Sunday, March 25, 2012

Last Stop by Peter Lerangis

Published March 20, 2012.

It’s been six months since David Moore’s father disappeared. After months of strange behavior—baby talk, forgetfulness—he simply vanished forever. The Public Guardians searched Franklin City, but they couldn’t turn up a single clue. David is beginning to give up hope when his subrail train stops between stations at the abandoned Granite Street platform. On the other side of the glass he sees a crowd of people. In the middle is his father, waving.

When a psychic suggests that David may have the power to see into another dimension, he and his friends scour the city in search of a portal to the other side. To learn if his father is alive or dead, David will need to discover the secrets of the abandoned station.

I just wanna hug Open Road for re-releasing all of this epically awesome cheese. I'm loving it. And LAST STOP is at the top of the cheese pile in a good way.

It's a quick read in more of a middle grade way than in an old school YA way but aside from the age of the MC (13, I think) it could definitely pass for one of your Diane Hoh's or insert your favorite old school YA horror writer's name here. It's got a creepy element to it that'll have you thinking one way but end up on a completely different path by the end of it. I really liked the twist, the explanation as to why David was seeing what he was seeing and it definitely made me want to keep reading in the series. It had me asking, "where is this going, exactly?"

Like a lot of the other old school YA cheese I've been reading the characters aren't immensely likable, especially David's female friend, whose name escapes me at the moment. But they end up having this rapid growth spurt once the story really picks up that kind of washes away their childishness from the beginning and hands them this wisdom that's required to make it all the way to the end.

The whole psychic element that the blurb talks about I felt ended up being really contrived but I was easily able to overlook that for the greatness that is the rest of the premise. I like how it ended up not going where I thought it was going to go. I liked how it opened up these crazy new doors because of that derailment (no pun intended) and now it has me jonsing for the next installment. Thankfully this series is an older one so the titles are available now. But that doesn't erase the giddy of Open Road re-releasing them. It's like having a Christmas present that you already know about but you're still genuinely surprised to see it anyway.

LAST STOP is one of the few cheese books that I think the majority of people will genuinely like for something other than its cheese factor. The ending is the real beginning and it's such an effective hook that I'm mentioning how I want to keep reading the series for what, the third time now in this review? That's something.

Ban Factor: Medium - It could end up on their radar for children bucking the system but its innocuous enough to skate by them. This is one of those titles that they'd probably have to actually READ in order to get a feel for it and we all know that's not going to happen.
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