Wednesday, October 27, 2010

End of Days: YA Book Review

Max Turner's first in this new series, the Night Runner, grabbed you from the first page and kept you turning, not wanting to put the book down. Protagonist Zach, a teen who has grown up in the Nicholls mental ward and (apparently) suffers from a strange disease, learns he is in fact a vampire, his father a vampire hunter, and that, as a child vampire, he is both the prey of his elders and, some day, doomed to succumb to end state psychosis, an affliction that renders those of his kind mindless fiends.

So, pretty heavy stuff for a teenager.

In the latest installment, End of Days, Turner takes Zach and his friends (who have also been turned) on another thrilling, life-threatening (yes, even for a vampire!) adventure. The teens face a mysterious killer, a rampaging behemoth gifted with incredible speed and strength, known to them as the End of Days.

Zach also comes across a strange prophecy which may hold his fate in its cryptic message, deals with all the angst of a teen romance with his girlfriend, Luna, and tries to control the restless chaotic meanderings of his buddy Charlie.

Oh, and did I mention that he gets arrested for the murder of a police officer?

Viv's take:  The End of Days is another winner from high-school science teacher Max Turner. Full of action, it will keep kids and teens entertained while also passing on a few well-earned lessons (like learning to trust others and the importance of empathy). It's obvious that Turner really *gets* the kids he teaches, and his understanding translates well into the written word.

I especially liked that the book manages not to come across as too "preachy" while still tossing in gems like, "Never underestimate the transformative power of pain and loss and time."  And what keeps that line from being over-the-top is the way it is delivered: by a prophet who tests Zach's mettle by challenging him to a Wii boxing game. You have to like the author's style.  

Highly recommended. 

Disclaimer: I received a promotional copy of this book to facilitate my review.

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