Title : The Murk
Author : Robert Lettrick
Pages : 320
Published : 21st April 2015
Publisher : Disney - Hyperion
Source : Netgalley
Purchase : Amazon/ iTunes/ Book Depository
In the Okefenokee Swamp grows a rare and beautiful flower with a power unlike any other. Many have tried to claim it-no one has come out alive. But fourteen-year-old Piper Canfield is desperate, and this flower may be her only chance to keep a promise she made a long time ago.Accompanied by her little brother, Creeper, her friend Tad, and two local guides, Piper embarks on the quest of a lifetime. But there's a deadly predator lurking unseen in the black water, one nearly as old as the Oke itself. Some say it's a monster. Others say an evil spirit. The truth is far more terrifying. Piper's task is simple: find the flower . . . or die trying.
My Thoughts :
When Pipers' sister is diagnosed with a deadly genetic disease, Piper is devastated. She hasn't spent much time with her since their last vacation when her sister was nearly killed by a rabid animal. It was Pipers responsibility to mind her sister but Piper left her alone to answer a phone call from her best friend Tad. It hit Piper hard what nearly happened and Piper vowed to not take responsibility for anyone again. When she hears the news though, all she wants to do is save her sister!
Tad is a descendant from Botanist Dr. Brisbane Cole and has the Doctors journal. He has read it and learns that the Botanist searched for a legendary flower that only grows on the Okefenokee Swamp. This flower has reputed powers of healing anything, yet everyone who has entered the swamp in search of it hasn't come out alive. He tells the story to Piper but despite being skeptical, she agrees that they need to go in search of it. So along with Tad and her younger brother Creeper, Piper heads on an adventure of a life time, but will it be her last?
This was such a surprise! I didn't know what to expect when I first started this but I know I didn't expect it to be so unbelievably good!!
I really liked Piper. Her conviction that she needed to save her sister was admirable. I loved how she was with her at the start and my heart broke for Piper when she let the summer change her. She sees it as her responsibility to save her baby sister. She is willing to do anything to help her! As for the other characters, Creeper is Pipers younger brother. He got his name from always climbing. His dad said he is like a creeper plant in that he can climb anything. Tad is Pipers best friend and despite a hiccup in their friendship after that summer, he is always there for her. All three head to the swamp and hire a guide to take them where they want to go. Said guide is Perch and his first mate Macey agree to take them where they need to go. Perch was awesome. A much needed comic relief and a right charmer!! All the characters were well written and developed and they each grew so much during the story.
Plot wise, I can't say too much about it for fear of spoiling something, so all I'll say is I loved the feel of the book, it has a real "Land that time forgot" feel! When they reach the part of the swamp where they think the flower should be, everything changes. The plants and animals seem weird and the feel was different. I was freaking out for the kids while the alligators were following them. It had such a sinister feel!!
The setting was perfect as well. Anything set in a swamp is a winner because it conjures spooky feelings. You can imagine the endless swamp land, the things that lurk in the dark, the feel of the place in the dead of night, it just sounds so spooky anyway, even before you add in weird plants and animals and a deadly monster!!
Overall, The Murk is an intense, action packed and adventurous read. I loved everything about it, from it's intensely creepy plot to it's wonderful setting and would highly recommend this. It's a bit slow at the start but once Piper and co set out for the swamp, you are in for quite a ride!! I devoured this book over 2 days because I couldn't put it down, it was that good!!