The Merchant of Death (Pendragon, Book 1)

by D. J. MacHale

Paperback, 2002



Local notes

PB Mac




Aladdin (2002), Edition: 26174th, 384 pages


Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal and somewhat reluctant 14- year-old boy who is swept into an amazing five-year quest.




Original language


Physical description

384 p.; 5.13 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member Crewman_Number_6
I was a little disappointed with this book. I felt it had so much potential, but it let me down time after time.

One of the most distracting things of the book was the fact that the reading level was WAY too low for the intended audience. There were so many passages where the author would pause to
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explain things that would be apparent to a 12-14 year old reader, or even a 9 or 10 year old. This was more than a little frustrating.

The name of the protagonist too was too juvenile for a high school student, especially one who is supposedly very popular and outgoing. Most people change their nickname to a more mature sounding varient by age 14.

Also very annoying was the fact that instead of spending some time to develop Bobby's character, the author just allowed Bobby to tell us how great he was. This made him seem self centered and annoying. He wasn't endearing in any way, so it was hard to connect to the main character and allow myself to be put in his shoes.

Most of all, I felt that the dialogue needed lots of work. The language was very dated. I felt as if the speaker was an older adult trying to sound cool. It just didn't sound like a natural dialogue of a teen speaking to his friend.

The story was passable, but I felt that with a little more effort this book could have been a so much better.
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LibraryThing member aprildt
I wish I could say that this book were great. Unfortunately, it is merely a mediocre hanger-on of the Harry Potter genre. Meet Bobby Pendragon, our 14-year-old protagonist: he is often conceited, stuck-up, plagued by an inferiority complex, a whiner, and none too bright. Just before he is to play
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in his school's basketball game, as their "star player," he finds out that he is a Traveler, who will be swept into a tunnel across time and space to save another planet from destruction. His favorite phrase is "I can't, I can't, I can't!" The writing is uninspired, the action contrived, and the dialogue clumsy.
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LibraryThing member lnommay
VOYA (December 1, 2002)
Fourteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon has a perfect life. He lives in a beautiful house, his parents are cool, and his dog is terrific. He has dozens of friends, excels in school, and stars on his school's basketball team. To add icing to the cake, he has just kissed the hottest
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girl in the entire eighth grade. Bobby's ideal world is about to be shattered, though, when mysterious Uncle Press comes begging him for help. Bobby finds himself whisked off through a wormhole to the world of Denduron, where a major civil war is about to erupt. There he discovers that he is a Traveler, a being who can move with ease between alternate earths. Has his whole former life been a lie? How can he save anyone else when he can barely save himself? There is little original plot in this first volume of a projected quartet and no genuine literary merit. Nevertheless, MacHale, creator of Nickelodeon's Are You Afraid of the Dark? television series, certainly knows what young readers want: breathless pace, nonstop action, snappy dialogue, and a touch of romance. He delivers these qualities and more, wrapped around a wish-fulfillment hero that boys will want to emulate and girls will want to date. MacHale is currently pitching this book to Hollywood executives, and the novel reads like a movie. Even without the television connection, this book will be easy to sell to middle school readers, especially those hard-to-please boys who claim to hate reading. They will love Bobby Pendragon.-Arlene
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LibraryThing member sparklegirl
This book was very funny and kept me on the edge of my seat, well, bean bag.
LibraryThing member chocolatechip
fun fantasy read, this one is great, but the rest of the series is predictable and basically the same book with a different cover.
LibraryThing member thimbleberry
ok, this one is pretty good, but the rest of the series is exactly the same
LibraryThing member ethelmertz
I was afraid this would be another Harry Potter rip-off, but I enjoyed it. It's an interesting concept. Very exciting read. The reader on the audio CD captures the right voice and mood.
LibraryThing member LAteacher
Thsi book is about a boy who needs to save Halla ( the whole universe) from St. Daine. St. Daine is a evil person who wants Halla to crumple. This book is the first adventure of Bobby Pendragon
LibraryThing member cybrarian_wi
I'm listening to this series on CD and it's quite good (except for the fact that the reader pronouces "short-lived" incorrectly MULTIPLE times). Sometimes the characters are unrealistically naive but overall I'm enjoying the premise.
LibraryThing member hoosgracie
14 year old Bobby Pendragon has been leading a normal life until the day his Uncle Press shows up and takes him off to the territory of Denduron, where he finds out he's a Traveller. Great coming of age story and fantasy.
LibraryThing member wild4harryp01231
I just finished this book, and I thought it was very spectacular. It was funny, action-packed, romantic and kept you on the edge of your seat the whole way. The characters are endearing and feel very real. I'd highly reccommend this book, and I can't wait to read the rest of this series. Kudos, D.J.
LibraryThing member allen1993
Basically it's about this kid Bobby Pendragon who is a "traveler" who travels to different "territories" (worlds) and saves them from an evil guy named Saint Dane. This was the first series I really got into because unlike most series, the books get better and better, plus the books are always so
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unexpected. MacHale is an amazing author because he is so good at leading you in one direction, and then completely blowing away what you thought would happen, yet doing so in ways that make sense and can actually happen. This book (and the rest in the series) really keep you thinking. Its almost like a game trying to guess what will happen next.
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LibraryThing member nm.fall08.j.meeuwsen
The book is good and I like it. The reason I picked this book was because it looked interesting to me and that others suggested it for me. I think that others should read this book as well. I think that is all pretty good and it sometimes makes me laugh a little, but it could use a little more
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action in it because it is fun when there is action in it. Although it is still pretty good without the action because you get more information about the problems when they're talking. I think it funny when they invade the Bedoowan castle and use the laser pointer to distract the gaurd. I think that someone who likes to read or likes funny adventures would like this book. I gave this book four and a half stars because it is a really good book even though reading isn't one of my favorite things to do. I find this book to be one of the best ive read so far and will probably use the others for future things. Its basically about a 14-year-old boy who is transported to another world, who then tries to save his uncle from certain death and to save that world from doom. Im still currently reading it so i dont have much information about the book quite yet. But I think that it is going to be fun to read.
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LibraryThing member savageknight
A great adventure story filled with interesting characters who truly "breathe". I appreciate young reader books that don't talk down to their audience. Based on that, plus the energy of the story (and the fact that my own 14-year-old son has read this book more than once) I heartily recommend it!
LibraryThing member FieryNight
A great introduction to the series.

