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5.0 out of 5 stars The Merchant of Death
I just got this book, and wasn't very enthusiastic about reading it. I know, I know, HUGE surprise, huh?
The first few pages, I started to think 'Who the heck uses the words 'yo' or 'coolio' any more? Oh, God, PLEASE don't tell me this is another one of those terrible tween novels...'
I got a surprise. A rather large surprise...
Pretty much everything...
Published on July 5 2004 by Theatre Kidd

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure.
I can most definitely see how this book caters to boys. It's practically filled with action from cover to cover, and Bobby as the main narrator does a good job to keep you interested. I still have to say, I find him hard to like. He's a bit arrogant and cocky, and at times stupidity seems to come into his head and he makes the wrong decisions when the right ones are...
Published on Jan. 9 2011 by Karoline


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3.0 out of 5 stars Great adventure., Jan. 9 2011
By 
Karoline (Richmond BC) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
I can most definitely see how this book caters to boys. It's practically filled with action from cover to cover, and Bobby as the main narrator does a good job to keep you interested. I still have to say, I find him hard to like. He's a bit arrogant and cocky, and at times stupidity seems to come into his head and he makes the wrong decisions when the right ones are necessary (and life saving). However I can't help but also be caught up in the story. I suppose the way he narrates it was good and engaging enough to keep my attention.

I do like the concept and the idea of this book. It was interesting and very different from what I'm used to reading. The concept actually reminds me of the television show Sliders (of course with obvious differences) which is one of the main reasons why I thought this book was good. Some chapters also take place on 'Second Earth' (supposedly where we live) and features Courtney (Bobby's girlfriend) and Mark (Bobby's nerdy but very reliable friend). They're two typical sidekicks to the story but it adds more substance to the plot and goes to show you how the fantasy element works in the book. It's also a nice secondary storyline and gives you an insight on what happens when Bobby is away from home. Life goes on on Second Earth but I'm sure questions will be raised when Bobby and his family have extended their absence for a very long time.

Although I like the action in the book, there just seems to be something missing. I liked it but felt that I did not enjoy it as much. Although the characters are well thought out they just did not have any 'feel' to them and were like wooden puppets. Except for Bobby (obviously, as he's the main character). It would help if there's more substance and depth to the supporting cast as well.

