The Light (Morpheus Road Series #1)

( 96 )

Overview

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...

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The Light (Morpheus Road Series #1)

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Overview

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 bestselling 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.

*
• *

The voices grew louder, more urgent, as if they were running out of time. It sounded like gibberish. It was gibberish. I knew that. It was a dream, right? That’s what I told myself and it calmed me down. That is, until I heard a single word break through the haze as plain and clear as if someone had leaned over and spoke directly into my ear.
—“Morpheus.”

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Sixteen-year-old Marshall Seaver is looking forward to a great summer with his best friend, Cooper Foley, when Cooper is busted for scalping tickets and sent away to the family cabin. Life has been rough for Marshall since his mother died. Once in frustation, he even smashed a small, golden ball she left him, resulting in a pool of blodd that somehow disappeared when he called his father. Does that have anything to do with the strange events that begin when his father leaves on a business trip? How about the odd circular designs he sees in spilled cocoa powder, the breezes in closed rooms, or, worst of all, the death's head drawing called "Gravedigger," done by Marshall himself, that appears to pursue him? Terrified, Marshall flees to join Cooper, only to discover that Cooper is missing.

This lengthy fantasy, full of twists and turns, keeps the reader working to unravel the illusive plot line while Marshall flirts with death, dragging various characters along with him. Marshall, the only developed character, is an older Harry Potter without super powers but with a best friend and an incipient love interest in Cooper's sister Sydney. Names are different, but the pace and events of the novel seem familiar. MacHale, known for his bestselling Pendragon series, beings another series in this open-ended novel. Undoubtedly readers can expect more adventures of the supernatural kind.

—-VOYA April 2010

Book One of this new trilogy grabs the reader immediately and never lets go. Marshall, an unassuming guy, lives vicariously through his adventurous best friend, Cooper. When Cooper is taken away after getting into too much trouble, and Marshall’s dad goes out of town, strange things begin to happen. His drawings of the supposedly imaginary Gravedigger seem to come to life and attack him. Marshall and Cooper’s older sister go in search of Cooper and unwittingly become ensnared in a dangerous nightmare. They learn that Gravedigger was just a small danger compared to what lies ahead. Marshall learns that he must locate items required by a creature much more evil and demonic. The use of foreshadowing will keep readers engaged as they learn that the end of this novel is just the beginning of Marshall’s quest. This high-octane action adventure will fly off the shelves and have students begging for the next installment.

