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Favorite Chronicle/Adventures/Legends/etc

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The title says it all. What are your favorite BIONICLE Chronicle/Adventure/Legend books? It can be in terms of author preference, how the story was presented, the characters introduced and how well they were represented, or just the story being told in general. I'd like to hear all your opinions on what books you enjoyed, and what made them so good.

 

You can also mention the Bara Magna books if you want, I don't think they had an official series title.

 

Mine would be 1.  Island of Doom (it really did a good job of setting the stage of the stakes with the reveal of Mata Nui dying, the return of the Nuva, and the introduction of the Piraka, who were amazing villains in their own right. It was a great story overall) 2. Raid of Vulcanus (It was a great book that helped delve a little deeper into the Bara Magna society and let you get to know the different characters. Plus it was a very nice prologue to the Legend Reborn which helped me enjoy that story better without being just thrown into the middle of things.) and 3. Time Trap (Who didn't like this book honestly? It was the time when the Makuta was at his finest, along with Vakama and the Shadowed One... the story kept you on your toes, and gave us lots of character development on all fronts)

 

But that's just me, what do you guys think? :)

 

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Either Chronicles #1 Tales of the Toa, or Adventures #1 Mysteries of Metru Nui, and both pretty much for the same reasons. Both are introductions to settings I absolutely love, both are collections of many smaller adventures shared by some of the Toa or done alone, and both are better representations of what Mata Nui and Metru Nui were like just any normal day unlike stories when some significant central event is the topic of the plot (As much as I like the character interactions in Adventures #3 The Darkness Below, I disliked the fact that practically the whole book takes place in maintenance tunnels). 

 

It's a hard pick for me because both books, both settings and both sets of characters are deeply nostalgic for me. 

 

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Hard to say, as it's been quite a while since I read them (and I never read any of the Bara Magna novels). However, I agree that Adventures #10: Time Trap was one of the best ones. Between tying up the remaining loose ends from Web of Shadows (film and novel), giving Vakama a thrilling solo quest, and providing some great character development like you said, it was the perfect way to cap the Metru Nui saga as well as a great story on its own.

 

Like I said, I haven't read it in a while, but I do remember it being a fascinating and exciting tale. I really need to sit down and binge-read TuragaNuva's epic Biological Chronicle compilation one of these days.

Edited by Tyrion Archer
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 I really need to sit down and binge-read TuragaNuva's epic Biological Chronicle compilation one of these days.

Yeah I need to get on top of that as well... it's on my list of things to do.  :lookhere:

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Time Trap, for sure. It was one of the last Bionicle novels I was able to get ahold of, and I'd seen many people around BZPower making a big deal of that one in particular. I was convinced it couldn't be that good - then I was finally able to get hold of it, and found out that it indeed WAS that good xD I think part of the reason for it is the fact that it was unfettered by the need to sell toys as much as its predecessors and successors were; as the final novel of its arc, all of the promoting of that wave had already been done for the year, so there wasn't the typical need to include such a mass amount of characters - and the story benefited from the narrower focus.

 

Too, I'll always have a soft spot for Tales of the Masks. It was the first Greg novel I read; and to me, it always left Hapaka's books in the dust. The characterisation felt crisper and better-defined to me (more so than a lot of the later Greg novels, too, for that matter), and the individual almost self-contained stories within it really lent themselves to his storytelling style - they always were a joy for me to read.

 

Honourable mentions, I think, are Legacy of Evil and Inferno which, in spite of some weaknesses here and there, felt like the strongest complete books of the Legends series to me.

Edited by Darth Jaller
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Island of Doom and Dark Destiny were some of my favorites, especially with the antics of the Piraka. The fight sequence between the Piraka and Toa Nuva was great... but I believe it was deemed too violent which is why everything was toned down later on. :lol: And, of course, Time Trap was pretty good.

 

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Chronicles: "Tale of the Toa"

I never got the chance to read all the "Adventures" books (including "Time Trap" unfortunately), but of the few I did read, probably "The Darkness Below" is my favorite. 

 

I loved the "Legends" books and read through the whole series multiple times.  "Legacy of Evil" is my absolute pick with "Power Play", "Inferno", "Swamp of Shadows" and "The Final Battle" being my next favorites from the series.

 

"Raid on Vulcanus" might be my second or third favorite book overall. 

