11 June 2009

Book Review: Pendragon 7

Title: The Quillan Games
Author: D.J. MacHale
Published: 2006 Pages: 486
Genre: YAL, SciFi
Rating: 4/5

Buy  |  Borrow  |  Accept  |  Avoid

The Quillan Games stood out to me from the very beginning because of the odd sense of familiarity the territory had for me. On Quillan, a corporation has taken over, controlling the entire population by being the only place to work or to buy food. People are unhappy, hungry, cramped, and desperate. They can increase their station in life by a small amount or a large amount through gambling on games. Some of these games they must compete in themselves; others are staged games broadcast over televisions.

Sounds very Vegas, right? Unfortunately, it's not. People don't have money to gamble with so they fall back on things like slave labor, their children, or their lives. It is a horrifying society in a way that is oddly more real to me than the other territories we have seen. Technically, it's the same old story of Pendragon: two cultures exist, one of which is somehow 'superior' to the other and enslaves the rival culture. Badness ensues. The oppressed culture gets pissed. But this time the superior culture is one I can see in my own life. I would see the letters B L O K to refer to the mega-company, but my mind would say "Walmart".

This was probably my favorite in the Pendragon series; although I did finally figure out why I'm not as in love with these books as I should be - the repetition. The reader is bombarded with the same messages over and over again from Bobby - I shouldn't be here. I want to go home. I'm not worthy. I am worthy. blah blah blah. It's not just once a book that we here these things; it's more like once a chapter. I think if you cut out all of the unnecessary repetitions of Bobby's feelings, these books would probably be half as long as they are. But I'm willing to deal with this annoyance for the good points of the story.

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