—Library Media Connection August/September

Children's Literature - Jennifer Waldrop
The Light is the first book in the "Morpheus Road" trilogy, but it is worth noting that it is a complete and entertaining book in and of itself. There's nothing worse than reading an entire book only to discover its sole purpose is to set up the next two. Marshall Seaver's summer is off to an unfortunate start at the beginning of The Light. His dad is out of town, his best friend is banished to the lake, and he thinks he is going crazy. His summer goes steadily downhill when strange things start happening in his supposedly-empty house, his best friend disappears and he discovers that he isn't going crazy, a creature named Gravedigger really has come alive and is tormenting him. The action that follows is suspenseful and exciting, full of twists and relatively little gore, making it appropriate for younger teens. Overall, it is a great story on its own, and it leaves the reader excited and looking forward to the rest of the books in the trilogy. Reviewer: Jennifer Waldrop
Publishers Weekly
MacHale (the Pendragon series) launches the Morpheus Road trilogy with this creepy, tension-filled adventure, in which 16-year-old Marsh Seaver is terrorized by forces he doesn't understand. It's the first week of summer, and Marsh is all alone, his widower father out of town on business, and his best friend Cooper a few hours away at Thistledown Lake with his family. Things get seriously weird when Gravedigger, a skeletal comic book character of Marsh's design, starts stalking him. Convinced that only Cooper can help him, Marsh enlists the aid of Cooper's beautiful yet frosty sister, Sydney, to get to the lake. Once they arrive, they learn that Cooper is missing and true terror is just beginning. Spooky and fraught with peril, this ghost story evokes campfire horrors and classic slasher films with a relentless onslaught of macabre imagery and mortal danger. What is Gravedigger, what does he want, and how does it all tie into Cooper's fate? Unfortunately, as the first act in a larger piece, few answers are revealed, and numerous questions are left unresolved in anticipation of the next installment. Ages 10-up. (Apr.)
Kirkus Reviews
A skeletal sketch he's drawn haunts 16-year-old Marshall (Marsh) Seaver, even as he searches for his missing best friend, Cooper Foley. As more people go missing-and turn up violently killed-Marsh is left to wonder whether he is responsible for these tragic outcomes and if his friend is still alive. Unsophisticated pacing and a convoluted plot coupled with a non-authentic narrator make MacHale's first book after the popular Pendragon series-itself a series opener-a difficult read. The action ebbs and spikes randomly, and it is both too long for middle school and too juvenile for high school. Marshall reads much younger than 16, and MacHale's attempted justifications-shy guy, scientific interests, gaming fan-only enhance the age disconnect. Multiple climax points pile revelation upon revelation, and the cliffhanger ending reflects a very heavy hand. There's a few too many sharp turns for this narrative to be anything but a rough ride. (Horror. 10-14)
VOYA - Laura Woodruff
Sixteen-year-old Marshall Seaver is looking forward to a great summer with his best friend, Cooper Foley, when Cooper is busted for scalping tickets and sent away to the family cabin. Life has been rough for Marshall since his mother died. Once in frustration, he even smashed a small, golden ball she left him, resulting in a pool of blood that somehow disappeared when he called his father. Does that have anything to do with the strange events that begin when his father leaves on a business trip? How about the odd circular designs he sees in spilled cocoa powder, the breezes in closed rooms, or, worst of all, the death's head drawing called "Gravedigger," done by Marshall himself, that appears to pursue him? Terrified, Marshall flees to join Cooper, only to discover that Cooper is missing. This lengthy fantasy, full of twists and turns, keeps the reader working to unravel the illusive plot line while Marshall flirts with death, dragging various characters along with him. Marshall, the only developed character, is an older Harry Potter without super powers but with a best friend and an incipient love interest in Cooper's sister Sydney. Names are different, but the pace and the events of the novel seem familiar. MacHale, known for his bestselling Pendragon series, begins another series in this open-ended novel. Undoubtedly readers can expect more adventures of the supernatural kind. Reviewer: Laura Woodruff
Children's Literature - Bobbie Lowe
The Light is the first installment of a trilogy called "Morpheus Road." From the creator of Are You Afraid of the Dark? D.J. MacHale takes us on a journey through trouble town with a character named Marshall Seaver. Ghosts are haunting Marshall. Or is it ghosts? The answers that Marshall needs to solve this mystery only get more and more complicated every time you turn a page. I loved this book! The hauntings were very age appropriate: how scary is dripping faucets everywhere you go? I was enthralled, entranced, and ready to figure out this mystery with Marshall. Once he thinks he might have a grasp on what is going on, his best friend goes missing and no one is searching for him. After Cooper's family and the local police finally agree that Cooper is not playing around, they start to look for him and they all find out the more people who know about what is going on the more people are in danger. Marshall, with the help of Cooper's beautiful and difficult sister Sydney, searches for the truth about the haunting and the disappearance of Cooper. What they find out only takes them on a ride bigger and scarier than what they were ready for. Reviewer: Bobbie Lowe
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416965190
  • Publisher: Aladdin
  • Publication date: 12/21/2010
  • Series: Morpheus Road Series , #1
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 261,094
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.52 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.93 (d)

Meet the Author

D.J. MacHale is the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Pendragon series and the Morpheus Road series. He has written, directed and produced many television series and movies for young people that have been seen on Nickelodeon, The Disney Channel, HBO, Showtime, PBS, Discovery Kids, and the broadcast networks. D.J. lives with his family in Southern California.

