The Quillan Games: Another exciting PENDRAGON story

fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsThe Quillan Games by D.J. MacHale YA fantasy audiobook reviewsThe Quillan Games by D.J. MacHale

The Quillan Games is the seventh novel in D.J. MacHale’s PENDRAGON series. Bobby is now on Quillan, one of the most unappealing places we’ve been to so far. Here a large corporation called BLOK (think Wal-Mart) has price-busted everyone else out of business until BLOK basically owns and operates the entire territory. Everyone is poor (BLOK pays low wages) and they are merely surviving. But there is a way to get money. Kids who are willing to risk it, or who are sold off by their families, can play the Quillan Games. They live in a mansion and are treated like royalty… as long as they keep winning. The games are often deadly and eventually, if they keep winning, they’re bound to end up in a fight to the death.

The rest of the populace bets on the games, hoping to supplement their tiny incomes. They watch the games from huge screens that have been erected on top of all of the drab utilitarian-looking buildings in their city. As you might expect, the city is on the verge of revolution. All they need is a catalyst. And, as you might expect, the catalyst they need is Bobby Pendragon. Bobby, who has been training with Loor and her friends, will enter the games and try to spark the revolution.

Before you cry foul, let me say that The Quillan Games was published in 2005 and The Hunger Games, which has an amazingly similar plot, was published 3 years later. (Both are similar to the Japanese novel and film Battle Royale , which was released before either of them.) Besides the plot, there are other peculiar similarities between The Quillan Games and The Hunger Games. The Quillan Games has two hosts — a man and a woman. The man is extremely flamboyant and exuberant, exactly like Caesar Flickerman, the MC of The Hunger Games. While reading The Quillan Games, I saw Caesar Flickerman in my mind while reading those parts. When MacHale describes the bleak life of the families of the contestants, the way they are suppressed by the military, and the chilling scenes when it feels like a revolt is imminent, I also felt like I was watching The Hunger Games. I don’t know if Suzanne Collins was aware of The Quillan Games before writing The Hunger Games, but they are uncannily similar.

Anyway, the story, as you might expect, is exciting even though it’s predictable in places (though there was also plenty that I didn’t predict). Bobby learns more about the territories and how Saint Dane is trying to mix them up. There is more than one big twist at the end. One of them involves Mark and Courtney back on Second Earth. Things will change drastically for both of them, and not for the better. I guarantee that you’ll want to have The Pilgrims of Rayne, the next book, on hand when you finish The Quillan Games.

I’ve mentioned that there are always some teaching moments in the PENDRAGON books. This time, MacHale warns about huge companies that take over markets by purchasing as cheaply as possible, reducing prices as low as they can go, and underpaying their employees. (For a good discussion of this, read The Walmart Effect, which is very informative and actually quite balanced.)

As I keep mentioning in my reviews of this series, the ability of Saint Dane to show up at the end of the book as any of the characters we thought we knew (and deliver a monologue) is getting tiring. I wish he wouldn’t do that. I feel like MacHale isn’t playing fair with us when he does this. But, still, I read on.

The audio version of The Quillan Games is read by the wonderful William Dufris. It’s 16 hours long.

Pendragon — (2002-2009) Young adult. Publisher: Bobby Pendragon is a seemingly normal fourteen-year-old boy. He has a family, a home, and even Marley, his beloved dog. But there is something very special about Bobby. He is going to save the world. And not just Earth as we know it. Bobby is slowly starting to realize that life in the cosmos isn’t quite what he thought it was. And before he can object, he is swept off to an alternate dimension known as Denduron, a territory inhabited by strange beings, ruled by a magical tyrant, and plagued by dangerous revolution. If Bobby wants to see his family again, he’s going to have to accept his role as savior, and accept it wholeheartedly. Because, as he is about to discover, Denduron is only the beginning…

book review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 1. The Merchant of Death 2. The Lost City of Faar 3. The Never War 4. The Reality Bug 5. Black Waterbook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 1. The Merchant of Death 2. The Lost City of Faar 3. The Never War 4. The Reality Bug 5. Black Waterbook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 1. The Merchant of Death 2. The Lost City of Faar 3. The Never War 4. The Reality Bug 5. Black Waterbook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 1. The Merchant of Death 2. The Lost City of Faar 3. The Never War 4. The Reality Bug 5. Black Waterbook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 1. The Merchant of Death 2. The Lost City of Faar 3. The Never War 4. The Reality Bug 5. Black Waterbook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 6. The Rivers of Zadaa 7. The Quillan Games 8. The Pilgrims of Rayne 9. Raven Risebook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 6. The Rivers of Zadaa 7. The Quillan Games 8. The Pilgrims of Rayne 9. Raven Risebook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 6. The Rivers of Zadaa 7. The Quillan Games 8. The Pilgrims of Rayne 9. Raven Risebook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 6. The Rivers of Zadaa 7. The Quillan Games 8. The Pilgrims of Rayne 9. Raven Rise 10. The Soldiers of Hallabook review D.J. MacHale Pendragon 6. The Rivers of Zadaa 7. The Quillan Games 8. The Pilgrims of Rayne 9. Raven Rise 10. The Soldiers of Halla

Pendragon: Before the War — (2008- ) A Pendragon prequel with Carla Jablonski and Walter Sorrells. Publisher: Before Bobby Pendragon. Before Saint Dane. Before the war… Every territory of Halla has a Traveler. They lived for years — some even for decades — before learning of their true destiny. What was life like for Bobby Pendragon’s fellow Travelers before they joined him in the fight to save every time and place that has ever existed? What led up to their becoming the guardians of Halla? The answers are here! In this first of three thrilling Pendragon prequels, read about Vo Spader’s death-defying adventures in the underwater world of Cloral, Gunny Van Dyke’s race to find a murderer in 1930’s Manhattan on First Earth, and the tough challenges Kasha faced on Eelong well before Bobby Pendragon arrived…

D.J. MacHale Pendragon: Before the War 1. The Travelers 2. 3. D.J. MacHale Pendragon: Before the War 1. The Travelers 2. 3. D.J. MacHale Pendragon: Before the War 1. The Travelers 2. 3.

Related book:

book review D.J. MacHale The Guide to the Territories of HallaThe Guide to the Territories of Halla — (2005) Publisher: All there ever was; all that will be. For the first time, see the amazing sights of Halla as only Bobby Pendragon has. From the watery depths of Cloral to the rugged mountain ranges of Denduron to the jungles of Eelong, from the Earth territories to the decaying fantasy world of Veelox, it¹s all here. So are the Travelers: Uncle Press, Vo Spader, Loor, Aja Killian, Alder, Gunny, and Kasha, and of course, Bobby Pendragon and Saint Dane. This is your private flume to Halla. Enter and discover old friends while you learn new secrets. But remember one thing: This is only the beginning.

 


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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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2 comments

  1. These do sound intriguing.

  2. It would be interesting to read The Quillan Games, The Hunger Games, and Battle Royale in succession, to see where the similarities/differences lie. There seems to be a lot in common between the books!

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