Review: NIGHT SPEED by Chris HowardNight Speed by Chris Howard
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on May 3rd 2016
Pages: 416
Genres: Young Adult, Action & Adventure, General, Law & Crime, Social Themes
eARC provided by Katherine Tegen Books

AmazonBook Depository

An addictive new drug fuels superhuman strength and speed in this action-packed sci-fi thriller that will have fans of Scott Westerfeld and Marie Lu on the edge of their seats.
Only those young enough can survive tetra, a dangerous drug that creates a pulse-pounding rush of enormous strength and incredible speed. Seventeen-year-old Alana West has been trained to use tetra so she can pursue the young criminals who abuse its power—criminals like the one who nearly killed her kid brother.
On tetra, Alana is unstoppable—an explosive blur as she surges through New York City. But with the clock ticking down to her eighteenth birthday, Alana will soon be too old for the rush . . . when just one more dose will prove deadly.
Supported only by her steady handler, Tucker, Alana goes undercover, infiltrating an elite gang of breaknecks to stop their supply of the drug. But when Alana gets trapped on the wrong side of the law, she learns the breaknecks are not quite what they seem—especially Ethan, the boy who seems to see the truth inside her. With her dependency on tetra increasing, Alana must decide where her loyalties lie, before the rush ends. Forever.

Reading time 4 mins

This was such a fun book with a really cool concept. Now that I have had some time to process this book, I can see there were some flaws. I was so wrapped up in the story that I didn’t pay attention to any of them. You shouldn’t either. This was a very unique YA story. It is a story worthy of all the attention it is getting and more.

The beginning of this story starts with seventeen year old Alana working with the TRU criminal department of justice. Alana is a Runner. Her job is to get on tetra and catch the bad guys. Tetra is a new drug that can only be used on kids under 18. On tetra, a kid is fast and strong. So fast that they can outrun cars. A group of kids on tetra are now using it to rob banks in New York City, before they can be caught they disappear amid the crowds. This group is called The Breaknecks. Sometimes they run into things and/or people. A lot of innocent people have been hurt by the kids on tetra. Alana has a special reason to try to catch breaknecks, one of the slammed into her little brother and now he is in a wheelchair for the rest of his life. When the breakneck Alana is chasing decided to end her own life, Alana becomes a criminal.

Alana is such a great lead character. She is so driven by what happened to her brother. Alana was fast, but I loved that she wasn’t the fastest. She spends a lot of time being an outsider in this story. I think she was a really relateable character, even if her predicament is not. The supporting cast don’t get too much attention. There was a love interest, but it was by no means the main subject in this story. The drug is the story. Alana has sort of a love/hate thing with tetra.

Alana starts off a really great role model for her brother. When things get bad for Alana, they get really bad. She goes from being part of law enforcement, to being a criminal on the run. She goes to the only people who would take her in as a criminal, but she still has all these great intentions. She never wavered in her need to seek justice.

The drug itself is so well laid out for the reader. The drug almost makes a person invisible, but there are rules. Like most drugs, there are horrible side effects. The author highlighted each one, and even pointed out the withdrawal, without being preachy. I loved the idea of Tetra, even if it only lasts for 8 minutes. The people too old (due to chemical changes in a body as it matures) wish they were still using. Along with making someone super fast, it also allows for a person to experience the fourth dimension. This sounds so fun, I almost wish it was a real thing (although i am way past the using age, it sounds so cool!).

I have to admit that I had a few issues with this story. There was nothing major, so I am not going to even mention them here. It might have been me and that I am old, (where are these kids parents?). Even with the small issues I had I would still absolutely recommend this book. This story covers some very heavy subjects with ease. I enjoyed the main theme of consequences and trying to do the right thing. There were quite a few twists in Night Speed. This is a great story about addiction that is unlike anything in YA today. I am so glad I got a chance to read this. If you like young adult science fiction, you need Night Speed in your life!

My Rating


About Chris Howard

7933676952_55d5b8f5d2_bChris Howard was awarded a Publishers Weekly "Flying Start" in Fall 2012, following the release of his debut novel, ROOTLESS (Scholastic Press), which has been published in seven different languages to date. The follow-up, THE RIFT, came out on ARBOR DAY, April 25, 2014, and the final book of this fantastical sci-fi trilogy is due in Spring 2016, as will as a brand new story, NIGHT SPEED (Katherine Tegen Books, HarperCollins) which is out on May 3rd, 2016. Before he wrote stories, Chris wrote songs, studied natural resources management, worked for the National Park Service, and spent eight years leading wilderness adventure trips for high school students. He was born and raised in the UK, but now lives in Denver, CO, where he and his wife enjoy mountains, music, and mugs of good coffee.

I received this product free of charge in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links. This review is in compliance with the FTC guidelines.

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