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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 27, 2010
I don't usually read books from this age category or genre, but I was drawn by the passionate reviews. DJ MacHale developed a super cool story in a very fun way. There was non-stop action that left me exhausted. The characters were top notch. The incredible ending left me thirsty for the next release in the trilogy. As for the scary factor, I would not let cubscout-age children read it; more appropriate for boy scout age and beyond. It's a not-to-be-missed series.
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on September 8, 2014
4.5/5

Morpheus Road: The Light, by D.J. MacHale, is the first in a new trilogy for middle grade and young adult. Three quick words to describe it: dark, creepy, and fun!

Marshall, 16, is bummed out when his trouble-making best friend, Cooper, is sent off for the summer to his family’s cabin. His summer seems lonely and desolate and it gets even worse when he starts being haunted… by a creepy character he created and has been sketching for quite some time named Gravedigger. He begins seeing things, hearing things, and believes that Cooper is the only one who will understand and not think he’s crazy. He decides to go to the cabin to talk to him and try and get away from the haunting, and Gravedigger, but when he arrives, he discovers that Coop has gone missing, and he begins to wonder if Gravedigger has something to do with the disappearance. Worse yet, Marshall thinks Gravedigger may be trying to kill him and those around him… he hopes to find Cooper before it’s too late… for both of them.

This was an action-packed, dark, fun little adventure ride! This would be an ideal read for someone looking for a little horror, creepiness, and suspense in their middle grade or YA. The level of horror is appropriate for those age levels — I’d say “fun” scary, because I wasn’t frightened by it, but I imagine someone younger might be. Though I felt the writing and book were a little too young for my taste, I’ve got to admit, the story still had me on the edge of my seat from the suspense, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Marshall was a likable character and I was rooting for him the whole time and Gravedigger was thoroughly creepy. This author has quite an imagination which makes for a fun time and a very quick read! I’ll definitely be reading the rest of the books in the trilogy when they’re released. Love it!
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on April 22, 2012
First off let me just say that I haven't even read the book...

My stepdaughter who DESPISES reading got this from her school library. She is almost 13 years old and will do anything and everything to keep from having to read because she doesn't comprehend what she is reading. We have struggled for years to help her with her reading (comic books, books she picked out, help from school, the list goes on).

Her school has an (AR) Accelerated Reading part of their grade (10%). This means they have to read books and takes quizzes on the books they read. Needless to say, she wasn't meeting her goal of 20 AR points per semester. Last semester we threatened (and followed through with) withholding her allowances unless she made her AR goal. She failed and lost her allowance for the 9 week period, Boy did that sting!!

So just last Friday, 4/13/2012, she starts (all on her own, no prodding whatsoever from us)reading DJ MacHale's book, The Light. Every day she would show us (beaming at)what page she had made it to and stay up much later than she ever does reading this book. On 4/19/2012, just a mere 6 days later (and without us having to ask her once to read) after 10pm, she comes down the steps and says triumphantly, "I finished it". She sat down with us and said the book even made her cry. She was so into this book that we are getting her the whole series so she can re-read anytime she wants. She also took the quiz on it the next day and aced it!

You can't imagine how happy this makes us and to see her actually "light up" from a book is absolutely a wonderful feeling. We are so happy for her and that she seems to have found her "breakthrough" with DJ MacHale..

Even though I haven't read this book, with what my stepdaughter has experienced, I would recommend this to anyone!!
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The Light is an intense and down right creepy beginning to an exciting new series. From the get go, I knew this book was going to creep me out. Just look at the cover. This character screams "I am uber creepy. You better fear me." So it was no surprise to me when the first real scary / suspenseful scene occurred early on in the novel and that I was on the edge of my seat the whole time... with every little twist and suspenseful bump making me want to hide under the covers. From that scene alone, I knew this was going to be one of those novels that I had to either read in the daylight or at least a few hours before sleep. Now before you get thinking that this book is going to be way too scary for you, I must admit that 1.) I scare pretty easily and 2.) The novel's two scariest scenes (in my opinion) are in the beginning of the novel. The rest of the novel is more suspenseful and mystery based with a few creepy scenes mixed in.

