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Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Blood (Morpheus Road #3) by D. J. MacHale

The riveting conclusion to a thrilling trilogy from New York Times bestselling master of suspense D. J. MacHale.
From Marshall’s mysterious experiences in The Light to Cooper’s haunting perspective in The Black, the questions have intensified along with the action. And now it is time for answers.

 A final showdown is in order between best friends Marshall and Cooper and the terrifying villain Damon, who’s more determined than ever to break down the walls between the worlds of the living and the dead.

Marshall is forced to make a brave and shocking choice when the battle is on the line, and he and Cooper might be rewarded with help from someone quite unexpected….

As the gripping trilogy heads toward resolution, shocks and surprises await at the end of the long and winding Morpheous Road.

As always, D. J. MacHale was written a satisfying conclusion to a series.  Okay, so maybe this book lacked the utter OH-MY-GOODNESS-WHAT-IN-HALLA-JUST-HAPPENED, Oh-that's-adorable!, I-DON'T-UNDERSTAND-THIS-AT-ALL-BUT-I-LOVE-IT-ANYWAY....NO-WAIT-IT'S-PERFECT!* awesomeness of the Pendragon series ending (can you tell I like it?  Just a little?).  But overall, I enjoyed this series as a whole. 

I loved where the character development went with this book.  Both Marsh and Cooper are fully fleshed-out, three dimensional characters.  They have a friendship that you can't help but cheer for, but they also argue like real people. 

The plot definitely took twists I wasn't expecting.  Especially with Damon.  I won't spoil it, but I have to say, MacHale had me worried for a while there, because with that sort of twist, there are just way too many places to go wrong.  Fortunately, though, it was pulled off nicely.  It worked, and was unexpected. 

*spoiler paragraph--highlight to read (deals with Pendragon references in The Blood)*This book has some surprises for loyal Pendragon readers.  First and foremost is the appearance Uncle Press.  That made me really happy.  I suspected it for a little while, and then there was that line about "he looked like somebody's dad.  Or uncle."  And then I knew for sure.  Honestly, it was nice touch, to bring some threads from Pendragon into this series, weaving them together.  And Saint Dane was mentioned indirectly.  And Solara is Heaven!  And Osa showed up!  Yay!  *end spoilers*

I also have to point one thing out.This is random and has no significance in this review, but I find it amusing, so let's go into English teacher mode for a minute.  You are given a quote, and must draw a conclusion.  Here's mine.

Quote: "The spirit called Brennus stood hunched over, his back twisted into an unnatural hump. Though he stood on two feet he could easily reach down to walk on all fours. Tangled grey hair fell over his shoulders...His skin was shriveled and brown, looking more like a dried leather shoe than human flesh....His feet were bare and filthy, his toenails clawlike. As grotesque as he looked, he appeared frail, as if a slight breeze would knock him over."

Annie's Conclusion: Brennus is Gollum.

(And while I'm at it, there's Samwise.  Let's all take a minute and either meditate silently or fangirl-squeal about this wonderful character.  He's awesome, you have to admit.  One of my all-time favorites.  Him and Murtagh might just have to fight it out for my top spot, if Sapphira Adi or Loor don't come in and steal it in the meantime.)

Okay, this review is all over the place and quite unfocused.  Sorry 'bout that.  Overall, all you need to get from this review is that I really enjoyed this book, and the series as a whole.  The character development was good, the plot was awesome, the premise was unique.  Awesome series.  Definitely recommended, especially for Pendragon fans.  Or fans of "real" paranormal, or fans of ghost stories.
*To explain this a little: The end of The Soldiers of Halla, the tenth and final Pendragon book, is intense.  At first, you're raving mad, thinking "How could MacHale let it end this way?"  But then you keep reading, and it's all better.  Then you read the final chapter and you're supremely confused, with extreme feelings of deja vu.  You want to throw the book at the wall because you're so confused.  But then you read the last chapter again.  You realize it mirrors the first chapter of the first Pendragon book.  You actually understand what in Halla just happened.  You realize that it is utterly brilliant.  You either a) cry tears of sadness 'cause it's over and tears of joy because it was awesome or b) sit there and stare at a wall for half an hour because the ending blew your mind. 

Reviews of other Morpheus Road novels:
The Light (Morpheus Road #1) by D. J. MacHale
The Black (Morpheus Road #2) by D. J. MacHale
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