Friday, August 13, 2010

Review - Night Runner by Max Turner

Night Runner is Max Turner's first novel.  He is quite active with his fans and can be contacted (like everyone and their mom) on facebook.


"For Zack Thomson, living in the Nicholls Ward isn't so bad. After his parents died, he developed strange and severe allergies, and the mental institution was the only place where he could be properly looked after. As strange as it was, it was home. He could watch as much television as he wanted; his best friend Charlie visited him often enough; and Nurse Ophelia--the prettiest no-nonsense nurse ever--sometimes took him bowling. Of course, that didn't mean he had it easy. His allergies restricted his diet to strawberry smoothies, and being the only kid at the hospital could get lonely. But it never once crossed Zack's mind to leave...until the night someone crashed through the front doors and told him to run. Now he's on a race for answers--about his past, his parents, and his strange sickness--even as every step takes him closer to the darkest of truths."

I came across this novel while browsing ARCs.  The End of Days, the anticipated second installment in the Night Runner series was available for sign up.  Piercing orange eyes apparently draw me like a moth to a flame, fast forward two days and Night Runner was downloaded to my Kindle and devoured.  Ever since I have been stalking my mailman for the second novel, which came in the mail today!  Expect a review in the next week or so :)

Night Runner is a refreshing addition to the young adult vampire lore of today.  Turner presents a DNA altering virus which converts bitten individuals with debilitated immune systems into creatures of the night.  Creating a degree of diversity, every bloodsucker develops a special unique ability, like shapeshifting, invisibility, scuba diving sans air tank (ability to breathe underwater), etc.

Zack is unaware of who, what, or why he exists.  All he knows is where...the looney bin.  Apparently the only place that can offer a safe haven for people with allergies to the sun and most foods is the crazy house; kind of a stretch, but I can deal with it.  Every day...well the same ol' same ol' until CRASH! BANG! enter old man on motorcycle through the lobby windows and into Zack's life.  And with one phrase uttered from the man's mouth, Zack's life is changed forever "Run...Don't let the cops get you.  He's coming.  Run!".

Eventually Zack does what any sane person from an insane asylum would  The novel unfolds with a steady level of momentum, revealing bit by bit his true past, the secrets behind his allergies, his parents and the story behind their downfall, and even a dash of teen love with a decent helping of friendship.  Turner sprinkles in one liners chockfull of sarcasm and humor that had me chuckling.  Any novel that actually puts the word "powned" in black and white is a win!

The sentence structure was simple and a bit choppy at parts; however, the plot twists and turns kept me interested.  As mentioned above, the humor pulled me through the rougher spots to a worthy conclusion.  Night Runner is definitely worth looking into.  It is a light and refreshing young adult read that can be finished within a day or two.  Pick up a copy, chat with Turner on facebook, and keep checking back for my review of the End of Days.  The Night Runner series has great potential that I hope with continue through the second installment.

Rating: 3.5/5



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