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Read an Excerpt

The Light


By D.J. MacHale

Aladdin

Copyright © 2010 D.J. MacHale
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781416965190

Prologue

I believe in ghosts.

Simple as that. I believe in ghosts.

Maybe that doesn't come across as very dramatic. After all, lots of people believe in ghosts. You always hear stories about some guy who felt a “presence” or glimpsed a fleeting, unexplainable phenomenon. There are mediums who claim they can make contact with the great beyond and receive messages to let the living know that all is well. Or not. Then there are those people who operate on a more philosophical level ? the spiritual types who believe that the energy of the human soul is so powerful, it must continue on after death to some other plane of existence. Of course, there are millions of people who love getting scared by ghost stories. They may not believe, but they sure have fun pretending.

I'm not like any of those people. At least not anymore. A little over a week ago you could have put me in the category of somebody who didn't necessarily believe in anything supernatural, though I did like horror movies. But that was then. Before last week. A week is like ? nothing. How many particular weeks can anybody really remember? A week can fly by like any other. Or it can change your life. You tend to remember those weeks.

I remember last week.

It was the week the haunting began.

Or maybe I should call it the hunting because that's what it was. I was being hunted. And haunted. It wasn't a good week.

My name is Marshall Seaver. People call me Marsh. I live in a small town in Connecticut called Stony Brook. It's a suburb of New York City where moms drive oversize silver trucks to Starbucks and most kids play soccer whether they want to or not. It's the kind of place where kids are trained from birth to compete. In everything. School, sports, friendships, clothes ? you know, everything. I'm not sure what the point is other than to win bragging rights. Luckily, my parents didn't buy into that program. They said I should set my own priorities. I liked that. Though it puts pressure on me to figure out what those priorities are.

I guess you'd call us middle class. We've only got one car and it's almost as old as I am. I can't believe it's still running, because we drove it into the ground. My parents liked to travel. That was one of their priorities. Whenever they had two days off, we'd hit the road, headed for some national monument or backwater town that served awesome gumbo or had historical significance or maybe just sounded different. I complained a lot about how boring it was, but to be honest, I didn't hate it. Bumping around in the back of a car wasn't great, but the adventure of it all made it worthwhile. It's kind of cool to see things for real instead of on TV. I miss those trips.

Other than that, my life is pretty usual. Unlike a lot of people in this town, I've never been inside a country club. Most of my clothes come from Target. I ride my bike to school. We don't live in a monster-size house, but it's plenty big enough for the three of us.

That is, when there were still three of us.

Things have changed. Not that long ago I thought I had a pretty good handle on what normal was. I was wrong. Nothing about my life is normal anymore. The events that unfolded over the last week weren't just about me, either. Many lives were touched and not all for the better. As I look back, I can't help but wonder what might have happened if different decisions had been made. Different paths taken. So many innocent choices added to a butterfly effect that fed the nightmare. Or created it. I guess it goes without saying that I'm still alive. Not everyone was so lucky. That's the harsh thing about ghost stories. Somebody has to die. No death, no ghost. I survived the week and that gives me a feeling of guilt I'll carry forever. Or at least for as long as I live. I hope that's a good long time, but there are no guarantees because this story isn't done.

The hunt is still on.

My story may sound like a fantasy, and maybe some of it is. But many things happened over that week that can't be ignored or explained away as having sprung from an overly imaginative mind. People died. Lives were changed. That was no dream. After what I saw and experienced, there's one other bit of reality I have to accept.

I believe in ghosts.

After you hear my story, I think you will too.

© 2010 D. J. MACHALE

1

Cooper Foley was in trouble. Again.

“What were you thinking?” I screamed at him. “Counterfeit tickets? Really?”

“Easy, Ralph,” Coop replied calmly. “I didn't know they were bogus.”

Cooper always called me Ralph.

“Even so,” I argued. “It's illegal to scalp real tickets.”

“No, it's not,” he corrected. “Not if you sell them at face value.”

“Did you sell them at face value?”

