Pendragon: Black Water (Book 5)

by D.J. MacHale

Aladdin, August, 2004.
Trade paperback, 320 pages.
ISBN: 0689869118
Ages Young Adult

Pendragon: Black Water (Book 5) by D.J. MacHale Bobby Pendragon is no ordinary teenager. He is a Traveler, the representative of New Earth, and can travel to other worlds. In this fifth adventure, Bobby goes to the jungle planet of Eelong, a place where the intelligent large cats rule and the humans are the slaves. When a plague threatens to wipe out Eelong, Bobby and the Travelers -- his best friends Mark and Courtney and another Traveler named Book -- dive into danger in order to save the doomed world from the machinations of the evil St. Dane. But it soon becomes apparent that St. Dane's triumph over them on the world of Veelox has caused a change in the rules; for one thing, only Travelers are supposed to be able to use the flumes, yet Courtney and Mark can now Travel as well. With the rules changing, and barriers between worlds dissolving, St. Dane's interference could mean the end of all of Halla and the the known worlds.

D. J. MacHale knows how to tell a fantastic story that will keep readers of all ages riveted until the very last page. As Bobby grows into maturity, he begins to realize how much responsibility has been placed on his shoulders, and how lucky he is to have friends to help share the burden. MacHale, a veteran of television and film work, knows how to write exciting action scenes and dialogue that rings true. The theme in Black Water is the choices we make when we're on our own, with no one to guide us. Bobby has to decide whether to follow the rules as laid down by his beloved Uncle Press, or break them for a greater good. The author doesn't take the easy way out; challenging moral dilemmas are presented, wrapped up in a rip-roaring adventure on an exotic world. The world of Eelong is a fascinating one where the the young teens get a real change of perspective. But that's all a part of growing up, isn't it?

--Claire E. White

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This review was published in the July-August, 2004 of The Internet Writing Journal.

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