I'd say give this book a go if you want an action packed read without anything too complex. The worlds are well written, the fantasy element is different, and I'm going to be picking up the second one for sure. There's lots of unanswered questions (like the whereabouts of Bobby's parents) that I want to know the answers to.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Merchant of Death, July 5 2004
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
I just got this book, and wasn't very enthusiastic about reading it. I know, I know, HUGE surprise, huh?
The first few pages, I started to think 'Who the heck uses the words 'yo' or 'coolio' any more? Oh, God, PLEASE don't tell me this is another one of those terrible tween novels...'
I got a surprise. A rather large surprise...
Pretty much everything fantasy-wise has been done before. You have to agree with me there. We have kids going into worlds through wardrobes, we have adults able to teleport themselves through fireplaces... all in all, everything has been done. Except for Pendragon.
They have doorways into other worlds and times that you access by saying a word. Magical beings with the same name but different coverings guard these doorways. The only people that are allowed to travel through these doorways are special 'Travelers' that exist solely to save the world and defeat the bad guy.
The bad guy, in this case, happens to be an evil man that can change shape at will and whose natural form is a guy with piercing blue eyes.
Bobby Pendragon knows nothing about this when he is enlisted by his 'uncle' to go and help some people do something. What? He doesn't know. How? Why? Those aren't answered either.
Turns out there's a revolution starting in a territory called 'Denduron'. And Pendragon has been enlisted to help a pretty much hopeless cause and make it so that the slaves of the Bedoowan end up living in peace with their masters...
I loved this book... and I'm about to persuade my friends to read it. Come on, kiddoes... you know you want to...
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5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone who likes fantasy/sci-fi books, June 28 2004
By 
S. Mathew (Long Island, NY, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
Okay, to tell you the truth, I picked up this book by absolute chance. I was in the public library and decided to randomly pull a book off the shelves. I picked Pendragon: The Merchant of Death. Being a fan of fantasy books (and because I thought the cover looked interesting) I decided to check it out. I liked it immediately.
The characters are actually realistic and have depth to them. With characters like Bobby, Courtney, and Mark, you get completely normal kids you can relate to. With Uncle Press you are given an enigma, who always seems to know more than you and so on. You also get the traditional bad guy in Saint Dane. I can compare him to Lord Voldemort from the Harry Potter, except for the fact that he doesn't have a huge group of followers.
Actually, you can compare most of the Pendragon characters to those of Harry Potter Bobby to Harry, Mark to Ron, and Press to Dumbledore, etc.
The thing that I thought really set these books apart were the settings which were all original, strange and exciting. I also thought that the concept of different territories in the universe and one impossible-to-catch man trying to send them all into chaos interesting.
I was also able to appreciate these books because Bobby isn't one of those hero's who know what they're doing, he seems just as confused as the rest of us, which makes it all the more better.
I could barely put this book down after I started reading and I recommend them to anyone who likes sci-fi/ fantasy books as well as to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books and liked them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Start to An Exciting New Series, April 1 2004
By 
Erika Sorocco (Southern California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
Fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon has always thought that he had a normal life. He has a great family, great friends, was lucky enought to have kissed the most perfect girl, has a perfect dog, Marley, and has a super-cool Uncle. But there's something that Bobby never knew about himself, and is about to find out. He's destined to save the world. No, not in ten years from now, but at this very instant. And no, not on this Earth, because life on this Earth is different than Bobby ever thought it could be. Bobby will be saving the world on an alternate dimension called Denduron, a territory inhabited by many strange beings, that is plagued by a dangerous revolution, and ruled by a magical tyrant. Now Bobby is forced to accept his role as savior to the people of Denduron, or else he won't ever see his family again. Besides, Denduron is only the beginning.
D.J. MacHale is a fantastic author who has created an interesting, and out-of-this-world dimension that will pull readers in from the very first page. Bobby is a fun character, who, even though he has to save the world, and is in an alternate dimension, uses teenage lingo of today (i.e. cool, awesome, etc.), that readers will be able to relate to and understand quite well. PENDRAGON: THE MERCHANT OF DEATH is told in alternating chapters between Bobby's journals, and his friends (Mark and Courtney) quest to find Bobby and save him from untimely death, which gives the reader the chance to read both sides of the story. This is an interesting and exciting addition to the science fiction / fantasy genre. A must read.
Erika Sorocco
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting New Series for Science Fiction / Fantasy Fans, March 26 2004
By 
Erika Sorocco (Southern California, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
Fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon has always thought that he had a normal life. He has a great family, great friends, was lucky enought to have kissed the most perfect girl, has a perfect dog, Marley, and has a super-cool Uncle. But there's something that Bobby never knew about himself, and is about to find out. He's destined to save the world. No, not in ten years from now, but at this very instant. And no, not on this Earth, because life on this Earth is different than Bobby ever thought it could be. Bobby will be saving the world on an alternate dimension called Denduron, a territory inhabited by many strange beings, that is plagued by a dangerous revolution, and ruled by a magical tyrant. Now Bobby is forced to accept his role as savior to the people of Denduron, or else he won't ever see his family again. Besides, Denduron is only the beginning.
D.J. MacHale is a fantastic author who has created an interesting, and out-of-this-world dimension that will pull readers in from the very first page. Bobby is a fun character, who, even though he has to save the world, and is in an alternate dimension, uses teenage lingo of today (i.e. cool, awesome, etc.), that readers will be able to relate to and understand quite well. PENDRAGON: THE MERCHANT OF DEATH is told in alternating chapters between Bobby's journals, and his friends (Mark and Courtney) quest to find Bobby and save him from untimely death, which gives the reader the chance to read both sides of the story. This is an interesting and exciting addition to the science fiction / fantasy genre. A must read.
Erika Sorocco
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic for Younger Ages, Feb. 10 2004
By 
Patricia A. Wood (Maysville, Oklahoma United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