He smiled. “No.”

I wanted to smack him.

Cooper and I were making the long walk to school on the last day of the year before summer vacation. He was my best friend. Okay, my only friend. My only good friend, anyway. I think the main reason we got along so well was because we were completely different. I worry. Cooper doesn't. I think things through. Cooper doesn't. I freeze in social situations. Cooper doesn't. I hate playing sports. Cooper doesn't. I worry about what people think of me. Cooper doesn't.

I think we stayed friends because there was never any competition between us. We had plenty of fights over the years, but they always ended up in a wrestling match that lasted about eight seconds. No punches were ever thrown in anger. As we walked along on that hot June day, I was ready to plot out all the exciting adventures we'd be sharing that summer. Instead I found out that Cooper was in trouble. Again.

“What's going to happen?” I asked.

Cooper shrugged as if he didn't really care. “Nothing. I got spanked, that's all. Nobody thinks I printed out a bunch of phony Yankees tickets. And for the record, I didn't.”

“Then who did?”

He gave me a sly smile. “Can't tell you that, Ralph. I'd have to kill you.”

Coop was changing ? and not for the better. Though he was always a wild guy, he never got into serious trouble. With him it was about being a goof in class or skateboarding without a helmet. The thing was, he always made the teachers laugh and didn't need a helmet because he never crashed. Ever. Once when we were around ten, we snuck into the private stable of some uber-rich Wall Street guy. I was so scared, I wanted to puke. In fact, I did. All over my pants. Not Coop. He hopped on the back of a prize thoroughbred and rode it, bareback, out of the stable and across the huge lawn, shouting, “Yippiekiyay!” He didn't get in trouble, either. I, on the other hand, caught hell for ruining my pants. Cooper lived a charmed life. He never puked on his pants.

That is, until we got to high school. That's when he started pushing things. He got into fights. Real fights. He'd skip school. His parents started coming down on him for his grades, which made it pretty tense around the Foley house. They grounded him ? he snuck out. We'd go for weeks without seeing each other because he started hanging around with some older guys. They smelled like bad news, so I didn't go anywhere near them. I'd bet anything they had something to do with the counterfeit tickets Coop was busted for selling.

None of this was like Coop. At least not the Coop I knew. Yeah, he liked to have fun and push some limits, but he wasn't a bad guy. Or maybe I was just naive.

“It's okay, Ralph,” he assured me. “It was dumb. I get it. I'm not going there again.”

I'd heard that promise before.

“C'mon!” he said. “Tomorrow the gun goes off on summer. What's the plan? I know you've got a plan.”

My mood changed instantly. Coop had that ability. When he got psyched up about something, he brought everyone else right along with him. He was right. I had a plan. I'd been looking forward to this summer for months.

“It's gonna be great,” I said with excitement. “The rocket kits finally came in. We can set up shop and build 'em at my house ? wait'll you see the new plasma Dad got from work ? hello, Yankees in high def ? then we can head up to the reservoir and camp for a couple of days and launch 'em.”

Cooper gave me a blank stare. “Okay,” he said with absolutely no enthusiasm.

Undaunted, I pressed on. “Oh! And the Jansens said I could take their Hobie Cat out whenever I wanted. I'm thinking we can race the ferry out to Captain's Island like we did last summer. Remember that?”

Cooper barely reacted. No, I take that back. Each time I mentioned something I thought was cool, he winced like I was nailing him with poison darts.

“What?” I asked, confused. “Doesn't that sound great?”

“Uhh ? yeah,” he muttered awkwardly. “But I was kinda thinking more like we should hang out at the beach.”

“No problem,” I said. “We'll do that, too.”

“A lot?” he asked.

“Yeah, sure, if you want. But there's so much more we can do.”

Coop gave me a sly smile. “Not that involves girls in bikinis.”

Couldn't argue with that.

He added, “I'm thinking the beach at the Point will be our base of operations. Or maybe our entire operation. Why not? We've only got a couple of months.”

