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Matthew

Henrietta, NY, United States | Member Since 2010

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  • The Merchant of Death: Pendragon, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 10 mins)
    • By D. J. MacHale
    • Narrated By William Dufris
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (233)
    Performance
    (118)
    Story
    (121)

    Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal 14-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.

    Bronwyn says: "The Merchant of Death (Unabridged"
    "Mediocre writing made worse by a mediocre narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Merchant of Death?

    There are quite a few things I didn't like about the book. Most of the characters are whiny, unbelieving and in need of a kick in the pants. The plot is predictable. The contrived friends reading a journal narrative framework distracts from any tension or energy that the plotline could have worked up. The fact that the entire book is written as a journal assures the reader that the idiot protagonist is never in any danger of actually being snuffed out by the baddies. The baddies are also tragically incompetent. Note for future authors, if you paint a antagonist as intelligent, ruthless and more than willing to destroy something in his way without thinking about it... DON'T abandon this when he learns of your hero.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The idea of the two frameworks... story time... and the real world... is an interesting idea. It could have worked. It didn't. But that might be the fault of the narrator. Least interesting... Yet another whiny 14 year old.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    *sigh* It's hard to describe... He detracts from the writing in so many ways. His voice grates. I could probably stand his voice in conversation or in a work environment but for HOURS straight in my ear? His delivery of Bobby makes it sound like a stereotypical oppressed geek trying to deliver the lines of a nerd jock who is awesome. It's just hard to swallow. This also makes Mark, the geeky sidekick, even more of a stereotype.

    Also, several times I would lose track of who was talking in conversations due to the narrator not differentiating enough between the characters. When they are of different genders... this is kinda sad.

    Yes, voice work is hard. Especially in large cast situations. But YEESH!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance.


    Any additional comments?

    If you can get it free and are out of other books... Sure, might be worth a read or a listen. Spending a credit on this or real money... no way. Jim Butcher, Orson Scott Card, Heinlein's Juveniles(for the kids), late Heinlein(for the adults) or a number of other excellent authors would be better choices.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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