Facts: I finished this book in 2 days. It was published in 2009, most likely some time in January, because the second book was just published in February. (How exciting! This is the first book from this year that I've read!) It was 240 pages long.
As Pendragon fans should know, this book (and the two that will follow) is broken up into 3 stories about separate Travelers before Bobby Pendragon ever made the scene in their territory. The story about Kasha, the cat-like "klee" on the left, came first, with 8 chapters; the one about Vincent "Gunny" Van Dyke, the guy on the right, came next and was 15 chapters long, plus a prologue; and the last tale, about Vo Spader, the kid in center, was 13 chapters. Also there was a sneak peek for the second book, about the Traveler Alder, but I'm not going to count that. So in total I suppose there were 37 chapters in the book.
My opinion: Well, it's Pendragon, so what can I say? I really liked all the adventures I read. Even the fact that it was not written by D. J. MacHale doesn't take away much pleasure out of reading about the Halla universe. These prequels to the Pendragon series are meant to keep fans at bay while they wait for #10, Soldiers of Halla. I'd like to think this first book did its job. Now I can't wait for the next bundle of adventures.
I think I liked Spader's part the best. Cloral is my favorite territory, with all the water gadgets and funny expressions the locals use, like the words tum-tigger (meaning trouble) or spiff (a word synonymous to cool), and especially the catch-phrase "Hobey-Ho, let's go!" I love that. Spader's a fun character too, though I think the picture of him on the cover makes him look too young.
Kasha's life in Eelong comes in at my second favorite. Klees are awesome. They're powerful jungle cats that have humanoid intelligence, including the powers of speech and scientific thought. Plus they have a sense of humor and fun. It's a dangerous life, though, with dinosaur like tangs lurking around.
Gunny's story is okay, but since he lives in a regular world (although it is a past world) I wouldn't call it as exciting as the others. However, he does solve an interesting mystery with gangsters in it, so that was cool.
Well, I've thoroughly succeeded in not giving a lot away about these stories, haven't I? Now you guys have to read this and see what the excitement is all about. Of course, if you've never heard of the Pendragon series, (where have you been?) I advise you start from the beginning, with The Merchant of Death, before you start reading the prequels. Otherwise you probably won't understand. But please, Pendragon fans, feel free to comment and start a discussion with me. Have you read this book? What do you think about it? Remember, this is a book club, people!