is good. He’s the most valuable player on the basketball team and he’s just found out that Courtney, the girl he’s had a crush on for years, has a crush on him, too! Life could not be better... until Uncle Press arrives while Bobby is kissing Courtney and drags Bobby away to a medieval world where some oppressed people need Bobby’s help. For Bobby has special powers and: A Destiny! When Bobby disappears, Courtney and Mark, Bobby’s best friend, get worried and start investigating. They can’t find Bobby, but they do receive a letter from him which details all that’s happening to Bobby in Denduron. The Merchant of Death is the first novel in D.J. MacHale’s young adult PENDRAGON series. It’s fast-paced and exciting, it has a likable teenage boy for a hero, there are monsters and explosions, and there’s even a little bit of cussing and kissing. Perfect for a 14 year old boy. You can’t help but like Bobby. He’s the athletic good-looking kid who everyone likes. He loves his family and his dog, and he’s noble enough to have an unpopular geek for a best friend. Mark is also a great character, and we get to see him mature a little over the course of the novel. Likewise, beautiful and popular Courtney is smart and competent. The three kids make great protagonists, though they’re a little shallow at this point in the PENDRAGON series. I hope that will get better.The plot of The Merchant of Death, even though it’s exciting, isn’t anything new. It also won’t hold up to the scrutiny of adults and teens who don’t want to work too hard to maintain their suspension of disbelief. The villains are preposterous caricatures, Bobby and his friends accept bizarre occurrences too readily, Bobby solves problems too quickly and easily, everything he needs is conveniently at hand, and even his special powers are amazingly opportune. Furthermore, it’s hard to believe that Bobby’s uncle has never mentioned Bobby’s special skills or connection to other worlds before he whisks Bobby off to save the day, and it’s also hard to believe that Mark and Courtney don’t solicit help from adults. I’m also not sure why MacHale chose to have Bobby narrate most of the plot in the form of letters to Mark and Courtney — I had a hard time believing that Bobby is sitting down recording his adventure in this way, especially since he’s far more verbose than any teenage boy I’ve ever encountered.But I’m not a 14 year old boy and I expect that many teenagers will be completely entertained by The Merchant of Death. It’s well-written and fun, and a promising start to a long series. One of my boys read and enjoyed PENDRAGON a few years ago (I remember fetching all the books for him at the library), so I can confidently recommend the series to teenagers.I listened to William Dufris narrate Brilliance Audio’s version. He’s really good!

  • Ann
    2018-09-25 10:40

    There were parts of this book that I really enjoyed and applauded the author for. I thought the concept was pretty original (a universe where time and place aren't as linear as we understand it to be, and where action in one world and time can effect the rest). And I was pleased that MacHale took the "reluctant hero" and really ran with it, allowing Bobby to openly admit his fear, sadness, and lack of heroic selflessness. I also thought MacHale did a great job jumping between two settings, and while most of the book focused on Bobby and his adventures, I still felt I had a good understanding of the supporting characters.However, there were times when I wanted Bobby to overcome his reluctant hero status a little earlier, or have the growth be a tad more apparent, but that could just be a personal preference thing. Also, the book was a little on the gory side for me. It's nothing that bad or descriptive, but when it comes to someone being eaten by a large, mythical creature, I tad to get a bit uncomfortable (again, personal preference, but just FYI). I suppose I should have paid more attention to the title "Merchant of Death" but the book is full of really pretty horrific things (an oppressive ruler, gladiator style entertainment, and deathly punishment if demands are not met). It's obvious, though, that these things are considered bad and evil, and MacHale actually makes an interesting twist towards the end, asking the question, in essence, do two wrongs make a right?While I pretty much agreed with most of Bobby's philosophies and ideals, I'm not sure exactly how I felt about the resolutions in regard to the last. I get MacHale's reasoning, and it's okay, but it's one I'll be mulling over for a while (though I do think MacHale tried to write a satisfying conclusion for that plot point). Also, MacHale is pretty harsh on his descriptions of one of the evil characters who is very obese - evil as the character is I don't mind what he/she is called, but it could hit a nerve with readers. Also, there's slight use of mild language.Overall I enjoyed the story. I'm not sure there was anything in the style that really resonated with me, but it was an interesting tale. I'm curious to read the next book, even if I'm not rushing out this instant to get it.