“But ? really? That's all you want to do? Hang out at the beach?”

“No! I'm all for the rocket thing,” he exclaimed. “Let's get that on the schedule for, oh ? sometime in late August.”

“You're killing me,” I said.

I was disappointed in Coop. He hated being bored and so did I. He was always looking for different things to do and coming up with new adventures that kept us moving. That was his job. Trolling for girls at the beach was okay by me, but I didn't want it to be our sole focus. Besides, the girls I liked had more interesting things to do than spend every waking moment sitting around at the beach comparing tans.

“Aw, c'mon, Ralph!” Coop said. “What's better than sitting on a blanket in the warm sand next to three or four or eight girls wearing little more than underwear?”

“And talking about ? what? Reality TV? Perez Hilton?”

“Okay, now you're killing me !” he said. “Who cares what we talk about?”

I guess I did. Unfortunately. Truth was, I needed help in the girl department. Whenever I was around somebody I liked, I got self-conscious. I'm not sure why, either. I think I'm okay-looking and wasn't hit too hard by the acne stick. I've got blond hair and brown eyes, which I've heard more than once is a pretty good combination. I think part of my trouble is that I get nervous and start talking too much about things I'm interested in, and most girls don't care about graphic novels or wartime history. At least not the ones I've met. Coop may have had high hopes for a stellar summer at the beach, but I couldn't see myself starting up a casual conversation about the Battle of Bull Run with a bunch of near-naked girls. They'd crucify me.

Besides, I liked building rockets.

“C'mon, Ralph!” Cooper said. “What's wrong with messing around a little? That's what summer's for. It's in the rule book.”

“There's nothing wrong with it,” I shot back. “But there's other stuff too. You always liked doing stupid stuff like building rockets.”

“I liked Power Rangers too ? when I was six.” He put his arm around my shoulder and said, “We are looking at what could be the most awesome summer of our lives, and all we have to do is ? uh-oh.”

He spotted something over my shoulder.

“Trouble Town,” he whispered.

The courtyard in front of school was packed, but the crowd parted magically to reveal a stunning girl walking toward us. She had long, shiny black hair that fell to her shoulders and dark skin that was the product of an early season tan. Judging from her short shorts, she didn't mind showing off her long legs. She was hot, and she knew it. Her dark eyes were focused on Coop. My mouth went dry. Something was about to happen. She walked right up to us, locked eyes with Cooper, and snarled a simple, succinct, and venomous “Idiot,” then blew past us without breaking stride.

“I love you too, Agnes,” Coop called to her.

Whenever Cooper gave a girl a hard time, he called her Agnes. With guys it was Richard. In this case the Agnes was Sydney Foley. Cooper's older sister. She and Coop didn't like each other much, which was too bad because I wouldn't have minded hanging out with her. I didn't have the same trouble making conversation with her like I did with other girls. That's because when I was with her, I couldn't speak at all. Seriously. My tongue would swell up and my throat would close. I guess you would call her intimidating. She and Coop had the same dark hair and blue eyes, but that's where the similarity ended. The girl was cold. I mean icy. She was a year ahead of us in school and light-years ahead academically. I think she'll have a shot at class valedictorian. She always had a boyfriend but never anyone for long. I guess she got bored easily. Sydney Foley was definitely out of my league ? if I were to be in a league. Still, I would have welcomed the chance to hang out with her a little, and if it just so happened to be on one of those days that Coop made me go to the beach and she just so happened to be there in a bikini, maybe I'd have to think twice about being so critical of Coop's summer plans.

“I guess she found out about the scalping thing,” I said weakly.

“Yeah. Dinner tonight's gonna be a real party,” he lamented. “I'll get lectured by my parents about straightening up and being responsible while she stares through me with those undead vampire eyes. Yeesh.”

I didn't think Sydney's eyes looked undead at all, but I could see where getting stared at would be unnerving. But that's just a guess. Sydney barely knew I existed.

