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Summary: Hidden in a world of humans, Cole and his friends are a small group of blood drinkers, hemevores, who manage to lead their lives without attracting too much attention. When a newly created hemevore, Gordon, is brought into their Building, he brings trouble to the group as a whole with his inexperienced, novice ways. In order to protect the secrecy of the group, Cole and his friend Sandor take Gordon on a trip around the country to learn the most moral ways of a hemevore and how to carry on life as a new being. Throughout the tiring process of teaching surly Gordon how to live, experienced Cole finds himself learning and growing up as well. The three teens find themselves confronted by friendship difficulties and unknown enemies that force them to turn towards each other in times of their most desperate need. This is a middle-grade thriller about friendship and life after dark. It has excellent potential as a high-low book for remedial readers.
Type of Reading: bedtime story, family reading, anytime reading, independent reading, middle grade reader, read aloud book
Recommended Age: read together: 10 and up; read yourself: 11 and up
Young Reader Reaction: Night Road isn’t a story about vampires. The word vampire has recently obtained many connotations that don’t apply to this story. If these connotations did apply, they wouldn’t serve this story justice. Heavy, dark themes provide the undertone to the entire story. These themes are the only aspect of the book that would give me reason to not suggest this book to younger readers. Otherwise, I would suggest this book to any reader, 13 and older, who enjoys adventure and fantasy stories. The plot is captivating from start to finish and Jenkins’ technique of subtly implying secret, background stories draws the reader in even further. Every word in this book is important and contributes to the final message of the story. Each character is also well-developed and believable; they all have a real-life archetype they follow which contributes to each one’s unique charisma. On the whole, I found Night Road a very satisfying read. It is definitely one that I would like a companion book for.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: This is an engaging story that will captivate the reader and keep him or her turning pages.
Cons: None. I hope there is a sequel.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a great book, albeit a dark story. Every word has meaning, and it is book you'll want to re-read to make sure you didn't miss anything.
Notes: The publisher donated an advance reader copy of this book knowing that we would consider it for review and provide an independent, unbiased profile. This book will be given to a nonprofit to help readers in need.
Literary Categories: Fiction - science fiction, mystery, horror, young adult
Date(s) Reviewed: April 2010
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