Monday, 21 October 2013

Review: Runners by Sharon Sant and a Giveaway

RUNNERS  by Sharon Sant

Paperback, 284 pages

Published: 8 June 2013 by Immanion Press

ISBN: 1907737529 (ISBN13: 9781907737527) 

Available to buy from Amazon UK / The Book Depository and more

Elijah is nothing special. He's just a skinny kid doing his best to stay one step ahead of starvation and the people who would have him locked away in a labour camp - just another Runner. But what he stumbles upon in a forest in Hampshire shows him that the harsh world he knows will become an even more sinister place, unless he can stop it.

As past and present and parallel dimensions collide, freedom becomes the last thing on his mind as he is suddenly faced with a battle to save his world from extinction. But before Elijah can find the courage to be the hero the world needs, he must banish his own demons and learn to trust his friends. And all the while, the sinister figure of Maxwell Braithwaite looms, his path inextricably bound to Elijah's by a long dead physicist, and hell bent on stopping Elijah, whatever the cost.


I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review and I was looking forwards to reading it, as I haven't read many dystopian novels and with it falling under the Young Adult banner, I thought it would be a good and not to complex introduction to the genre.

As a more mature *ahem* reader, and with the main cast of characters being around the 14 years old mark, I found it hard to connect with the story as much as I would have liked to. I'm not used to reading books written from a third person point of view and I do think this contributed to me feeling quite detached from Elijah, the main character, and the other 'runners'. However, readers of a similar age to the characters will, I think, really enjoy this book and will "get" the characters and their motivations much more than I did.

The future that Sant describes is realistic, rather than fantastical, and the sci-fi elements that she introduces are subtle and don't overpower the story. It really doesn't seem that far-fetched to think that in the future we'll be running low on energy sources, global warming will have taken its toll on food supplies and unless you're rich, life will be a struggle.

But at its heart, this book is really about how a group of people can become a family, which is something I feel most teens will identify with and which is a really positive message for it to hold. After all, how many of us "grown ups" can remember thinking "my friends are my family" at some point when we were teenagers?

If you like your books fast-moving then Runners probably isn't for you. It's a slow build with some of the big revelations saved until quite late in the story. There certainly seems to be scope for Sant to continue the story and her website indicates there's a series of prequels to follow, which is a refreshing change to all the trilogies that are currently out there!


Sharon is kindly giving away 3 paperback copies of Runners. To be in with a chance of winning one, click this link: a Rafflecopter giveaway.


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