In this particular Pendragon series book, Bobby Pendragon, a fourteen year old boy who is a social jock-type has every thing going the way he wants... He had his long-time crush Courtney Chetwynde as his girlfriend, He had a great friendship with his less popular, nerdy-type lifelong aquaintance Mark, and was the star of his basketball team. When Courtney finallly expressed her feelings towards Bobby, which was mutual, he was brought back from lalaland with a rude awakening from his Uncle Press. Bobby didn't expect much, since this was a man that was as close as anybody to Bobby, but was soon confused when Uncle Press taught him vaguely about Bobby's rights as a traveler, and that he would have to leave his normal life, normal family, normal dog for this new and quite odd life. Press took Bobby to an abandoned subway station to find a homeless man trying toprevent them to go any further, when a police officer controls the hobo and makes him jump into an on-coming subway. Over your head right. Eventually he meets his traveler partner named Loor, and Osa Loor's mother. And soon learns that each territory under Halla, everything, has it's own turning point and that is why he is sent there. Is Bobby going to be able to keep peace on Denduron or will Saint Dane succeed in trying to take over Halla?
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kevin S Review, Nov. 2 2003
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
This book had excellent foreshadowing, irony and point of views. all these things helped grasp the reader. It makes you want to read more and you won't get bored with it.
Foreshadowing helped this book. Although you never know what is gonna happen precisly you still know some what of what you are gonna read. This keeps the reader guessing then being surprised.
Irony was anonther element key to the book. You would think you know what was gonna happen next. It feels as if you know it. Then you read it and you were way off. I think this is the best part of the book.
Finally point of view was the most confusing but great factor of this book. In the beginning it is confusing but you will get the hang of it. It is another thing that draws you in.
In the book a boy named Bobby Pendragon gets asked bye his Uncle Press to go and help a city on their revolt for freedom. The city isn't much compared to their ruling neighbors but later in the book they find an explosive called tak. They made a huge bomb out of this and are to use it in the beginning of their battle againts their neighbors the Bedoowan. Are they actually gonna use the bomb. Will it be a success if so? Will this war actually happen. All these answers plus more will be answered only if you read this book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Awesome Book for those who Enjoyed Harry Potter, Sept. 28 2003
By 
Tia (United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
Too good to believe right? Who could rival J.K Rowling you say? Well Mr. MacHale is certainly closing in on her in my opinion. From a small suburban town in Connecticut, Bobby Pendragon has got it made. He's popular, smart, funny, and star of his basketball team. Who would want to give up that life? After rudely interupting a little mushy scene between Bobby and his cruch Courtney, his Uncle Press takes him to the ride of his life. A ride that will forever change Bobby's once normal lifestyle. The story's only kinks is that because Bobby is writing his adventure back to his friends, taking away some of the suspence, and it also gets a little predictable for the advanced reader. But other than that, the Pendragon series really has no flaws, written in the language all kids know, with slang weaved throughout the adventure. MacHale has kept the story amazingly orginal too, coming up with flumes and all the Territories own unique history. Well, that's all I can say without spoiling it for you ;) Hobey-Ho and happy reading! :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars these bks. would spin ur mind, Aug. 13 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
there r bks. about vampires, witches, werewolves, worlocks, wizards, hunters, and on and on....but d.j. machale started a hole new thing. he started the creation of ppl called travelers. these ordinary ppl hav the ability 2 travel 2 different worlds (territories as they r called in bks.)..........and their main job is to keep halla on the rite path, 4m complete destrcution. what the heck is halla? ur thinking, right?..............well, halla is every world, every thing, every person, AND EVERY time that ever existed in the universe and mayb beyond...........these travelers hav 2 stop a truly evil bad-guy traveler called saint dane (although he is no saint).......4m destrying and ruling it over. see, every territory is coming to a turning point. it could go bad or gd. saint dane is tryin to take the truning point on to the destructiion side...the travelers hav 2 prevent them...1 travler in particular......bobby pendragon...bobby is an ordiany guy, star of his school basketball team, and just recently, he get s the grl he likes. then, his uncle press tells him that hes a traveler and b4 he knows it, he's on the territory of denduron. his 1st adventure as a traveler begins..............u ppl out there who like bks. that twist ur mind like, try these bks. they'll keep ur head spinning...there even beta than harry potter bks..............i hav read all three bks. that r out so far and cant wait til the 4th one.......
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Pen"ed to the Pages: A Pageturner full of Twists, June 11 2003
By 
"liaden" (Somewhere Over the Rainbow) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Merchant of Death (Paperback)
At first sighting, this book looked distinctly, er, okay, boyish, from the apparently gruesome title and sinister looking cover. It took one of my friends saying "you HAVE to read this" to get me to buy it. Even then I suspected that "the Merchant of Death" was definitely not something I was going to buy into.
SUPRISE! I opened the cover and was shocked to discover that the first thing Bobby Pendragon (our protoganist) was doing was kissing a girl! The book was certainly more appealing now with a tad bit of romance and I started to enjoy the story.
Bobby Pendragon's Uncle Press shows up unexpectedly and sweeps him away to another "territory" called Denduron, through a doorway in a New York subway tunnel (no easy access here!) despite being chased by wild beasts called quigs. Bobby soon realizes that his notions of reality are way off.
Bobby is fated to help save the Milago people from their oppressors, the people of the neighboring Bedoowan. Reluctant and scared, Bobby wants to return to his perfect life at home, where he was considered smart, popular, a jock, and not to mention the love interest of the coolest girl in his grade. But no such luck; he must learn how to use his Traveler powers to help save this world...and all the others...from complete distruction...
I really enjoyed this novel. It is told in narrative form as Bobby writes scrolls back to his best friend Mark and sort-of girlfriend Courtney back on Second-Earth to tell them what is happening, and then switches to third-person once in a while to describe what Courtney and Mark are doing. It was fast-paced and Bobby's witty comments made me laugh.
Be warned, this novel also contains explicit language and the afore-mentioned making-out scenes. These parts are appropriate however, and I think that they added a sense of humanity to the read. I'd say do not let this stop you from reading the book!
So go grab the book at your local bookstore and spread the word: its not just for boys! 4 stars for lots of action, not a 5 because the plot was simplistic. I hope the sequel, the Lost City of Faar, is just as good! Happy Reading!
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The Merchant of Death
The Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale (Paperback - Sept. 1 2002)
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