June 14, 2012

The Transall Saga by Gary Paulsen

Paulsen should write more dystopians.  He's good at them.  Even though they're geared towards a younger market, I do think his books appeal to all ages.

The Transall Saga finds Mark, a teenager on his first camping trip by himself.  He's not out long when a brilliant tube of light transports him to what he thinks is another world.  Here things are just off, animals are different, vegetation is different, and the people while similar, aren't like they were where he came from.  But after facing numerous hardships with these people, he grows to like them.  But a man called Merkon isn't too keen on Mark, and isn't afraid to do everything in his power to rid the world of Transall of Mark.

Mark's a pretty cool guy.  We only get a little bit of description about him, but it's enough. I get a very good sense of what he looks like and his actions speak loudly enough for him.  He's a pretty good guy and cares about others.  The rest of the characters weren't nearly as fleshed out as Mark, but they certainly add to the story.  Megaan especially was great as she was a strong person and had quite a few flaws making her real.  I think the other girl, Leeta, got kind of left in the dust when compared to Megaan, but we can't all be special.

The plot is dystopian, which I love.  Anywhere where the main character is sent somewhere where things aren't quite right and people are living primitively is interesting.  And the bad guy in the Merkon was pretty menacing.  I do think that the ending was a bit rushed, and I would have liked to see the book longer with more detail, but for a young adult/children's book, this is probably pretty good for the detail. 

Definitely one of the better ones by Paulsen in my opinion.  I've read some stinkers from him, but this one is not one of them.

The Transall Saga
Copyright 1998
248 pages

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