  • Daniel
    2018-10-15 11:36

    in Pendragon the main character is mark because in the first chapter he writes a journal diary of himself of meeting Courtney about tennis practice. also Mark saw Uncle Press and Mark was talking to him Courtney was in the doorway where she could finish talking to Mark but Mark told her to go home but Courtney said she wanted to finish talking to her but then Uncle Press told her to go home and so Courtney went with a little anger hoping that she would never finish talking to Mark. the main conflict Mark's friend goes missing and Mark and Courtney they go the stony brook Police station to tell Sergeant D' Angelo was listening to Mark and Courtney as he was taking notes on pencil and a notepad where he was getting info about Bobby Pendragon going missing but then as Sergeant D' Angelo was searching something on the computer he says that Mark and Courtney was wasting his time. why are Mark and Courtney trying to find bobby Pendragon at the stony brook police station? overall I enjoyed this book called pendragon where Mark was writing a journal of himself saying that he was going to the stony brook police station to find information about Bobby pendragon going to missing. I would have enjoyed the book more if the 2nd Main character Bobby Pendragon go missing in the last part of chapter. in pendragon there no offensive words that would offend someone. I enjoyed reading pendragon because it has such mysteries that would help me understand who the character is and how the main character does things to find out where missing character is in the story as I read. "look kids", "I don't know what are you trying to pull here but you are wasting my time and taxpayers money" (D.J. Machale 71).

  • Stella☢FAYZ☢ Chen
    2018-10-08 14:23

    I know I read this book a long, long time ago. But due to the growing success of the Gregor the Overlander series by Suzanne Collins (Can you guess why?). I would like to write something about this book series.If you like Gregor the Overlander, or maybe even Percy Jackson and the Olympians, please take some time to read this book. The writing style is similar and somehow, all 3 main characters: Bobby, Gregor and Percy have parallel experiences. I shall stop talking here because I hate reading long reviews, therefore, I shall start by writing them in 2 or 3 paragraphs. Thank you for your time. OKAY. HOW CAN I END THIS ON A SERIOUS NOTE? Nah. I hate formal writings. And this is where I start to act randomly. blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah

  • Kiran Galsinh
    2018-10-15 11:25

    Unorthodox life is the best word to describe Bobby Pendragon's life at the age of 14. He had everything, a family, a house, even a pet dog Marley. There was something strange about his uncle. He would give Bobby the most bizarre things that you would normally not see in the human world. Bobby who was a normal high schooler had an awesome friend named Mark Dimond. Bobby Pendragon wasn’t ready for what was going to come for him. His Uncle Press took him one day to a old subway where his nightmare and his journey has begun. He travels to a whole new dimension called Denduron. What is he doing there? Is the exact question he was asking his Uncle Press. He has come to Denduron as replace of his uncle. He has to help the citizens start a revolution and help them win it. Not only a revolution help but to save the world. His life in Denduron is different from Earth. He has a girlfriend that he got the day he left named Courtney Chetwynde. Courtney and Mark are desperate to find him and get him back. Where Bobby used to live was know gone. All of his records are said to never exist. Through a ring they can get messages from Bobby and are able to help him. Bobby just doesn’t want to take his Uncle's place he just wants to go back home. He can only return home once he accepts his role as a savior. With help from his uncle’s friends will he save the world? Little does he know Denduron is only the beginning…… This is a awesome book for people who like adventure and mystery genre. I like this book because it has a lot of adventure and it takes a huge twist in between and leaves you surprised.

  • King Haddock
    2018-10-10 13:14

    I enjoy the Pendragon books. While I initially scorned McHale's direct narrative approach, complete with slang and wild modern comparisons, now I believe it is an amusing and engaging method that completes the series. This book is not my favorite in the series, but McHale does a great job keeping suspense from the beginning to the end. Characters are fun, if predictable and constant, but later in the series McHale does a commendable job of developing and maturing Bobby Pendragon, Courtney Chetwinde, and Mark Dimond (yay Dimond!). And the plot? The book plot is simple, just a fun adventure story, but is intertwined with a more complex education of the Travelers and Territories that is continued throughout the series. For those of you unfamiliar with this book (are there any? It's rather popular), Bobby is an average fifteen-year-old who is unwillingly called to save Halla - that is, everything. This includes the Territories, different places and/or times in Halla. The first he is dragged into saving is Denduron, a land similar to that of the medievel feudal society.