Saturday, November 1, 2008

Morbid Curiosity - Deborah LeBlanc

Leblanc has a knack for writing horror that is accessible to both the young and old. In Morbid Curiosity she once again creates real characters who the reader can really hold on to. The ride is a fun one, and as always her use of the language is interestingly simplistic yet beautiful.

Short Summary: A set of twins, Haley and Heather, have had a bad year... their father passed away and their mother mentally shut down after his death. They have been sent to live with their grandparents and now have to not only adjust to the death of their father and mother's new insanity, but also a new school, new friends, and an entirely new lifestyle with their Grandparents. When the popular girl in school asks them to hang out with her they gladly accept... when she starts talking about Chaos Magic and what it can do to change your life, they are interested. But soon Heather is afraid that they may be in over their head and Haley is not behaving the way she normally would.

If you (like me) hate snakes, be forewarned... they are in this book by the hundreds... creepy crawly things that send shivers up my spine. The simplistic writing style that Leblanc uses makes this an easy book to fly right through. The characters are fairly well defined, though I would have liked to have felt more from the twins on the recent loss of their parents, that aspect felt rather brushed over. Mark, their art teacher, who is the first to consider that something may be going on... reacts rather strangely to the whole affair. It was rather odd to me that he immediately believed in the power of Chaos magic, rather than just worrying that the girls were into some cultish behavior that might lead them down the wrong path. And I was a little surprised that he never "called home" to discuss his fear that the girls were "in a cult."

I also would have liked a little more info on our bad guy... his transition from the opening scene to the final scene would have been and interesting trek to follow. Unfortunately I can't place together how the one became the other. I have some guesses but nothing in the book supports them as either right or wrong.

Who is this book for? I would say for the 12 and up crew (maybe older depending on reading level) there is a bit of lust, but it isn't overt or overly graphic. There is no sex, and I don't recall any over the top profanity. As far as violence, there is some (it's a horror novel after all) but I didn't find it gory. Probable movie rating would be PG-13. Also this novel follows along with LeBlanc's "the good guys and bad guys all get what they deserve in the end" leading to slightly Hollywood-esque endings. Still this is a fun and light read, if you are looking for something that won't strain your mind, and will entertain without grossing you out, give this book a try.

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