Title: Night Runner
Author: Max Turner
Series: Night Runner #1
Zach has lived in a mental ward since the death of his father. He’s mostly there because he has a lot of unusual health problems that leave him unable to function well in the normal world—like an allergy to sunlight. But he doesn’t mind his sheltered life . . . and has no idea why strangers keep barging into it, insisting he’s in danger and has to escape. Something dangerous stalks the night. Something inhuman. Something that knows him . . .
It will be fairly obvious to readers even marginally familiar with the genre that Zach’s “symptoms” are really traits of vampirism. That said, I really like where the book goes with it. Zach is in many ways not much more mature than the second-grader who was first admitted to the mental ward. He has a refreshing innocence, combined with moments of blunt honesty about what he sees in himself.
I fed like a predator. And I had no remorse. None.
I look back at this moment with a mixture of sadness and something else. Understanding, maybe. Or acceptance. I’m a vampire. Sometimes I wish I could live on tofu and alfalfa sprouts, but I can’t. And I understand I’m not consistent. I don’t always act the same way. I’m a nice guy as often as I can be. As my Uncle Maximillian said, I have a choice. And I choose to be good. Until I get hungry. Then I’m something that is less than good. Then I’m a killer.
The story has a few expected twists, and a few nice surprises (especially the end). It’s also clearly the setup for a series, so it will be interesting to see how Zach’s actions at the end echo into future books. I rate this book Recommended.