Coop shrugged it off and broke out a big, winning smile. “But it's cool. Tonight I pay the price and tomorrow ? summer!”

He gave me a double okay sign. That was his way of saying not to worry and that it's all good.

“You know what?” he added. “I say we load up on frozen pizzas, head to your house, and build us some rockets.”

I had to smile. “You're a piece of work, you know that?”

He gave me a friendly shove and said, “Absolutely. It's all part of the Foley mystique.”

Coop had done it again ? he made things right. As we strode into school, I had new hope that the vacation might turn out to be decent after all, especially if I got the old Coop back.

The last day of school was pretty much a blow-off. You're supposed to go to classes, but exams are over and teachers don't care what you do. Most everybody hangs out and gets their yearbooks signed with “See you this summer!”—which seems like a lame thing to write, but who am I to judge? I didn't buy a yearbook, so I headed right for the art department. That's where I hung out when I wasn't in class. The art rooms were a refuge for those who didn't fit into a particular clique ? which I guess meant we were our own clique. But since we didn't run with each other outside of school, it was a limited social circle.

The art department wasn't just a hideout. I liked to draw. I'm pretty good, too. Whatever talent I have I got from my mom. There were a bunch of sketches in my cubby that I'd been procrastinating about bringing home because my bedroom was already a mess of paper and half-finished drawings. Bringing home more would probably make Dad's head explode, but I couldn't leave anything at school over the summer, so it was time to clear out.

I'd been working on an idea that was slow to form. I wanted to create my own superhero graphic novel. That sounds fairly cool and a no-brainer except for one thing . . . it's a no-brainer. Meaning: Superheroes have been done to death. Pretty much every superpower has already been explored. Besides, I didn't like the whole tights-and-cape thing. For a while I monkeyed around with a character I considered to be the “true” Superman. My theory was that if Superman was powerful because he came from a planet with heavier gravity than Earth, then why the heck did he have huge muscles if he never had to strain to do anything? In reality he should look like a skinny wimp. But creating a superhero that looked like limp lettuce didn't seem promising, so I scrapped it.

What popped out of my head instead was something I hadn't planned on or set out to do. I kept coming back to a character I called “Gravedigger.” He wasn't a superhero at all. In fact, he looked more like a super villain . He was more or less a skeleton with a thin covering of powder white skin. His fingers were abnormally long and spiderlike. His eyes were hollow. He wore a dark cloak and a broad-brimmed black hat. Very creepy. I hadn't even come up with any stories about him. I simply sketched him in various settings . . . skulking through an ancient graveyard, lurking through the ruins of an old church, cowering around dark alleys. (I'm good at depicting skulk, lurk, and cower.) His signature weapon was a sharp, lethal-looking, double-edged pick like you use to crack rocks in a mine. Or gouge out the earth to dig a grave.

Whenever I tried to draw something else and use a bright color like blue or red, my hand automatically went back to the blacks and grays. I don't want to say that Gravedigger was drawing himself, but the ideas came easily and I sketched hundreds of incarnations of the guy. I didn't even know what the point was. Who was he? Was he evil? Was he the living dead? Did he need to eat a potato and get a little sun? I didn't know. Gravedigger pretty much represented all the work I had done that year and it was time to move him home, so I began the long process of stacking the pages.

“You are obsessed with death,” came a soft, flat voice over my shoulder.

I turned quickly to see Tyler Frano, a student teacher in the art department. The guy was shorter than me by at least a foot ? not quite Munchkin-like but in that ballpark. He always dressed in black because he said it hid the streaks of sketching charcoal that got on his clothes. I think it was more because he was an art poser and wearing black made him look the part. He had no personality that I could sense and always spoke in a dull monotone. He was creepy but harmless. I think.

“I'm not obsessed with death,” I said defensively. “I'm developing a character.”

“It's all you ever draw,” he countered. “That's bordering on obsession.”

“Well, maybe, yeah, but ? it has nothing to do with death.”

Frano gave me a skeptical look. “Or perhaps you have no significant life experiences to draw upon for inspiration.”

