CM . . .
. Volume XXII Number 7. . . .October 16, 2015
Fifteen-year-old vampire protagonist Zack and his gang: best vampire friend Charlie and younger brother (who is hybrid werewolf/vampire) Vincent, the only human in the bunch Suki, and Zack's vampire girlfriend Luna, clamour to evade the five horsemen as the prophecy begins to transpire. Also on the tail of Zack and his gang are bounty hunters and a multitude of factions that are after the young vamp that put an end to the old leadership, Vlad (Dracula) and then Hyde. The action, which practically starts on the first page, doesn't stop as one blood-splattered encounter after another finds Zack and his friends barrelling towards understanding what bringing about a New Order might cost and what it might mean for the entire world.
This book, as with the previous two, is perfectly pitched for a young teenaged audience. Indeed, it's Zach's charming, and often funny, first-person narration that breathes a little bit of space and reflection into this otherwise thrill ride of a novel. In particular, Zach raises questions about prophecy, destiny and choice – the fulfilment of a prophecy depends entirely on its interpretation... or does it? This deftly handled theme, along with some great humorous dialogue, adds some colour (beside blood red) to this otherwise action-packed novel.
As with many young teen novels, New Order features young, larger-than-life, heroic and intrinsically good characters who can, at times, suffer from naiveté which can be very value driven and moralistic. There is, for instance, a hesitation to kill in our protagonist, which is an odd thing to find in a novel about vampires who naturally have to kill for survival. This, I think, says more about the concerns of the author, a high school educator, and parents of young teens, than it does about the genre or its actual readers and can feel a tad didactic as readers slough through battle after battle thwarted by the teens' inability to commit an "evil" deed.
Still, the series and this final installment, is a fun read that is well written for ages 12 and up – it isn't too heavy on the romance nor does it linger in literary description. Turner's series is a great recommendation for those seeking an action-packed supernatural adventure. For those interested in vampire literature, this is a perfect alternative to the ultra romantic Twilight, the grittier, sexier Buffy series of media and the overly adult Anne Rice novels. The “Night Runner” series is thrilling, often humorous, and has a couple of great twists for good measure.
Jennifer Draper is a librarian at the Pickering Public Library in Pickering, ON.
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Copyright © the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.