LibraryThing member harperhaven
This was ok....not my usual genre but it was free on the kindle. The story moved along well but sometimes I got tired of the immature writing. Not sure I'll read any more in this series
LibraryThing member nevusmom
This book is obviously written for early teens, but I enjoyed it. It is the story of a teen who finds himself transported to another world to "save" it. Other reviews will give you more of the plot. I haven't raced out to find the second in the series, but if I come across it, I will definitely
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pick it up.
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LibraryThing member JessicaB1
I absolutley LOVE this book and the rest of the series. I really get into these books and it feels like I am in the adventure myself. Although there are only going to be ten books, I wish there were going to be more.
LibraryThing member intromit
After receiving a few recommendations to read this book and the rest of the series, I picked up a copy. I could not read past the first chapter. I put it down and tried it again recently and forced myself to read to the end of the second chapter, hoping that the book improved. It did not. The
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writing style, which I think was meant to help the reader relate to the protagonist, grated on my nerves. The overuse of slang did not help either. I found very little to like about the main character and, as the book is written in the first person, an engaging protagonist is required.
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LibraryThing member randalrh
The promise in this book is not in the characters or the writing, but in the world-building and the possibility of a strong narrative over several books. Unfortunately, I'm informed by a thirteen-year-old who's read ten of the Pendragon series that this never develops.
LibraryThing member slarsoncollins
Normally I like my books a bit longer, but this one had teeth. Believable characters, attention to detail and an original plot all combine to make one fast paced fantasy that will keep you up late turning the pages (or at least clicking the next page button on your kindle). I'm looking forward to
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book two!
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LibraryThing member BrWe0309
The first book in the amazing series of pendragon. this book is the first of the mysteries of the travelers and the things that they do.
LibraryThing member elizabethholloway
This action-packed tale centers around Bobby Pendragon, a "typical" 14-year old, who discovers he is destined to be a traveler like his uncle, journeying to new worlds and saving humanity. It has a bit of a condescending attitude towards the other worlds (they do not realize the grave mistake they
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are about to make and the travelers must save them form themselves), but the voice of Bobby may be engaging for many readers, as he is as incredulous about the existence of these parallel worlds as they may be.
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LibraryThing member pbamy
This is an entertaining adventure with lots of creative elements that work well together. The characters are likable and the shift between worlds adds variety. The ending leaves lots of room for sequels with the same antagonists and protagonists. Recommended.
LibraryThing member P_OWNAGE
This book is one of my favorite so far. I have read this book over and over, and never have I got enough of the authors craft that he uses to show this book.

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