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Review – Night Runner by Max Turner

Night Runner

Night Runner
by Max Turner
272 pages
Published September 1, 2009
Young adult – urban fantasy

Night Runner  by Max Turner is about Zack Thomson, a 15-year-old boy who lives in a mental ward because both his parents are dead. He has a sun allergy as well as a myriad of food allergies, requiring him to drink a special liquid diet that has all the vitamins and proteins he needs in it. His life is turned upside down when this homeless looking guy crashes into the mental ward and tells Zack to run. Actually, they have a slightly longer conversation than that, and Zack sees this guy get shot a bunch of times, then break of the ambulance that’s taking him to the hospital.

Zack, not quite knowing why  he should run, doesn’t do anything. Lo and behold his long lost uncle shows up and confirms he’s in danger and that he should, in fact, run. Zack ends up running from a creature that killed his dad and is more powerful than anything he ever imagined existed.

Basically, this is a vampire story. And I know, the market is saturated with vampire stories, but a well-told story is a well-told story. Right?

The story was told pretty well, but I did have a few problems. Zack’s friend Charlie was a little too…oh, I don’t know the word. But when Charlie found out that Zach is a vampire, he was like, Oh. Huh. Okay. And it’s like, REALLY?! Is that REALLY his reaction? He finds out his friend’s a vampire and he’s not at least a little wigged out? I mean, I know there’s people who would have that reaction, but frankly, those people probably don’t have two brain cells to rub together anyway.

It turns out that Zack never went to school, and I was like, Oh, come on. I know this book takes place in Canada, and despite the fact that a kid growing up in a MENTAL WARD is a bit contrived, I’m hard pressed to believe that the woman who was watching out for him was like, Meh, I don’t think Zack needs an education. That’s soo  20th century.

And don’t even get me started on Zack’s love interest.

But then you get to the end, and the ending is actually pretty dang good! And even though the ending was good, I didn’t want to have to wade through the other 225 pages to get there.

And I totally get that this is a young adult book, and probably many young adult readers aren’t as critical as I am, but I’m a firm believer that a great book will transcend age and genre preferences, so I can’t give this book a pass just because I’m an adult and it’s aimed at young readers. With that said, I do  think this series (from the ending, I’m sure it’ll be a series) has promise. The first book isn’t necessarily the best, so I’m hopeful that the story will get even better.

Rating: 72 out of 100

Other reviews:

Fantasy Book Critic

Karin’s Book Nook

Charlotte’s Library

Becky’s Book Reviews

Book source: I got this book from the fantastic Sarah at St. Martin’s Press.

And one more thing? If you click on one of the Night Runner links and buy something from Amazon, I’ll make a commission! Mwahahahaha!! Maybe with the pennies I make I’ll be able to call someone who cares.

You can thank the FTC for this disclosure!

| Tags: , 12 comments »

12 Responses to “Review – Night Runner by Max Turner”

  1. Heather J.

    “a myriad of food allergies, requiring him to drink a special liquid diet that has all the vitamins and proteins he needs in it” huh, this sounds like my son … Kiddo must be a vampire – that would explain everything! ~LOL~


  2. zibilee

    Oh my, this doesn’t sound like the book for me. I really like well written endings, but I don’t think I would be able to struggle along with a book that has so many issues just to find one. Thanks for the informative review. It might make a fun read for my kids, who aren’t so picky, but I think I will skip it.


  3. Nicole

    I was thinking it was going to be much worse when I saw your tweet. Think I’ll skip i though.


  4. Lisa

    Authors need to bear in mind that there are plenty of young people that have standards every bit as high as adults.


  5. Beth F

    Good ending or no, I think I’ll be passing this one by.


  6. Kathleen

    Sounds like this one might stretch a few too many premises to be belieavable enough for me to read. I guess I also feel like too many are cashing in on the whole vampire craze and that is flooding the movie, TV, and book markets with too much content that is not worthy!


  7. nat @book, line, and sinker

    lol…the FTC called…they want to remind you to file the money you make from amazon as income.

    i haven’t really embraced the whole urban fantasy genre but appreciate your review and your honesty. i can always count on you to tell it like it is! 🙂


  8. Jen - Devourer of Books

    Heehee, I loooove your disclosure, Trish.


  9. Jodie

    Hmm I’m still so undecided about this one. It sounds cool, very cool, but can cool really replace heart and character?


  10. S. Krishna

    I think I’ll pass on this one, though I’m loving the resurgence of YA urban fantasy!


  11. Jennifer

    Seriously, I think vampires are taking over the reading world. But I love them. This sounds interesting even if it does have some annoying points in it.


  12. Breanna

    Just finished reading it over the break, and I would’nt have given it even a 50 out of 100. While it does contain a great story, this book is also poorly written; as a high school student myself, I feel that even I could have written better. Though his target audience is young, it does not merit a sloppily written storyline.


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