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
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!