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Book review: Fast-paced 'The Black' intriguing ghost story

Published: Saturday, April 30 2011 3:00 p.m. MDT

"MORPHEUS ROAD: The Black," by D.J. MacHale, Aladdin, $17.99, 405 pages (f)

The "Morpheus Road" trilogy is all about perspective.

When you walk the Morpheus Road, or the road between life and death, it's hard to say what is right and what is wrong. Everyone around Cooper Foley tells him to watch out for himself and not get involved with the troubles of others. But when it's his best friend, Marsh Seaver, in trouble, Cooper will break any of the rules to protect Marsh from the ghosts that haunt him — even if breaking those rules puts his own soul in danger.

In book two of the "Morpheus Road" trilogy, Cooper finds himself the victim of unfortunate, disorienting circumstances and he'll do anything to keep Marsh and his family from falling into the same boat. He'll do anything to get his old life back too. Cooper becomes part of a desperate battle to keep the world of the living and the dead from colliding and prevent an evil spirit from regaining mortality and ending humanity as they know it.

Author D.J. MacHale writes an intriguing ghost story that is just scary enough to make the adventures of the main character creepy and thrilling.

Book one, "The Light," and book two, "The Black," are essentially the same story, but told from two different perspectives. "The Light" is told by Cooper's best friend, and shows Marsh's side of the story. While these books could be read out of order, starting with book two would be like solving part of a mystery before knowing there was a mystery to begin with. Start in "The Light" before falling into "The Black."

MacHale creates infuriating villians, noble heroes, true friendships and explains why it's hard for ghosts to communicate with the living. "The Black" is a fast-paced page-turner that will leave you intrigued, frustrated and looking over your shoulder. The book contains a handful of mild swear words and might not be suitable for children younger than 10 years old.

IF YOU GO ...

What: D.J. MacHale book signing

When: Monday, May 2, 7 p.m.

Where: The King's English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, Salt Lake City

Web: kingsenglish.com

Hikari Loftus graduated from the University of Utah with a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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