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Book spotlight (Young Adult): Night Road by A. M. Jenkins

Brace yourselves: here is a young adult, fantasy fiction novel about vampires that isn't drowning in drama.

Amazing, isn't it?

Ok, it's not about vampires, exactly... it's about hemovores. According to the cover flap, a hemovore is "a human who feeds exclusively on blood; not to be confused with the fictional vampire of popular legend." Which basically means that the vamp... err, hemovores of Night Road are basically human, aside from drinking only blood. They can't shapeshift, they don't have increased strength or speed, they are awake during the day (although the sunlight does burn them very quickly) and they aren't dead. In fact, hemovores are completely immortal, as far as they know. Cole, the main character in Night Road has a discussion about this with his friend Sandor; specifically, whether a hemovore was still alive if he had been beheaded. (The answer, by the way, was unresolved. Cole argued that the "heme" in question was still alive, while Sandor disagreed.) Beyond that, there are very few differences between the hemes and the "omnis" (the regular humans).

Night Road has a very straightforward plot, with enough sidestory to make Cole and the other characters interesting and three-dimensional. Nothing is too complicated for a younger reader to understand, but it's not so simplified that it's dull for an older reader, either. Jenkins does a great job of keeping her readers pulled in close to the characters and the action, and then slips in a simple "life lesson" without making it so blaringly obvious that we feel as though we've been hit upside the head with it.

Jenkins has other young adult novels published, as well, including Repossessed, Beating Heart, Damage, and Out of Order. For information on Jenkins' books, visit HarperCollins.com. Jenkins also maintains her own blog to chronicle her writing ups and downs.

To find copies of Night Road, order it online from Amazon.com, head to Barnes and Noble in the Midland Mall, or buy the ebook version from B&N.com.


Trivia Question: Sandor tells Cole that Cole's last run-in with Royal could have been avoided if they had simply given something to Gordo. What is it?

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