Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Review: The Black (Morpheus Road, Book 2) by D.J. MacHale

Publisher:  Aladdin
Publication Date:  April 19th, 2011

Cooper Foley always had a knack for finding trouble, but nothing he’s ever experienced could have prepared him for his latest adventure: He has landed square in the middle of a border war between the worlds of the living and the dead.

At the end of The Light, Book One of the Morpheus Road trilogy, Marshall Seaver learned the truth about what happened to his missing best friend, Cooper. Now, the mystery continues to unfold, only this time through Cooper’s eyes.

What did Marshall’s terrifying encounters with Gravedigger have to do with spirits from another existence? Who is Damon, and what role did he play in Cooper’s dilemma? Most importantly, what is the mysterious Morpheus Road? It’s time to learn, as bestselling author and master of thrilling suspense D.J. MacHale delivers another fast-paced, fantastical story that has all of existence hanging in the balance.
(Courtesy of Goodreads)

Before I get into what I liked about this book, I'll tell you about what I hated.  What can I say?  I'm a bad-news-first type person...  There was really only one thing I hated about this book.  The cover.  It sucks.  If I hadn't read the first book (Morpheus Road: The Light), and loved it so much, I would not have been drawn to this one AT ALL.  Of course, right at the beginning of the book, the protagonist, Cooper Foley, lets you know that you need to read the first book first, so I guess it doesn't really matter...

Now that I've shared my feelings on that matter, I will tell you what I liked...  I'll start by saying that the aforementioned first book in the series was my favorite Horror/Thriller of 2010.  Super-scary.  On-the-edge-of-my-seat scary.  I recommended it to all of my 5th and 6th graders and they loved it too.  If you are unfamiliar with the first book, check out this trailer, because it rocks!

The first book, is obviously told from Marshall Sever's point of view, as you probably ascertained from the above trailer.  The Black is told from his friend Cooper's POV.  I'm honestly not sure which book I liked better, but I can say that they were both great.  I think book number one was scarier, but far more questions were answered in book two.  We certainly learn a lot more about how Marshall solved the mystery of Cooper's disappearance in book one.  We also learn the story behind Gravedigger.  Not at all what I expected.  Quite entertaining and very clever.  Anyhoo-  as always, I don't want to give anything away, so I will leave you with this; if you like to scared, this is a not-to-be-missed series.  Short enough for a reluctant reader, with enough action and plotline to make the avid reader happy.  Enjoy!

My Rating:    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★   

Grade Level Recommendation:  No sex. No offensive language to speak of.  A good deal of violence, though not particularly gory or over-the-top.  Very scary.  Appropriate for grades 4 and up (ages 9+) provided the reader doesn't scare easily.

Note:  You really MUST read book number one, The Light, first.  It is very necessary in understanding this book.  You can read the Goodreads synopsis HERE.  Also,the cover is creepy-awesome!  :-)  See:

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