Despite the creepy and scary factor involved, I really enjoyed the novel. The Light is an action packed read that kept me on the edge of my seat. It seemed like the pages flew by as I tried to say one step ahead of Marshall and his mystery. The characters in the novel were quite interesting to me. Marshall reacts in a manner very similar to how I think I would, so his character was very easy to relate to. And while Marshall's character did not have as much character growth as I was hoping for, I realize that this is the first novel in a series so it is possible that readers will see the needed growth in one of the next novels. The secondary characters of Sydney and Cooper were a lot of fun to read about. Sydney is a tough on the outside character. She is sassy, and at times, hilarious. Her character was a wonderful foil to Marshall, and the two of them together made this book an exciting read.

The Light, thankfully, has enough scary / creepy moments to satisfy the horror fans, but not too much to turn off other readers like myself who tend to get scared really easily. The creepiness that MacHale has created sets the mood in the novel perfectly. The Light is a suspenseful gem by giving the reader plenty of little twists. And while every question is not answered or at least mostly explored by the end of the novel, the ending will definitely have readers craving more.
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on June 5, 2010
This ARC received as part of Around the World ARC Tours.

Marshall Seaver (anyone but me hearing the Growing Pains theme song in their heads when the name Seaver is mentioned?) is an ordinary good guy type of sixteen-year-old; he's the Luke Skywalker to his best friend Cooper Foley's Han Solo. Cooper's a troublemaker who's mostly interested in chasing girls, while Marsh is a kid at heart, and still interested in building rocket ships and reading graphic novels. The only girl who captures Marsh's attention is Cooper's older sister Sydney, a beautiful high-achieving ice princess who won't give him the time of day.

Marshall is an everyman character, but two things about him stand out: 1. his mother was killed in a earthquake overseas while she was photographing an ancient temple, and 2. He's an amateur artist who draws only one character: Gravedigger, a grim reaper character who resembles a skeleton and carries around a double-edged pick. When Marsh breaks an artifact his mother sent him, and Cooper suddenly disappears, a whole world of trouble opens up and Marsh will never be a normal kid again.

DJ MacHale's credits include a lot of television writing, and it shows in his story, which has snappy dialogue and interesting visual images. Unfortunately, this first book in the series feels more like a pilot episode in a new TV show--I just don't think enough actually happens to sustain an entire book. It gets a slow start, with Marshall getting about a dozen hints that something's not quite right in his world before anything significant occurs. He hears strange noises, sees gusts of wind in his kitchen, gets mysterious phone calls, and sees a manifestation of his character Gravedigger, all as part of the setup before the true action begins. I think all the warning signs could have been condensed without losing much of the impact.

I won't be continuing this series, but the author's writing style in engrossing enough that I'm definitely going to check out his Pendragon books.
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on April 30, 2010
I hadn't heard much about The Light prior to it ending up in my mailbox. Though with one quick look at the summary and cover, I knew I was going to be in for one thrilling and scary rollercoaster of a ride. Luckily, it provided to be just that, and while I did enjoy it overall, there was some aspects of this that I didn't like and some points that could have been done better.

First off, the premise of this was exceedingly intriguing; one that constantly had me on my toes and on the edge of my sit with all the scary things that were occurring. I truly never new what to expect next 97% of the time, something that I really enjoyed about this. Since I love it when a book manages to surprise me in that kind of way. Though, with saying that, the plot was also all over the place, unfortunately. A lot of things in this were touched briefly, then thrown to the waste side, but this is the first in a series, so I guess I should expect loose plot lines because this is setting up the bigger picture up, which will be made better as more books come out. I mean by the end things were starting to come together, so I guess only time will tell how I feel about the plot as the series continues.

