Rae's Reviews > The Light

The Light by D.J. MacHale
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's review
Feb 26, 2011

did not like it
bookshelves: audiobooks, paranormal, so-fail-it-s-just-fail, why-did-i-read-this, why-was-this-on-my-to-read-shelf-ag
Read in July, 2011

Several years ago I read the Pendragon series by D.J. McHale and rather enjoyed them, so when I saw that he had a new series out I certainly wanted to read it. Honestly, getting this book was just a waste of a good Audible.com credit. Spoilers coming up…if you still want to read this book, that is…

I really, really wanted to like this book, and kept on figuring that it was going to get better in a couple of chapters…it never did. Let’s start off with the main character shall we? Marshall Ciever is an art geek. He draws all the time. He practically lives in the art room….oh wait, no, that’s me. I can’t say how excited I was when I read that bit, thinking for once, a protagonist that’s an artist!!! At least that’s what his character says in the first few chapters. However, this part of his character is mentioned early on to establish that he created a character of his own named Gravedigger (who’s basically the grim reaper…really creative, right?) and then that part of his personality is never really shown again. I mean, there could have been so many opportunities for him to utilize his talents in his adventure, but instead Marshall turns into a stupid, poorly characterized stump of writing.

Now onto the horribly trope-tastic best friend. Cooper Foaly is the cool, popular, athletic buddy of Marsh’s who goes missing early on in the story. Everyone in the book is always commenting on how strange it is that the two of them work as best friends, because after all, the art geek can’t possibly have a hip best friend! Ugh, stereotypes like this absolutely drive me up the wall!!!

I can’t mention Cooper Foaly without going into his bratty older sister Sydney. She’s the foil to Cooper – where he’s relaxed, she’s tense; where he’s a slacker, she’s ivy league potential; on and on and on. From the first mention of her, I knew that she was going to end up being the romantic interest by halfway through the book. So called it. The whole “omg how do you two work out since she’s awesome and you’re a art geek?!” thing is repeated with Sydney…but worse.

Earlier, I mentioned that I’d liked the Pendragon books (also penned by D.J. McHale. In those books two of the main characters are unlikely friends. Mark is the smart dork, and Courtney is the athletic popular girl in that series, but unlike in “Morpheus Road: The Light,” Mark and Courtney actually work as characters. They are dynamic, fun, and actually seem like more then poorly cut out pieces of cardboard. In “The Light,” it seemed like McHale was trying to clone Mark and Courtney and instead a horrible disfigured creature crawled out of the dark.

Oh, and did I mention that it takes place in the exact same city as the Pendragon books? Marshall apparently also works at the same place that Mark does…so did ANY of the adventures from the other book series happen? Continuity dude, continuity.

With it’s poor story, lazy character-building, and overall feeling of awkward writing, I would not recommend this book to pretty much anyone.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Kogiopsis (new)


Nice choice.

message 2: by Rae (new) - rated it 1 star


Nice choice."

Well, when I was describing how it seemed like the characters were a failed clone, it was the ONLY image that came to mind that really fit!

Artemis Grace I agree.

M.C. Crocker I know you had several issues with this book and really I'm only commenting on one of them and that is your issue with continuity. When reading it I noted and really there isn't an issue with continuity, simply because it is possible for Mark to have had his adventure with Marshall being none the wiser of it, particularly when the ending of the Pendragon series where things were 'normal'. (That is the best way to put it without giving spoilers to others who haven't but wish to read Pendragon.)

That aside, if you read the last book in the Morpheus Road series you discover that there is a reason why things were set in the same place, and the continuity is not ruined one bit but rather - the best word I can use without spoiling things for others is 'validated'. It was a rather brilliant in my opinion how DJ Machale handled the whole continuity issue to be honest.

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