Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Morpheus Road: The Light

New York: Aladdin, 2010
ISBN: 9781416965169
341 pages
3 out of 5

Marshall Seaver is being haunted.

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.

Number one New York Times best-selling author D.J. MacHale launches his eerie new trilogy with a story so packed with chilling suspense, readers will want to sleep with the light on.

I disagree.  Each ghostly episode feels like a carbon copy of the last, except the setting is different.  I never felt myself get nervous for the characters when they were in danger.  This is either the result of scenes not actually being frightening (at least from my point of view) or my not having concern for the characters (or both).  Either way, it's not how I like to feel about a novel.

Basically, I feel the plot was not as strong as it could've been.  There is a mystery element, which I admit it added up for me as the characters figured it out (a plus).  But overall it felt weak.  Some elements seemed tied in at the last minute that seemed they could have played a larger part.  Perhaps these elements will be fleshed out further in the remaining titles, but it seems they could have had higher prominence at this point.

Another issue I had with the novel was the narrator.  Most of the time Marsh's voice was consistent and believable.  Occasionally it seemed like there were "oh yea, he's a teen" moments added in and it always threw me off the story.  I like to get lost and getting tossed out makes it hard to do so. 

So far this sounds like a not-so-good review, so why would I give it three stars?  Two reasons: I kept reading and the ending.  Although I encountered problems throughout the novel, it intrigued me enough to continue reading, and the ending sealed the deal.  The next novel will not be at the top of my must read list, but I'm curious enough to take a look. 

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