Referencing the Kingkiller Chronicle as Podehl's other work. He did a good job narrating. He has a good voice for male coming of age novels. 'Nuff ..Show More »said.
Probably my fault for not studying up MacHale's other work, but there was nothing about it in the description. For those not generally familiar with his work, this is definitely young adult fiction. I didn't know this so not long into it I found myself thinking, "what's with all the horror movie and awkward teenager cliches?"
After I realized that the book is for the young and I forgave all the trite stuff it actually turns out to be a pretty good story. There are some very enjoyable set pieces where the "monster" attacks. These are cinematically described and quite vivid. MacHale's words and Podehl's cadence during the mysterious revelation scenes is also quite engaging.
Unfortunately, one tool the author beats to death is Marsh's uncanny inability to predict his scene. I'm sure MacHale does this so the reader's surprise matches the character's, but it is so consistent that it's distracting. If he thinks something will go well, it becomes a catastrophe; if he thinks he's in trouble, he is saved; if he thinks she hates him, he gets a kiss. It is more predictable than gravity. Usually, there is very little contextual reason that Marsh should have his misconception. MacHale simply describes the misconception then "surprises" you with the opposite, over and over.
My hangup on the cliches and that particular device aside, I think I would recommend this book to a teenager looking to read a little light horror. The action is good; the mystery is good; and the story moves along at a steady pace.
I enjoyed Morpheus Road Book 1 tremendously; therefore, I was excited to get my ears on Book 2. Unfortunately, I felt a bit cheated by just how much t..Show More »his book relies on re-telling events already presented in Book 1-- even if the perspective is new. In fact, shortly after I started listening, I thought to myself, "O crud! I got mixed up and somehow even managed to re-purchase the book already listened to." It was THAT familiar. To be fair, the book description does say that is is a new look at those events, but I still expected more new action. One of the aspects of the first book that drew me in was the suspense. It's hard to build suspense when the events are so familiar. It took me a long time to finish this because I kept leaving it to listen to a book whose plot I did not already know.
There ARE some new elements. The struggle between Cooper and Damon is fine, and the character Maggie was very interesting. But still, the focus on re-telling the Book 1 plot seemed to overwhelm the story. The narrator is excellent, and the book is well-written. Also, I'm sure if I hadn't listened to Book 1, I'd have been enthralled with this one. (In fact, it might be the superior of the two books.) Cooper's viewpoint is interesting, but since it is intended to follow the first book, I felt that MacHale owed us a little less Book 1 plot re-hash. I'm still planning on getting Book 3, but I will be more cautious and check more reviews, and not just get it on the strength of the first two.