“Storm Runners" (Series)
By Roland Smith
For Ages 9 – 12
Roland Smith brings his signature intensity to these three books. Each is about 150 pages in length and you won’t want to put them down until you're finished. Notice: You have been warned! Rated 4.5 (adventure, peril, heroism)
In “Storm Runners” we’re introduced to Chase Masters, a 13-year-old boy with survival smarts. His mother and sister were killed in a car accident and his father was struck by lightning. Soon after the lightning strike Chase and his father hit the road fixing people’s houses after big storms. They thought they had seen and prepared for everything until they run into "the hurricane of the century" in Florida. One disaster after another are hurled at Chase and two of his classmates, Nicole and Rashawn, as they struggle to survive the night and find their families.
In the second book, "The Surge," our heroes have safely made it through the night and managed to make it to Nicole's family farm. Now they are facing entirely new dangers. Her family farm happens to be the winter home of the Rossi Brothers' Circus and the animals are loose. This includes the lions and a very nasty leopard. Flood waters are rising, the kids need to find higher ground and one of the circus elephants is about to give birth and cannot be moved. It's another nail biter.
Roland pulls out all the stops in the final book, “Eruption.” The Rossi Brothers’ Circus has gone missing after an earthquake in Mexico and Chase is part of the rescue team headed south of the border to find them. This time the gang faces more circus animals on the loose, the eruption of Mount Popocatepetl, landslides and much more as they search for the circus and Nicole’s mother.
The action and adventure offer non-stop excitement and peril. Even the most reluctant reader will have a difficult time taking a break. The teen characters are well developed and smart. Although these books may be most appealing to boys, there are strong female characters that will keep girls interested as well. The only real drawback is the big finale. It’s a little too far-fetched and neatly wrapped up. Most young readers won’t let the ending stop them from wishing there was another book in the series though. This is definitely a fun and enjoyable series for light summertime reading.