Book Review – The Light by Michael Grant

Title: The Light

Author:  Michael Grant

Format: Hardback

Written/Published: 2013

Way back at the beginning of this blog one of the first few books I reviewed was a book called Fear by Michael Grant.  It was the fifth book in the six book series and I found that it had put a very rotten taste in my mouth.  That rotten taste is still there with some of the dark and disturbing imagery impossible to remove or forget no matter how much I try to.  Yet, despite it all having been through that horridly difficult book I had to see the series to the end.  I had to know how the FAYZ ended and who walked out alive and who didn’t.  In some ways it is a compulsion, and so when I realized the book was out and in the library I picked it up.

With a deep breath I opened the book and started to read hoping I would not have to trudge through the same horrors that I did before.  I wasn’t worried about the formatting which was another issue I had with Fear I just didn’t want to be left with more gruesome imagery at least not more of the kind that actually gets to me. (Yes the book was gruesome filled with a lot of death and destruction but it didn’t get to me as much as what was contained in Fear).

When I started the book Fear I was annoyed right off as Michael seemed to be going for something new and wiring the perspective of two people in the same scene at once it was confusing and annoying as I was trying to read and re-read to figure out if the thoughts and words belonged to the character Gaia or Diana.  Then things went to ‘normal’ and the book read like all the other books read where I was turning the next page wanting to know what would happened next horrified at the death of some and hoping for the death of other character.  There were moments where I was disturbed by this book particularly when it came to the character Alex but it was fortunate that his parts were not long or prevalent like the disturbing moments in Fear were.

In all, the book was a quick read for me despite being a little over 400 pages long.  It was hard to put down as I wanted to know who lived and who died and a lot of people died I will tell you that!  I found myself caring for some of the characters again rather than being put off by them and the last character I thought I would ever find myself concerned over was the one I hated to see go the most.  So, despite my complaints, Michael Grant can be a decent author – I mean of his seven books I’ve read, only two can I say I loathed.  Those are some pretty good odds in my opinion!

Thus I will give this last and final book a three page rating.  Some of you may notice that this is the same rating I gave Fear which I loathed but I will admit at the time I was much more generous with my ratings and if I could go back and re-rate fear I would give it a solid two placing The Light clearly above it.

As to the series as a whole considering I mentioned how I recommended in the past to others, might still recommend it but caution people that it can get very dark and gruesome.  If I were to rate the whole story from the first book Gone to the last The Light I would give it a three page rating, it had the potential to be a four page series but Fear just really drags it down that much.

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Book Review – Morpheus Road: The Black by D.J. MacHale

Title:  The Black

Author: D.J. MacHale

Format: Paperback

Written: 2011

Published: 2012

The Black by D.J. MacHale is the second in a series.  You can go back and read my review of the first book called The Light.  It was a good book and I will start off by saying that this book will have spoilers for The Light so you are warned!

Entering into The Black I knew that this was in some ways a retelling of the first book only from the perspective of Cooper.  As D.J. MacHale says in his foreword he always wanted to explore the reasons why the dead when communicating with the living were always cryptic rather than spelling out clear messages.  He said it was a fact that always bothered him despite how good of a plot device it was, such that he himself used it.  In the end D.J. did a wonderful job.  He gave an interesting sight to the afterlife and why and how things happened as they did.  There were a lot of little surprising twists as you learn what was and wasn’t done by Cooper and what sort of help he got along with why he did the things he did.

Over all I liked the book but it was a bit lengthy and got a bit boring as I mostly knew the outcome of the end of the book despite not knowing the whys.  Additionally it was a bit tiresome reading over scenes I had already read only from a new perspective.   The book was also a very large info dump, it explained a lot of thing and helped it all make sense but it was still tedious at times.  In a way I would say that The Black is your classic second book of a series, where it is a lot of connecting information and set up with a lot less action not that D.J skimped on it as there were several fight and action sequences.

In the end, I think I would have this book a three out of five pages.  It was good but hard to get through at times and is an important read if you want to read the last book in the series which I plan to do when it becomes available in the library because I am curious how things will end and the overall story plot is still quite good even if the second book is a little more difficult to get through.

Book Review – Morpheus Road: The Light by DJ MacHale

Title: Morpheus Road: The Light
Author: DJ MacHale
Format: Paperback
Written: 2010
Published: 2010

As it seems it is my usual, I came to The Light because of the author. I first became familiar with DJ MacHale when I randomly picked up the first book of his fabulous series known as the Pendragon Series. His writing style was something that caught me by surprise, and I fell in love and thus, long ago, when I saw he had a new book series out I picked it up to look at it and was instantly intrigued by the idea of his new character, Marshall Seaver, who is being haunted by a character of his own creation.

After having had a bad experience with with another author who I will review down the road, I was wary to go back and read a book by an author I had read before. I was fortunate that MacHale did not let me down. His story, told in the first person, as his norm, was enchanting and gripping from the start, with characters full of life and quirks that make them vastly unique and very him. Having read the Pendragon series the characters though different were reminiscent of the ones from his first series. Additionally, the setting of Stony Brook was the same and as such the novel even warranted a mention of Mark Diamond a character from the Pendragon series, which brought a smile to my face. Outside of that, the book was fantastic, frightening, and quite gripping. I loved almost every minute of the story. It wasn’t until the end of the book that I finally found myself getting bored, and that was simply because I knew I was at the end and it was a calmer period where most mysteries were figured out and things were starting to wind down.

Yet, before the end things ramped back up for an interesting twist. I think the biggest surprise turn at the end of the book was the epilogue. It continues on in a first person narrative and you are left thinking it is a continuation and reflection until the last lines and you discover that it isn’t what you think it is, and it makes the promise and perspective of the next book interesting and chilling at the same time. As MacHale and his characters put it, things are heading for “Trouble Town.” Over all, I would give the book four out of five pages because I know not everyone is down for reading a creepy supernatural story that will have the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end.

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