Adding to this, D.J. MacHale is one fabulous writer! His descriptions were quite well done and always left me feeling like I was right with Sydney and Marsh the whole time. Though, sometimes they did have a bit too much detail, which caused me loose interest in The Light at times.

And talking about Sydney and Marsh, I enjoyed reading about both of them! Both were relatable and developed thoroughly. Also I liked the touch of romance between them as the novel progressed because it added a great little spark to this.

If you like scary,thrilling novels The Light is the prefect read for you and a series you may just end up loving! Also I'm sure the age group this is urged towards (Middle-grade boys) will end on eating this right up! Lastly, even with my slight problems I had, I'm still going to be reading the next addition because I'm very eager to see how everything turns out!

Grade: C+/B-
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VINE VOICEon April 23, 2010
PJVs QUICKIE POV: Rollercoaster! This book was a macabre rollercoaster through a week of one boys life. Entertaining and spine chilling, The Light, flung me from one impending and near death experience to the next, never letting me up for breath. Not often does a book leave me chilled, but this one almost had me sleeping with the light on.

REVIEW: Marshall Seaver is in a bad place when we are introduced to him in The Light. Dealing with the repercussions of his mother's death, Marsh has become rather reclusive, content to get lost in books, movies and games revolving around fantasy and science fiction. Marsh has one friend, Cooper Foley and that relationship is a bit tenuous. Cooper is everything that Marsh is not. Cooper is popular, a risk taker, a boy who doesn't care about what people think. Coop and Marsh are the exact opposites, yet have been friends forever. Lately Cooper has been getting into trouble, taking risks that aren't minor league anymore. The latest spot of trouble involved some counterfeit tickets and a few policemen.

Because of the trouble, Coop is sent up to his parents lake house for the summer and Marsh is left at home with no friends and even his father is on a business trip.

This is when the haunting begins. At first Marsh thinks it is all in his head, he's hearing things... he must be having hearing problems from the loud music. Then he starts to see things. Is he going crazy, is he seeing hallucinations? When these hallucinations have him fleeing his home, desperate to save his life from something that can only be made up in his head, Marsh is desperate for any kind of help. He finds that help in Coop's, older, ice-queen sister, or at least she helps him get in touch with her parents, only to find out that Cooper is missing. Desperate to find his friend, Marsh heads up their to find answers and hopefully to escape the ghoul that is chasing him.

Along the way, discoveries are made, and the game goes from a simple haunting to a desperate fight for his life, the life of his friends and maybe the world as he knows it.

The Light is a high impact read that will keep the adrenaline pumping and wanting more. This book never stopped it's forward motion.

Things I liked about The Light:
Intense action sequences
Well laid plot lines
Creepy bad guys
Supporting characters
Main characters growth

Things that I didn't like:
The main character was a bit of a pain in the beginning all whiney and whimpery, but he transitioned, so I guess that was the point
I'm not a big fan of foreshadowing and the prlogue was a foreshadow reminsicent of Twilight it was intriguing but I wasn't really that big a fan of it
There was a lot of stereotyping, which is rampant in YA fic/movies, sometimes I wish authors would step out of it. Stop with the bully/jock, the snarky/pop/hot chick, the dorky/star wars geek/rocket builder geek...

Bad points were few and far between though...definitly worth the time to read. I've been on a roll lately, both YA and adult. Go me.

RECOMMENDATIONS: For teens and adults. It is a bit scary but nothing inappropriate. Horror fans and thrill seekers should enjoy.
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GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I'll admit it-I'm a wimp-I can't do scary stories. But I have readers who love them, so I try to read some every once in awhile. Since D.J. MacHale's previous series, Pendragon, is very popular at my library, I was eager to give this one a try.
Morpheus Road: The Light had somewhat of a slow start for me. I like dialogue in my stories and this book starts off with a lot of description. But that does make for action at times, so I could see how readers who like suspense in their stories and description would enjoy that. The book does pick up eventually, but it took a long time to get there. When it does finally pick up it takes off running. (This might just be because I'm not a big description reader, but I felt like it took about half the book for it to really get going. But if you have fantasy fans who eat up those big wordy books, they would probably wouldn't think twice about the slower pace at the beginning.)

