Title: Night Runner
Author: Max Turner
Summary: For Zach Thompson, living in the Nicholls Ward wasn’t so bad. After his parents died, he developed the usual and severe allergies, and the mental institution was the only place where he could be properly looked after. As strange as it seemed, it was home. His diet was restricted to strawberry smoothies, and being the only kid at the hospital did get lonely. But it never once crossed Zack’s mind to leave . . . until he was visited by an enigmatic stranger who claimed to be his uncle and to know the reason behind Zack’s parents’ death - an his mysterious sickness.
My Rating: 7.25/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: For the most part, I did enjoy this book and its different look in to vampires, especially on who they are and how they exist, and what makes them a vampire. It amazes me how authors manage to create their own version of vampires, and still stay fairly true to the vampire’s original form. This book stays true to that. It had some interesting concepts about vampires; I especially like the idea about the insanity that can occur as a consequence of becoming a vampire. I wonder what the author means by insanity, is this insane like they can’t function as a normal creature of the night? Or does it mean they become homicidal killing maniacs? This part was glossed over, so I wonder if it will be examined more in the next book. Either way, I liked this element and most of the elements to Turner’s vampires. They had weaknesses and some special abilities. They weren’t overly powerful, but they weren’t weak either. They were made believable, and fit well with the story as a whole. The overall story, was also well down, I liked the pace, and the climax of the story for the most part.
I also loved having a male narrator for once. Most of the vampire books, especially in YA Fiction, are all female narrators and protagonists, so you get a long of angst and “does the cute boy love me?”, which I can’t stand, this didn’t have that, so it was refreshing to have some originality in how the story was told, and in the main character. This time it’s a teenage boy, who is the usual teenage boy, video games, exercises a lot, allergic to sun, and is a evil creature of the night, who is living in a mental intuition - completely unaware his milkshakes he receives every night, was really blood, it kind of made me chuckle when Zack commented on how he thought it was strawberry flavouring. I think the author captured the teenage mind of a young boy very well.
What I didn’t like was the ending. I think it was wrapped up all too perfectly. I was surprised in how some things came to be in the end, and was hoping that a different out come would be there. I can’t say too much, but I was expecting more deaths than survives. And I hope I didn’t spoil to much for anyone, those who have read the book will know what I mean. I would have also liked to see a little more information on the vampires and what their qualities were, some things were hinted at, so I was hoping to see a little more of the whole vampire background - again, I hope to see this in the next book. Overall, pretty good vampire story, with a different perspective and unique voice from the narrator, it is worth well reading.
Would I recommend it to read: I would, I enjoyed the overall experience. His version of vampires is yet another unique version, and it is fairly interesting one, with the whole insanity thing that can occur. It had some interesting themes and a bit of suspense in it too. I also think this would be a perfect choice for anyone who has children, especially boys who are reluctant readers, as I think the book can really appeal to them and maybe even get them into reading.
What to read next: End of Days is the sequel to this book, so I’d read that.
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