Reviewed by: Katherine Flynn

The Storm Runner is a modern “human meets mythical characters while going on a seemingly impossible quest to save himself and those around him” story.

Zane, by all accounts, is a normal kid with the exception of having a bum leg (which becomes a pivotal element in the story.), owning a sweet dog, and a volcano in his backyard. One night after a terrible storm, Zane learns that he is anything but normal. He ends up being saved by a half human/half bird, named Jazz, who becomes his side kick on his adventure. Zane has to save his dog, Jazz’s sister, and himself within three days of the full moon or all is lost. Zane, his uncle Hondo, and Jazz go on the adventure of their lives as they fight against Mayan Gods and getting some help from a giant along the way while trying to save the world.

I really enjoyed the Mayan Gods being pivotal players within the story. I liked how J.C. Cervantes intertwined the story with their background and the use of the Spanish language to add some authenticity to the characters, though it felt a bit forced at times. There is a definite formula to the books, which closely follows Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. According to the acknowledgements, this is a stage that Hyperion and Riordan are looking to use to tell stories about gods from across cultures so it makes sense that this formula was used.

I thought the characters were well developed and the story was fast paced. There was humor and thoughtfulness of character motivation throughout the book. There a few curse words and violent scenes but nothing that wasn’t warranted in the story nor over the top. It was written clearly and had a clear beginning, middle, and end with just a few open ended side plots that could be used for the next book in the series.  I’m interested in seeing where the series goes.

This would be a great fifth to seventh grade read especially in a classroom setting. There are a lot of interesting lessons that could be developed and easily tied into other subjects.

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