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.
From the Inside Flap
"I need blood," I said.... Charlie was sitting in a kitchen chair. He stood up so that he was looking down at me. "Oh, blood. Right. Of course, blood. What was I thinking? Well, we just happen to have a huge barrel of it in the back. Do you want some fries with that?" --From Night Runner
I obtained this book from the Harper Collins Reading Club on Facebook. It arrived and went on a stack of books about 12 deep and I resolved to get to it as soon as possible. I really wanted to read it as the description intrigued me.
My 14 year old daughter Madeleine beat me to it and she couldn't put it down until it was read. She is of the age of the target audience so it was rather fitting that she be so enthused about it. She was so excited about it that I would find her in odd corners all over the apartment curled up and reading it.
Unfortunately as soon as she finished it she stuck it on a bookshelf in the living room and I forgot all about it. Being of a rather scattered mind these days...out of sight is out of mind for me...so it was a few weeks before it became uncovered again and I read it.
I couldn't agree with my daughter more. This is a debut novel but Max Turner has a deft hand with the mind of a teenager ( after all he is a high school science teacher) and describes with gusto how he imagined a modern horror story to be. ( I also know the teenage mind well as I work with teens in a high school too.)
The ending was a bit predictable but the climax was a breathtaking surprise. I really didn't see it coming!
The character of Zack is extremely likable and you really find yourself rooting for him. Wouldn't it be great if there was a sequel to this?
Well done Max Turner!!