219. End of Days by Max Turner

End of Days by Max Turner (Canada) - (USA)
Night Runner, #2

Pages: 318
Ages: 13+
Finished: Oct. 18, 2010
First Published: Aug. 16, 2010 CAN (Sept. 28, 2010 US)
Publisher: Harper Trophy Canada
Genre: YA, paranormal, vampires
Rating: 5/5

First sentence:

I'm told vampires are popular in books these days.

Acquired: Received a review copy from Harper Collins Canada.

Reason for Reading: Next in the series.

That a sequel to Night Runner was coming out came upon me fairly close to its actual publication. I was thrilled and couldn't wait to read the new book as I had been out of the loop about the sequel being a go!

The very first thing I want to say to US readers is that the US cover is awful! This book is aimed at teenage boys and is *not* a vampire romance like the usual fare out there. Sure girls will love it too, but please don't let that girl-appealing US cover let you think that it's not for boys, spend the little extra and get the awesome Canadian cover, if you have to!

Everybody is a year older now and getting used to either knowing they are vampire or having just been turned. The Coven is still out to get Zach, and other child vampires, keeping him on the run, though he has been safely holed up for the last year. But with the death of the one who held them together The Coven is fighting within itself making it an unstable organization; the Underground who protect the vampires from society has been breached and detection from that side is now out of control and suppliers find their blood tainted and vampires are dying. But that is not all. An ancient prophecy of the son of a hunter who will either save or destroy the vampire world seems to be coming true as vampires are ripped to shreds by an incredible Beast, that not even the strongest vampire among them can defeat. Zach finds himself in the middle of this chaos, being a child vampire on the run from those who wish him dead and being the son of a hunter whom some think may be the promised Messiah. A select few of the remaining old wise ones remind him to stay on the side of the good, to choose saint over evil. But can he?

It's been just over two years since the first book came out that I don't know if I'm being fair when I say this is even better than Night Runner! While the immediacy of having just read End of Days may make it feel better than the first, it is certainly of equal brilliance. What an incredible vampire story! Turner has created a vampire mythos and world that tends toward the tried and true vampire lore but he hasn't been afraid to inject his own new, fresh vision that creates something very refreshing and exciting. Breathtakingly revitalizing is the absence of a mopey, clingy love story. There is a love relationship, which is important to characterization but is not essential or even necessary to the plot. They are simply two characters who love each other and whom the reader grows fond of as well. All the characters are fascinating from the evil Beast, which has a mystery behind it, to Ophelia their caretaker and on. More background is given on everybody really fleshing out the characters from book one. This is a page-turner, a stay-up all-nighter and a return to the vampire (with an attitude) genre. Best for those who don't like their vampires ala Edward. The book comes to a satisfying conclusion but there are many unanswered questions and dangling threads that can be picked up for another book. Hopefully, the wait will be shorter than two years Mr. Turner!


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