Thursday, May 27, 2010

Review/Morpheus Road: The Light

Thursday, May 27, 2010
"MacHale (the Pendragon series) launches the Morpheus Road trilogy with this creepy, tension-filled adventure, in which 16-year-old Marsh Seaver is terrorized by forces he doesn't understand. It's the first week of summer, and Marsh is all alone, his widower father out of town on business, and his best friend Cooper a few hours away at Thistledown Lake with his family. Things get seriously weird when Gravedigger, a skeletal comic book character of Marsh's design, starts stalking him. Convinced that only Cooper can help him, Marsh enlists the aid of Cooper's beautiful yet frosty sister, Sydney, to get to the lake. Once they arrive, they learn that Cooper is missing and true terror is just beginning. Spooky and fraught with peril, this ghost story evokes campfire horrors and classic slasher films with a relentless onslaught of macabre imagery and mortal danger. What is Gravedigger, what does he want, and how does it all tie into Cooper's fate? Unfortunately, as the first act in a larger piece, few answers are revealed, and numerous questions are left unresolved in anticipation of the next installment. (Publisher summary from Powell's Books)

I recently finished listening to D.J. MacHale’s, Morpheus Road The Light read by Nick Podehl, and believe me this will be one of my top ten reads for this year. Bar none, this is one creepy and tense reads, and I have a new love for MacHale’s craft as a storyteller.

Morpheus Road: The Light is the first in a trilogy.  The plot is extremely intricate and the suspense if heart-pounding. In fact, from the moment Marsh Seaver first physically encounters The Gravedigger, a skeletal comic book character Marsh draws, the reader is literally catapulted, right along with Marsh, into an insane world where illusions become threatening and deadly. Listening to the book, I felt like I was running a marathon because the terror never stopped long enough for me to catch my breath. At one point towards the end of the story, I even felt relief that the events were winding down, but boy was I fooled. Instead, MacHale was only lulling me into a false sense of security so that he could blow me away one last time.

Along with the truly macabre plot, MacHale’s characters jumped off the pages making this story much more real than I would have thought possible. From the first page Marshall Seavers, the narrator, begins to weave the events so matter-of-factly that I was immediately caught up in his narration. As one bizarre event after another begins to unfold, Marsh’s reactions were typical of any rational human being: he thinks he is going nuts. I really enjoyed his thought process, which  felt like asides directed at me. For example, in one scene he is investigating a noise in his house and he admits that he was “doing the same dumb thing that people do in the horror movies. They always go to investigate. It makes you want to scream out, “Don’t’ look in the basement. Get the hell out of there, fool!” 

Two other characters in the book really helped bring out Marsh’s personality because they were total opposites. Marsh describes his best friend, Cooper, as completely different than him. Cooper never worries or thinks things through, he is great in social situations, loves to play sports, and doesn’t care what other people think. He is a risk taker and quite the comedian. Sydney, Cooper’s older sister, is the queen of snarkiness and ends up as Marsh’s side-kick as they search for Cooper. Her icy demeanor with her parents and Marsh hides a vulnerability that is eventually revealed as she and Marsh share some extremely scary moments. All three characters provide moments of comic relief that was certainly needed to offset the extreme suspense that fills each chapter of the book.

Morpheus Road:The Light is an extreme read right up to the very end. The tension and the suspense grips you so tightly that is near impossible to put the book down. If you love scary stories then trust me this is one of the best. Just make sure you keep the lights on as you read.


Lori said...

Hey Jan! I'm testing to make sure the comments look okay. Great review btw! I've had this one on my shelf for a while. Maybe I should read it soon!

Rhiana said...

This sounds a fantastic read, I love a tense scary story now and then. Great review!

Rhiana said...

oh, I like the new look btw!

cynthial11 said...

I seriously need to get this book, it sounds really good and I loved your review! =)

Hannah said...

I really need to read this book. Every review that I've read for it makes me want it more and more.

I don't know when you changed your blog look (I've been all but offline for most of this month) but I absolutely ADORE it! I love the steampunk feel.

Aleksandra said...

Great review! This one is already on my must-reads list!

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Dear ANonymous, Stop and desist with the annoying spam. I will never approve such hogwash!

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