 

And I need to give a shout-out to "Birth of a Dark Hunter" (you know that short story in the back of the encyclopedia?); always loved that one. 

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Chronicles: Kind of a tie between "Tale of the Toa" and "Tales of the Masks". "Masks" was a great collection of little stories, almost like real-time fables with the lessons the Toa learned during each brief adventure. But "Toa" had great mysteries that came with being the introductory book to the whole thing, plus the wonderful first meeting of Pohatu and Kopaka.

 

Adventures: This is extremely tough, as my favorite books came from the Metru Nui years. I'll have to go with "Time Trap", for many of the reasons already listed. I also really love "Maze of Shadows" though. Cool/creepy setting the Makuta's labs and I believe the first time we started getting hints at the wider world beyond Metru Nui.

 

Legends: "Downfall". 2007 wasn't one of my favorite years overall, I found the middle of it to be kinda so-so. But man, did it have one heck of a finale. Everything finally came to a head in a satisfying and climactic way.

 

Bara Magna: Kind of a no-brainer, since there were only two books, but "Raid on Vulcanus". It's basically a western, which makes me love it even more.

 

And I have to give a shout out to the short story "The Many Deaths of Toa Tuyet". Awesome little side story that was pretty small scale for Bionicle. Just a good mystery with a good reveal and provided some further character development for Lhikan.


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And I need to give a shout-out to "Birth of a Dark Hunter" (you know that short story in the back of the encyclopedia?); always loved that one.

 

 

 

Oh yes almost forgot about that one... man I was so excited when I first got that book and discovered that story inside it!

Edited by Iron_Man5

 

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It's been a while since I read them, but I would probably say Tales of the Toa. I had been into Bionicle for a while, but didn't have any of the sets from 2001-2002. This was around Metru Nui, maybe Hordika era. I saw Tales of the Toa for sale at a book store, and golly gee but I sure wanted to get Tahu after that. If I remember correctly, I showed it to my mom and said something like "I'd sell my soul for that set", at which she was appropriately horrified. (I was like maybe eight or nine at the time.)

 

As it happened, I found a huge lot of Bionicle sets for sale at a nearby thrift store for $20 shortly after that, and I think there were two Tahu sets in it. Maybe I did sell my soul that day and just didn't realize it.

Edited by Kopekemaster
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Ooh, excellent question. Let's see.

For Chronicles, I'd have to go with Tales of the Masks. It was the first Bionicle book to really develop the characters rather than just telling a story. (The jokes were also a lot better.) Beware the Bohrok is probably next on my list, but Tales takes the top spot here.

 

Adventures has a lot more to choose from, unfortunately. I liked so many of the books from that period that it's hard to choose a favorite. Time Trap was obviously one of the better ones, but Maze of Shadows and Voyage of Fear also stand out to me. The Darkness Below was good, too. I think the reason those stand out to me is that they happen "outside" of the main story for those years. They gave us a chance to experience more of the world beyond what the comics and movies had to offer. Time Trap would be the easy answer, but I'm gonna go with Voyage of Fear. It was a good transitional point between 2004, 2005, and the 2001 story.

 

Legends is also tricky. Most of 2007 kept me on my toes through City of the Lost to Downfall, but I feel like those read better as a single story, rather than three separate books. I enjoyed all of 2008's books, as well. But the one that really stands out to me among the Legends lineup is Legacy of Evil. The world through the eyes of the Piraka. It was another one of those welcome glimpses into the world outside the main story, and it did an excellent job of capturing the characters of the Piraka and developing them into the villains we faced in '06.

 

Raid on Vulcanus wasn't half bad, either, but I've only read that one once, whereas I've read all the other books multiple times over.

 

---------------------

 

tl;dr

Chronicles: Tales of the Masks
Adventures: Voyage of Fear

Legends: Legacy of Evil

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I think my favorite was Island of Doom, since its darker tone was an interesting change from the previous years' books, and I loved the book's depiction of the Matoran on the Voya Nui Resistance Team, which reminded me a bit of the Chronicler's Company from MNOG. :)

 

Journey's End was also great, but not sure if that counts here.

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Sure Journey's End could be an honorable mention ;)

 

I also enjoyed Tales of the Masks, particularly since it depicted tales that weren't necessarily mentioned in the comics, while the other Chronicles more or less just elaborated on what the comics showed. Was a very nice prequel to the Mask of Light.

