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Reviewed by Carol Coetzee for Readers' Favorite
Morium by S.J. Hermann deals with the topic of high school bullying. We meet Lexi, Nathan and Stacy, all three of whom are outcasts amongst their peers and constantly bullied. They hide this from their parents and try to deal with it on their own and in their own way. Lexi cuts herself, Nathan lives in constant fear which leads to a growing rage. Stacy seems to be able to just ignore it, dealing with her pain by fighting back. Their hope is simply to get through the last of their school years as quickly and quietly as possible. Anything to fly below the radar. Their pain, loneliness and suffering is a very real experience in this book. But things are about to change. Lexi and Nathan see an object fall from the sky one night and set out to investigate. When they touch the object, a strange power enters their bodies and suddenly they are no longer helpless; they have superpowers! There are physical and emotional changes that occur. How each one deals with this makes for an interesting and sometimes satisfying read. Stacy lands up smack-bang in the middle. As a warning, there is some gratuitous violence and unsavory sex scenes, so perhaps not a good idea for sensitive teens. The book ends on a cliff-hanger, so make sure you have the next one lined up!
Morium deals with an age old moral dilemma. Bullying is a huge problem and growing daily. If you are in this situation and suddenly develop superpowers, what would you do? Would you do the right thing, whatever that may be, or would you focus on getting your revenge. Which is the right choice? Your life has been shattered and you have suffered immensely at the hands of others, for no reason other than the fact that you are different. This is a finely crafted blend of science fiction and reality. The scenes are vivid and rich. An imaginative, thought-provoking novel, with twists and turns to keep you on your toes. There are some graphic, dark, and violent scenes which will appeal to fans of horror novels. There is also much beauty in the novel, which is packed with action, leading one to reflect on the role parents and family play in the life of a bullied teenager; and you question how you would deal with matters if this should come to light with your child. You begin to realize the importance of being close to your children and the need to be as involved and aware of every aspect of their lives. Not sharing this dilemma with parents can lead to additional problems, and cause teens to take matters into their own hands, leading to many problems. The moral of the story is certainly a book written for today's parents and teenagers.