23 September, 2010

Book Review: Morpheus Road: The Light

Title: Morpheus Road: The Light
Author: D.J. MacHale
Publisher: Aladdin
Genre: Horror
Page Count: 341
Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Cover Rating: 3.5 out of 5. I like the image of Gravedigger. It's perfect for the book, but I do wish they'd made the red a little brighter just to contrast with his wings and his outline a little more. (It's really dark on the library copy for some reason.) It sort of morphs into black and can be hard to see.

Inside flap:

Marshall Seaver is being haunter. It begins with mysterious sounds, a fleeting face outside a window, a rogue breeze--all things that can be explained away. That is, until he comes face-to-face with a character who only exists on the pages of a sketchbook--a character Marshall himself created.
Marshall has no idea why he is being tormented by this forbidding creature, but he is quickly convinced it has something to do with his best friend, Cooper, who has gone missing. Together with Cooper's beautiful but aloof sister, Sydney, Marshall searches for the truth about his friend while ultimately uncovering a nightmare that is bigger and more frightening than he could ever have imagined.

My expectations: I really started to hate Pendragon after I had read more than five books in the series; they were full of cliches and stereotypes, and plot just kept repeating itself. Sure, the worlds were interesting, but that was it. Since I was getting tired with Pendragon I wasn't sure I'd like this book at all . . .

But it was surprisingly good.

About the book: I don't read much Horror--at all, actually, so the only reason I picked up this book was out of some hope that D.J. MacHale might have applied his writing skills (he isn't a bad writer) to this book and made something original. The feeling I got out of this book was of good writing, some creepiness, and a good plot.

I thought I'd be a little more scared after reading this book, but I wasn't it. Ghosts, Gravediggers, weird noises and breezes just don't terrify me, I guess. :P I don't know about you, but I wouldn't say that this is the creepiest book I've ever read, so I'm not saying "this thing is too scary!" or anything. (I'd have to think to come up with the creepiest book I've read . . .)

  • Plot:

It was a "missing-person" plot with ghosts thrown in. I liked the way the two were mixed, because if it had just been mystery it would have been dull; this way, there's fantasy and mystery. Cooper disappears, Marshall starts looking for him, magic and hauntings continue.

Overall, it was fairly solid, but I think the fantasy part of it helped to pull it up a little--there were some events I could guess were going to happen but the supernatural events distracted me from the mystery and helped keep the plot together.

  • Characters:

Marshall was an appealing protagonist. He's a geek (I love geeky characters) and a loner. (I love reading about loners.) He's quiet, pretty sensible, and although I thought his clingy attitude toward Cooper was a little naive, it worked for the story.

Sydney is . . . well, one thing I really hate is the image of "smart-girls-who-are-b****es" because it's not always true. Sydney's heading toward valedictorian, she's taken the SATs, she'd smart, she wants to got to Ivy League, and she's nasty to almost everyone she meets and has a really jerk-y boyfriend. There probably are girls who have that sort of attitude toward life, but not all do. It's just another stereotype and it drives me nuts.

Cooper is a natural troublemaker. He's fearless, reckless, and popular, and everyone knows that's a bad mix. But he is--most of the time--a good friend to Marshall. Not my favorite character ever, but his attitude is of a fairly common type of teenager.

Gravedigger is freaky. Looking like the product of Marshall's imagination doesn't help anything. (Check the cover of the book.) I wouldn't want that thing haunting me . . .

  • Setting/Elements:

As I said before, I like the mix of horror/fantasy/mystery. If you've read a lot of these genres, I suppose that the plot and elements might seem familiar, but for me it was a change of pace.

One thing I have to mention is that this book plays on stereotypes. A lot of stereotypes. I don't like things like that, but I'll grudgingly admit that they work for Morpheus Road. Unfortunately, that still doesn't change the fact they're stereotyped which is a drawback.

Other: If you scare really easily or don't like descriptions of blood, this book may not appeal. There are several instances where blood comes into play--and there's a lot of it. I thought it went a little overboard.

Do I recommend this book? Yes.

-----The Golden Eagle


Hannah Kincade said...

oooh! I've mentioned this one to a few people but I've only gotten blank looks. Good to have someone know of it and able to give me a review. Thanks much!

The Golden Eagle said...

You're welcome!