There may be some things that could scare some readers, but for the most part, I didn't see why older tweens couldn't pick this one up. The book lists ages 10+ and I think that works, especially if you have tweens who are watching big screen scary movies! I think this would be a good pick for readers who are ready for the next step up from Goosebumps. The author used to write for the TV show Are You Afraid of the Dark? (anyone else remember that show?) and I thought this book had the same feel. The plot jumped around a lot, which might have been another reason it took me awhile to get into it.
Readers looking for a good suspenseful read will enjoy Morpheus Road. This is the first in a planned trilogy, so while the story wraps up in some places, there are plenty of loose ends to give readers lots of questions. Give this one to readers who love scary ghost stories and are ready to move on from Goosebumps and Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark to something more.
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VINE VOICEon August 29, 2010
Marshall Seaver is 16 and has big plans for the summer, all involving his best friend since childhood, Cooper Foley. But Coop has other plans- he wants to hang out with girls more than build rockets. Then he gets in trouble for selling counterfeit tickets and gets exiled to his parent's lake house for the summer. This really throws a wrench into the plans they both have, but they have no idea how much worse their summer will get.

When Marsh throws and breaks a metal egg in a fit of anger, strange things start happening. Knocking in the house. Messages that don't really come from who they are supposed to. People acting strangely. Finally, the appearance of a villain- Gravedigger- that can't be real- because Marsh made him up, drawing him for a graphic novel. And while this villain can't hurt Marsh directly, he can possess people to do that work for him... and Coop has disappeared from the lake house. No one knows where he is, or if he's gone voluntarily or not.

Marsh finds himself thrown into a fight for his own survival while trying to track down Cooper. Working with an unlikely ally, Coop's icy older sister Sydney, Marsh must try to tell illusion from real peril and good spirit from evil.

It's a good book but not great. The beginning is slow but then accelerates to the point where there is no time to catch one's breath. This is the first of a projected trilogy, so I assume that the 2nd and 3rd books will take off fast, having gotten the introduction to characters done in this book. It's a blend of coming-of-age, action and supernatural. Written for 9 to 12 year olds, it's enjoyable for all ages.
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VINE VOICEon April 27, 2010
MORPHEUS ROAD: THE LIGHT is the first book in a planned trilogy from D. J. McHale. As soon as I saw the super creepy cover (which is unbelievably detailed in person) I had to read it. I'm sorry it looks like mud above, but there don't appear to be good hi-res images anywhere.

For fans of D. J. McHale's Pendragon series, Mark Diamond gets a couple brief mentions of here. Speaking of the Pendragon series, my big complaint with them and now MORPHEUS ROAD: THE LIGHT is how the main character comes across as much younger than his actual age. Marshall is sixteen in this book, but based on his actions, I would have guessed he was closer to twelve.

But that aside, MORPHEUS ROAD: THE LIGHT was a spooky fun read. Several scenes were delightfully creepy and more than once I was glad I read this book during the day...with all the lights on...clutching my dog.

MORPHEUS ROAD: THE LIGHT is really part one of a bigger story. The main plot of THE LIGHT is resolved, but the metanarrative of the trilogy still leaves lots of unanswered questions. I ended up liking this story more and more in the days after I finished it. I couldn't stop thinking about it.

If you are looking for a fun ghost story full of appropriately tame, but no less chilling, scares, pick up MORPHEOUS ROAD: THE LIGHT. I'm already anxiously awaiting the next installment of the Morpheus Road Trilogy.

Sexual Content: Kissing.
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