The guy was starting to piss me off. “No, I have choices,” I said. “I just choose to develop this character.”

“Good luck with that,” he said with a superior sneer and walked off to do whatever student teachers do on the last day of school.

The guy was all wrong. I had plenty of inspiration. And I wasn't obsessed with death. I glanced through a few of the Gravedigger sketches, trying to imagine what Frano saw in them. Okay, my character looked skeletal. Okay, he hung around cemeteries. Okay, I called him Gravedigger. Okay, he was all that I drew. So what? Did that constitute an obsession with death?

I quickly jammed the sketches into a portfolio, zipped it up, and got out of there. I was sick of hanging around the art department. Vacation couldn't come fast enough.

At 2:05 it did. Summer. I love the feeling of stepping out of school on the last day of the year, because the next day of school was as far away as it could get. I think I was especially psyched about this summer because it held so much possibility. I even had some money to spend. I had been lucky enough to land a part-time job with a small company that made trophies and awards. In a town like Stony Brook, where so many kids went to sports camp, there was a huge need for all sorts of trophies. It wasn't exactly exciting work, but building and engraving the awards made me feel like I was using my artistic talent in some small way. Better still, I could work as much as I wanted because the regular engraver had quit. He was a kid a few years older than me named Mark Dimond. Since Mark left, there was plenty of work for me. I planned on putting in at least a few hours a day to keep the cash flowing. Thank you, Mark.

So the summer was shaping up nicely. I had money coming in from a job that didn't suck, lots of projects to work on, and truth be told, I wasn't going to mind putting in a little time at the beach. I figured that as long as Cooper kept his promise and didn't do anything else that was dumb or criminal, the two of us were set for a summer to remember.

© 2010 D. J. MACHALE

Continues...


Excerpted from The Light by D.J. MacHale Copyright © 2010 by D.J. MacHale. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 98 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2010

    An UnenLIGHTening Disappointment

    I am a fan of D. J. MacHale; I've read all 10 of his Pendragon books and basically grew up on him. However, I found Morpheus Road: The Light to be highly disappointing. First of all, Marshall Seaver is basically Mark Dimond's twin brother. I loved the Pendragon references, they were clever, but come on, D. J. Invent a new character, please! I could relate all of the characters in this book to ones from Pendragon. Marshall was Mark, Sydney was Loor, Gravedigger was Saint Dane...the comparisons were way too obvious. Secondly, the plot went NOWHERE. N-O-W-H-E-R-E. I was waiting for something interesting to happen the whole time. I understand the idea of "plot twists" or "new directions," but that does not mean throw in random things just for the sake of being creative. Many of the sub-scenes made no sense in Marshall's character development (which, incidentally, there was none of). My personal favorite line went something like this: "Everything that had happened didn't matter anymore." Mind you, this was on page 300-something, near the book's end. Basically, it was D. J.'s way of saying that the whole first book doesn't really matter; he just felt like taking you for a ride. Fun stuff, D. J. Next time, please focus on plot and character development like you did in Pendragon. Thanks!

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 21, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Morpheus Road: The Light

    The Light by DJ McHale Is The First Book In The Morpheus Road Trilogy. This Book Is An Awesome Read! I Was Hooked By Chapter 2. The Main Charater Is Marsh. The Book Begins With Marsh Speaking About The Prior Week And What's Happening Now. His Father Goes On A Business Trip And His Best Friend Goes Missing. The Story Begins Rather Slow But Picks Up Really Quickly In a Mind-Boggling Race. I'm Still Trying To Find Out What Morpheus Road Is, Although That Information Will Probably Be Revealed When The Other Two Books Are Released. Spooky things Begin Happening in His Home That He Can't Seem To Understand Or Explain. Marshall Invents An Imaginary Character, Gravedigger, Who Comes To Life Before His Eyes. Thrilling Horror Hides In Every Page As Marsh Trys To Find Out Where His Best Friend Coop Has Gone And Why Gravedigger Seems To Be After Him. This Book Is Like Encyclopedia Brown Meets The TV Show Supernatural. The Ending Took Quite A Turn And Was Told From Another Character's Narration, Which Is Awesome! This Book Locked Me In And Kept Me On Edge! I Believe It Will Keep You On Edge Too!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Slow start

