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Pilgrimage: A Novel of the Sovereign Era Kindle Edition
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This second book starts a year later. People are unsure they like the idea of super-humans and there’s a backlash movement growing. Nate’s father needs held handling his abilities and needs to go to the Sovereign enclave in Montana to find it. Nate needs to find his father to help deal with his own abilities and his out of control emotions as well.
At 16, Nate is horny, he’s constantly mad at his mom, he’s constantly mad at authority figures; basically, he’s a 16yo boy. He’s still voiced as a normal boy but he comes across much less sympathetic in Pilgrimage than in Brave Men Run. I found myself wanting to shake him – a lot.
The anti-Sovereign backlash as a secondary storyline is interesting but also is very reminiscent of an X-men sub-plot. What I liked about the first book was Selznick took what is essentially the premise of the mutants in the Marvel Universe and made them feel personal and at the same time new. I saw the parallel from the beginning but it wasn’t over emphasized so it didn’t detract. With this storyline added in, I felt like I was reading about the anti-Mutant forces gathering outside the Xavier School.
The climax had some startling elements to it and the story took some turns I completely wasn’t expecting. I didn’t really understand the ending, however. If this is the last book, it’s a bad place to end; if it’s a trilogy and not a duology, then it’s a typical place to end. I hope I don’t have to wait 6-years to find out.
Plot: Moves at a pretty good clip, never really slows down. The dialog is natural and organic feeling. What the characters say feels like something they would say, it's not forced or contrived to move the plot along. Character development is logical, nothing out of left field. Bear in mind this is a superhero story, so don't expect anything ground breaking but it did have the advantage of a not often explored (to me) aspect, the development of a regular guy born with super powers but not being aware of them until puberty.
Editing: I think I found one misspelling. Really I can't even remember where it was, so there's that.
Overall: As I said in my intro, I loved the book. And it's not an exaggeration. This book, and Brave Men Run is something that I will regularly re-read, not because I have nothing else to read, but because I like the world this series takes place in and I want to visit it from time to time. I am a kid of the 80's so I get most, if not all of the references mentioned in the book. My one complaint, and really, it's more of a tribute to the author than a complaint, is the main character and one of the other major characters. They pissed me off so much I wanted to reach in and strangle them. And I mean a good make their face turn purple and they start scratching my eyes throttling. Now, the main character is a teenager, that has a lot to do with it (get off my lawn!). The other character is a man and deserves it. Don't get me wrong, that is one of the things that make this book so great. I wasn't mad at the author, I didn't question why the author wrote the character the way he did. I was mad at the character. And that's the highest recommendation I can give an author, and to you, the potential reader. If you haven't read the series, do. It's worth the time and money.
"Pilgrimage" was a fantastic book and probably my favorite read of 2013 so far. Plenty of reviewers have provided a more detailed plot summary, so I'll steer clear of that and provide some general feelings.
1) The author writes in a way that I feel a real emotional connection to the characters.
2) I remember being 16, being in "love", making mistakes, learning along the way -- it's all there in this book. It's not a kids book though and we are often faced with many adult-themes as we are growing up (even if we aren't born metahumans), which all just fits. For such a "fantasy"-oriented theme, I found the thoughts/dialogue to be very realistic.
3) I found it to be largely unpredictable, not always prepared for what lied ahead, and enjoying the ride. I was actually disappointed with how some things turned out, but only because you feel yourself rooting for people or things to happen. It was actually a breath of fresh air not to just have it all figured out mid-way through the book, and being thrown for a loop/even "disappointed" in a sense should be viewed as a positive.
I can't recommend "Pilgrimage -- A Novel of the Sovereign Era" enough. At it's heart I believe it's about growing up, and I think can have a broad appeal to anyone.
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Read it. You will enjoy.