Monday, June 4, 2012

Storm Runners by Roland Smith

I found this title on another blog, and I gave it a rating of three out of five. Chase and his father travel the country to help people prepare and recover from huge storms. In this book, they are in Florida to face a category five hurricane named Emily, the same name as the deceased mother. They stay at a circus ranch where they can store their trucks and belongings, but the ranch also has a ferocious lion, dangerous leopard, and a pregnant elephant. Chase and two classmates are trapped in a school bus when Hurricane Emily flips it over. They manage to escape, but they are exposed to the full force of the storm and wild alligators. It's a dangerous journey to safety as they battle heavy rains, flooding, one-hundred and fifty mile per hour winds, and the man-eating beasts.

One of my pet peeves is when authors end their stories without resolving the conflict. The plot of this book ended at the climax, so you should plan to read the sequel, The Surge, if you want to read the entire story. Also, the hurricane didn't hit until halfway into the book, so there was a great deal of anticipation before there was much action. I kept expecting the circus animals to become a big part of the plot, but the characters mostly battled the alligators, wind, and rain. I didn't understand why the author took the time to point out the dangers surrounding the circus farm and then didn't make them part of the conflict. The circus animals did not reenter the plot until there were three pages left in the book! The book had potential, but it didn't work for me.

Lexile level from 700

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