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2012

    Beast

    Great book!!!!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Anonymous

    I loved this book. It was one of my favorite books ever! I would stay up late at night reading and my mom would yell at me to go to sleep. This book is a page turning thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat. Once you start reading you cant stop. When you get to the end, you just wamt more and wish that it didnt stop there.........

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    Hospital

    This book slowed my heart rate down. Its that good.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2012

    Awesome

    This book is amazing and sad

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2011

    Addicted

    Master of suspense D.J. MacHale is back after his ny times best selling series Pendragon. When Marshall Seaver's best friend Cooper goes missing, the haunting begins. Is it his imagination or somethong far more sinister? When fate slams unlikely friends Marsh and Sydney (Cooper's "ice witch" older sister) together, the begin the hunt for the truth of what really happened to Cooper on that lake in Thistledown, but are they going to like the truth?i never said they would. But the real question is will they survive the hauntings that are steadily getting deadlyer as well as more frequent?Find out the truth in this epic hunt, complete with cover to cover suspense. (Warning; does cuss, so not for ages 10 and under) wether you are a loyal dj fan or not, this book is the right choice.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 17, 2011

    Amazing

    This book was very interesting and suspenseful. I really loved it. I wish they could've gave a little more details about some of the characters in the book, but other than that, it was a fantastic book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2014

    The light

    As yiure guarenteed to love marsh for his integrity to figure everything out for friendship, cooper is an equally as loveablr narrator. He makes more mistakes and can be sort of stupid. As a reader this is often times more relateable than having a perfect main character who is more intelligent than their reader. As much as mchale doesnt do a fantastic job in creating main characters different from those in his other sieries (SYLOs tucker peirce and Morpheus roads marshall seaver) his characters are very entertaining in their endeavors.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2014

    Great read

    cool and suspencefull

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2013

    Captivating, This story will keep you turning the page for more

    The overall mystery of this book will keep you reading so as to get answers. The macabre touch is tantalizing with it raising so many questions and possibilities, but doesnt scare you that much. Most of the questions asked will be answered in the next book. Be sure to read the rest of the series! You wont regret it!!! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2013

    AMAZING

    This is SUCH a freaking amazing book!!!!!

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  • Posted February 12, 2013

    This series is definitely one of my favorite series of all time.

    This series is definitely one of my favorite series of all time.  The writing was very tasteful for a children's novel and was very fast paced and thrilling.  Each chapter kept me wanting more.  I don't care if this is in the kid's section of the book store.  So is Harry Potter, so therefore, I'm telling all of my adult friends about how great this series is!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2013

    Ff

    Chrj

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2013

    By Amazing

    Really good and scary

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  • Posted November 27, 2012

    This amazing, page turning book, will have you on the edge of yo

    This amazing, page turning book, will have you on the edge of your seat. I basically fell out of mine, yes, it was that good! This book is full of twist and turns that will leave you wanting more. The ending is magnificent, and is told from another characters point of view. The main character is Marshall Seaver, a regular 16 year old good boy. And he has a potential love interest in his best friends sister, Sydney. The two go on a ride full of surprises as a creature from Marshall's journal comes alive right in front of his eyes. Its name? Gravedigger. Marshall tries to find out what is going on, and find Cooper. All while this "creature" is chasing him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    Woooooohooooo

    Great amazing exlent book

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 13, 2012

    Sab

    She sat alone on her bed thinking, she felt her pulse and went to her berewing table. she started to make a potion. But this one glowed bubbly green she got she summoned a spark of lightning and it started to smoke. She put a cork on the vial a spun it around a couole times

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2012

    The best

    Best book ever.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 98 Customer Reviews

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