So I started this series back in, like, Middle School, and I've been meaning to continue it for awhile, hence the presence of 4 books on the list. If you don't know, the basic premise of the Pendragon series is that Bobby Pendragon learns from his Uncle Press that he is a Traveler, which means he can go through these magical tunnels called flumes to any of the ten territories that make up Halla, or basically everything. We, for example, live on Second Earth (there are three in total, cause Earth is awesome). Which is cool and all, but in his travels, Bobby and the other Travellers have to stop the evil Saint Dane. He's basically a Traveller gone bad- he goes to each of the territories as they are reaching a major turning point in their history and tries to sneakily push them in the wrong direction and create chaos. Meanwhile, the Travellers are trying to figure out what he's up to and counteract it, stopping whatever plan he has going.
So, in Black Water, Bobby travels to Eelong, a territory that turns out to be inhabited by intelligent cat people. Which is all well and good, except that there are also humans, called gars. They have been enslaved by the cats, who think the gars are beneath them and use them for menial jobs and pets and things. The gars, however, are a lot smarter than they're given credit for, and tension is building. Saint Dane wants to convince the cats (I can't remember what they're called...) to poison the gars and rid them from the territory- basically commit genocide. It's up to Bobby and company to stop Saint Dane and help ameliorate the tense relations between the two species.
24. Pendragon 6, The Rivers of Zadaa, by J.D. MacHale
In this next book, there is also a battle between two different groups, though these are both humans- the Batu live on the surface of this desert planet and are dark-skinned, while the Rokador live underground and are resultantly pale skinned. For generations, the Batu have been the warriors, protecting the people from the primitive, cannibalistic tribes that also roam the territory, while the Rokador control the underground river system to provide water. But now the water has dried up, and the Batu are not sure if it is a result of drought, or if the Rokador are intentionally trying to kill off the Batu. Bobby and Loor, the Zadaa Traveller, have to work together to figure out what is going on and stop a potentially devastating war between the two tribes.
25. Pendragon 7, The Quillan Games, by J.D. MacHale
This story takes place on Quillan, a civilization advanced beyond even Second Earth that has been taken over by a company, Blok. They own pretty much the entire planet, subjugating the majority of the population and generally making everyone miserable. To make matters worse, for entertainment, people are chosen throughout the territory to compete in Games (involuntarily). These games are often brutal, pitting challenger against challenger in a life or death battle. Once someone is chosen to become a challenger, they are treated like royalty, but there is no escape- they play until they die. In order to try and save this territory, then, Bobby must himself become a challenger and compete in this brutal competition to try and inspire the people to free themselves from the tyranny of Blok.
So, overall, I really like the series and would like to finish it, but I also have to admit that I'm kind of a wuss... Bobby and the other characters get in some pretty dangerous situations, what with the fate of all the universe being in their hands and all. Maybe I'm just too empathetic or something, because I find myself on edge pretty much the whole time I'm reading, trying to figure out who can and can't be trusted, who Saint Dane might be posing as (he can shapeshift), whether Bobby is making the right move or is playing right into Saint Dane's plan, etc. I just get so worried about whether things are going to turn out ok, even though I know that surely the author can't let the bad guy win in the end and, moreover, it's just a story. Maybe it's knowing that, just because overall things might turn out ok, that doesn't mean the book itself will end on a high note. Book 4, for example, ended up with Saint Dane winning. Maybe that's why I stopped reading. I just couldn't take it! Anyway, that's me putting too much stock in the wellbeing of fictional characters and civilizations. I have one more Pendragon book to read, and only five more total, so that's awesome!