 

Side note, I enjoyed that in the Darkness Below they included building instructions for Krahka in the back of the book. Not the easiest to decipher but still fun!


 

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Tales of the Masks, for, as most people have said, being a great example of self-contained literature. But I also have a special fondness for Makuta's Revenge, the shortest novel. A few times as a child I'd stay up late and read the entire thing in one sitting.

 

Time Trap deserves its reputation, but I feel like it somewhat suffers in hindsight from the "Seinfeld is unfunny" effect, introducing many staples of Greg Farshtey's writing that some fans would later consider overused, namely alternate realities. In general, I consider the Adventures novels to be the best because of how many there were, allowing each one to tell a unique story and not shoehorn the entire year's story into just a little over 100 pages. Good examples of this include The Darkness Below, Voyage of Fear, and Challenge of the Hordika.

 

Island of Doom was one of the first books I read as a child that did not end with the archetypical "good guys win, bad guys lose." I was a fan of the Piraka's perspectives shown in Legacy of Evil. Aside from Matoro's sacrifice, I found the 2007 books to be weaker, largely just a retelling of 2006 only underwater. Even the somber ending of City of the Lost was not as strong as Island of Doom, since it ended with the Toa Mahri being created, and therefore a tangible glimmer of hope. The first two 2008 novels suffered from having to showcase the basics of all the sets, but it was worth it to have the epic climax in The Final Battle. I first read that one in two sittings at Barnes & Noble in 2008, and I was shaking after I read the end.

 

Raid on Vulcanus was wonderful. It reminded me of the self-contained nature of Tales of the Masks. It's almost better if you pretend it takes place completely independently of the Matoran Universe, in my opinion. Probably due to BIONICLE's premature ending, The Legend Reborn tried to do too much to bridge the two worlds in little time.

 

If I had to pick an absolute favorite, from a personal perspective, it would have to be Legacy of Evil. It's what really made me understand the breadth and scope of the BIONICLE universe. The way so many plot points of previous years (the Makoki Stone, Lhikan, the Kanohi Dragon, Roodaka, even the Toa Mata's original canisters) were weaved into the story amazed me.

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I haven't read the books in awhile either, but I recall my favorites being:

 

Chronicles: Tales of the Mask. I really liked the individual stories the Toa went on in this one. 

 

Adventures: Time Trap, though Maze of Shadows would be a real close second. Both were really good IMO.

 

Legends: Downfall. It was a epic finale to the 2007 story line. Though I also really enjoyed Dark Destiny, especially with how it managed to balance its story around so many characters. 


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I actually haven't read them all, but from what I have read, I like Tales of the Toa and that one passage from Downfall.


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Difficult question. I'll deal with each series separately.

 

Chronicles - Tales of the Masks, obviously. I didn't dislike Hapka's writing style as much as some others did (and I always preferred her version of the Shadow Toa battle), but Greg's first BIONICLE novel stands out. Since it wasn't an integral part of the main storyline, it gave him more freedom and allowed him to delve into the psychology and team dynamics of the Toa Nuva, as well as into the debate the Turaga had over whether to tell the tales of Metru Nui.

 

Adventures - OK, now it's more difficult. When I first read it, I thought Time Trap was the absolute best. The initial mystery of Vakama being a Matoran again and his interplay with Makuta are fantastic. As GregF himself often pointed out, that was the novel that reshaped Makuta by giving him a complexity that had not been seen before and making him into one of the best supervillains ever (though he was already quite good in that role before).  We also got to meet the Shadowed One and to hear some important revelations.

However, there were many other enjoyable novels in the Adventures series. In 2004, the best was The Darkness Below, which again, not being part of the main storyline, allowed Greg to delve into the relationships between the Toa Metru and also to construct (I think for the first time in 4 years) an adversary which couldn't be dismissed as outright evil and whose motivations were far more complex. It also showed us a large number of new Rahkshi.

In 2005, I think there's something to be said for all the novels. The rapid sequence of battles in Maze of Shadows and Web of the Visorak was tantalizing, while Challenge of the Hordika gave more depth to all six Rahaga, dealt with the consequences of the Hordika transformation, brought back Krahka and gave us an amazing final battle. As for Web of Shadows, the novelization was far better than the movie: it really dug into Vakama's soul, even more than in 2004, showing all the entire line of thought that led first to his betrayal and then to his redemption. Roodaka is also at her best here, while Nuju, Onewa and Whenua aren't relegated to supporting characters.

