Monday, November 1, 2010

Review: End of Days by Max Turner

Book: End of Days (Max Turner)
Series or Stand-Alone: Series - Night Runner #2
Pages: 288
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: September 28th, 2010

Preview on Google Books
Description (From Goodreads):
In this thrilling follow up to Night Runner, Zack Thomson is back with his friend Charlie, searching for answers all the while being hunted by a creature most deadly... While Charlie struggles with his vampirism, he, Zack, and their friends are pulled into a conflict with the mysterious Mr. Hyde, a creature who hunts vampires. As the story unfolds, and the ties between Zach and his girlfriend Luna intensify, the network of support around them collapses, forcing them to redefine their notions of good and evil and find a way forward.
End of Days by Max Turner was an absolute thrill ride of a book. It is everything a sequel should be - the characters are further developed - but they stay true to form, the pacing and tone are both similar to the first book and the plot continues to develop.

The book begins one year after the conclusion of Night Runner, and Zack and Charlie have been bunking together with Ophelia. Charlie has, understandably, been struggling with his new status as vampire. His old life revolved around the sun, as Zack puts it, he was a water baby in his first life. Now, Charlie has to adjust to life in the night. He, does not however blame Zack for this and he definitely enjoys some of the perks of being a vamp. 

Thankfully, Charlie has been fleshed out more in this book and I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. My only real gripe with the Night Runner was that the secondary characters were rather flat. Now, Charlie has a lot more going on mentally, and the character really benefits from it. Not only does he struggle with controlling his inner vamp, but he worries about Suki.

Suki still takes more of a backseat in End of Days, but I have a feeling she will be more relevant in the next book. At the start of the book, Suki and her sister, Luna are living with their parents. The household is in shambles and everyone is having a hard time of it. Suki wants to be a vampire, like her sister, boyfriend (Charlie) and friend (Zack). She feels really out of the loop and goes through a sort of depression. Luna is also extremely lonely, because she is the only vampire in the area. Their parents are also having a hard time coping - their father is desperately trying to find a cure for Luna and has been forcing her to get blood transfusions. He also is adamant about keeping the girls away from Charlie and Zack - especially Zack. He blames him for his struggling daughters and thinks him to be some sort of criminal and all around bad seed.

But, the real fun begins when a new monster comes to town. He is some sort of crazy vampire eating madman and causes some real trouble for our band of heroes. Not only do they have to worry about this monster, who is apparently unbeatable, but they have to worry about the cops and coven as well.

The cops are after Zack because they believe he murdered one of their men and the coven is after all of the teen vamps for being child vampires. However, they are really after Zack because of they believe he is the child from the prophecy. Supposedly, a son of a great vampire hunter will be orphaned. Then the boy will drink blood and will die and be brought back to life. Then, the kid will make a choice - either saving the vampire race or bringing about its destruction. Zack is widely believed to be the child from the prophecy and it puts a giant target on this back.

Once again, there is plenty of action, humor, suspense and a tiny bit of romance (more so than the first book). Zack and Luna's relationship continues to develop and something amazing happens between them. I don't want to spoil it, but it is a pretty awesome, sort of talent-for-two. Once again, Turner writes a humorous book with lots of twists and turns - I often found myself laughing along with the story. If you haven't picked this series up yet, I would suggest you do. I think that fans of The Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong and The Strange Angels Series by Lili St.Crow would really appreciate this book - it has the same sort of adventure plot with teen characters that are sort of rebel outlaws. Anyways, my point is, start reading this series!

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