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Book Review - The Transall Saga
Mark was a young man who had a passion for hiking. He had a knack for it, saving every dime he earned on his paper route. He had been given permission from his parents to hike across the Magruder Missile range, and was making good progress. One night, he suddenly found himself face to face with a phenomenon. A mysterious blue light. The power was impressive, but even more impressive was its ability to transport people across time.
Mark would find himself in a strange world, where he had to learn how to survive. Slowly but surely, Mark was tuning his senses to life as a complete savage. There were no grocery stores, nobody to rely on to provide food. Everything and anything he had, he acquired with his own hands. Life was quite simple for him, until he meets people.
Mark quickly learns that war and fighting is the way of life in this crazy world. But he was still awed by the unique similarities between his world and the world he had found. Mark proves himself to his new compatriates, garnering the attention of the most powerful man at that time.
Mark's adventure to find his way home brings him head to head with the threat of death on several occasions. However Mark's cunning lets him survive. Just when he comes to terms with his new life, Mark finds himself suddenly back where he always wanted to be...
The Transall Saga is an epic tale by one of my most influential authors of all time, Gary Pauslen. Paulsen succeeds in creating a world that feels very real, very possible, with people that we can actually feel for. The first part of the book deals almost entirely with Mark's struggles on his own. One of the things I love about books is how the characters can come to life. Mark almost could have been my childhood friend, he felt so real to me. I felt so bad for him as he spent his time away from his family, living in a world that wanted to kill him. Mark feels so real, his struggle is something all too familiar.
The supporting characters in this book are just as well developed. A lot of books have a problem with having a ton of supporting characters that are thrown in the mix, with absolutely no character development, to the point where they should have been nameless and had maybe one line. But in The Transall Saga, all of the characters, and there are a LOT, are added in with just the right amount of development that it feels like you met a real person. They entered your life, influenced it, and unfortunately are torn out of your life with no warning. If you can't tell, I absolutely love this book. :D
The plot of the book is well developed. The very first time I read Transall Saga, I was taken aback by every twist. You can see a few things coming, but the direction that Paulsen took with this book is very well developed. You know how boring it is to read a book that you know exactly what's going to happen next? Yeah. That doesn't happen here. If I had to complain about something, I would say that the book ends too soon. The end leaves it wide open for a sequel, which to the best of my knowledge, has not been written.
Even though the Transall Saga is probably not a contender for the best book ever written, it is without a doubt my person favorite book of all time. I cannot describe to you what this book means to me. Just read it yourself, it will not disappoint.