I honestly don't know which one to choose. I suppose I'll go with Time Trap in the end, because ultimately, due to the way it is constructed, it is unique amongst BIONICLE novels.

 

Legends - another long series that gave us lots of good novels.

In 2006, Island of Doom was a great start, describing the island of Voya Nui and how the Piraka conquered it, step by step. The Matoran Resistance is given its best portrayal here and the battle between the Toa Nuva and the Piraka is very well constructed and had, at the time, a completely unexpected outcome. Dark Destiny was enjoyable especially for the journey of Jaller and his team, which allowed us to see Takanuva again for a while and then introduced us to Karzahni. The Toa Inika made a good impression in both Power Play and Inferno, which also gave us some very enjoyable battles. Overall, I think I'll chose Island of Doom in 2006, but I want to make a special mention for Legacy of Evil. It wasn't the best novel, but it had a unique structure and was the most political novel of all, giving us a wider perspective on the history of the Matoran Universe and on the wider geopolitical (so to speak) and military issues that were in the background of the main storyline. Without Legacy of Evil, the world of BIONICLE would have been much smaller and less complex.

In 2007, I'm undecided between City of the Lost and Downfall. The first is similar to Island of Doom, but superior, in my opinion, because the description of Mahri Nui and the Pit is more exotic and interesting, because the characters of Kyrehx, Defilak and Dekar are well constructed and because the Barraki are far more fascinating foes than the Piraka. Downfall, however, showed us a series of good battles and the final scenes were amazing. Matoro's sacrifice is perhaps the best written piece of BIONICLE ever.

In 2008, I think I'll choose Shadows in the Sky over The Final Battle. The battles in both were good, but the ones in the former stand out for their length and complexity. In fact, I'd say the one at the end of the book is perhaps the best in the whole Legends arc. The Makuta are also depicted at their best here, with the performances of Mutran and Icarax being particularly satisfying.

All right, I think I'll go with Shadows in the Sky here, with City of the Lost coming up immediately behind it.

 

The 2009-2010 arc gave us the Legend Reborn, which was the worst novel and movie ever (in the novelization Greg actually tried to save what he could, but there were limits to what one could do with that awful plot). Raid on Vulcanus was far better; the main characters, Ackar and Gelu, were given a good portrayal, as was Fero. The dynamics of Bara Magna society and the divergences between Glatorian and Agori were also laid out in a far less clear-cut way than in The Legend Reborn, which was a good thing.

But I think I'll go for Journey's End as the best novel. OK, the part about the Golden Armor was hurried and didn't make much sense (and I think Greg realized it too and gave it as little space as possible), but the introduction, before Makuta's arrival, was worth reading (both the part on Bara Magna and within the MU) and the confrontation between Makuta and Mata Nui was fantastic. Between the sheer scale of the battle, the importance of the two characters and the stakes, it was possibly the best one-on-one duel ever. As for the conclusion, it was fitting and solemn and should have marked the definitive end of the storyline.

 

Ok, so we have:

Tales of the Masks

Time Trap

Shadows in the Sky

Journey's End

 

That's all. I'm not going to choose between these four.

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I tend to like the “side-stories” more, which gives us:

Tales of the Masks

The Darkness Below

Voyage of Fear

Maze of Shadows

Time Trap

Dark Destiny (debateable as side-story, but it gave us Karzahni)

Legacy of Evil

 

That would make Tales of the Masks my favorite Chronicles by default. It’s too hard for me to narrow down Adventures and Legends completely, though I’d give Maze of Shadows and Time Trap a slight lead in front of Voyage of Fear. And Journey’s End is probably my favorite of the “Super Chapter Books” series, though I think the only one I read more than once was Raid on Vulcanus.

 

Oh, and I’m sure I would have loved Invasion. It’s a rotten shame what happened about that one.

Edited by Cheesy Mac n Cheese
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I loved Voyage of Fear as a kid, I thought it was underrated. I thought Mavrah was misunderstood, and I was sad when he died, and then I was super happy when he got brought back in Bionicle's unresolved cliffhanger. I haven't read it in a long time though.

 

Tales of the Masks, Maze of Shadows, Time Trap, Legacy of Evil, Inferno, and City of the Lost are some other ones I remember really liking. I haven't read any Bionicle books in a really long time, I should go back and refresh my memory.


I miss BIONICLE.

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