End of Days

End of Days

4.7 10
by Max Turner

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Zachariah Thomson has spent the past year getting used to the idea that his best friend, Charlie, and the lovely Luna are now vampires, like him. As they learn to cope with the changes this brings, a mysterious creature appears. Likened to the Beast of the Apocalypse, it begins to dismantle the network of support around Zack, who discovers he is more than just an


Zachariah Thomson has spent the past year getting used to the idea that his best friend, Charlie, and the lovely Luna are now vampires, like him. As they learn to cope with the changes this brings, a mysterious creature appears. Likened to the Beast of the Apocalypse, it begins to dismantle the network of support around Zack, who discovers he is more than just an orphaned vampire – he is the subject of an ancient prophecy that relates to the End of Days. As friends and enemies, old and new, throw his world into chaos, he is forced to re-examine what it means to be good at a time when it seems that only the strong and ruthless can survive.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Full of surprising twists and clever turns that’ll have you on the edge of your seat!” —Alyson Noel, #1 NYT Bestselling author of EVERMORE, on Night Runner
VOYA - Gina Bowling
Zack Thompson, teen vampire, along with his best friend Charlie, the colorful Mr. Entwistle, and a host of other memorable characters, are sometimes pursued and sometimes in pursuit of Hyde, a presumed werewolf, who is wreaking havoc on vampire-kind. At the same time, Zack is trying to decipher ancient vampire prophecies to determine if he is the messiah that will save vampires from extinction as the End of Days approach. As Zack, his friends, and his vampire-hunting uncle, try to save themselves and determine who Hyde really is, they encounter many wild rides, a blind vampire prophet, and even a little romance. While this is the second book in Turner's Nightrunner series, readers need not be familiar with the first book to enjoy End of Days. Turner does a good job providing ample back story, and readers will likely want to go back and uncover pieces missed in the first installment. While vampire books are abundant these days, Zack is not the typical love-struck, starry-eyed teen vampire. Charlie even pokes fun at him when he moons over Luna, his girlfriend, reminding Zack that he's not "in Forks anymore" (p. 193). A strong and even realistic (for a vampire) male protagonist will make this vampire book appeal to not only female fans of vampire lit but teen guys as well. The loose ends at the book's close will leave readers hungering for more and ready to sink their teeth into the third installment of the "Nightrunner" series. Reviewer: Gina Bowling
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up— This action-packed sequel to Night Runner (St. Martin's/Griffin, 2009) is filled with mystery and danger. Orphaned at a young age and having spent most of his youth in a mental institution, Zach Thomson gets the surprise of his life when he learns that he and those closest to him are vampires. Trying to survive and make sense of his predicament has definitely not been easy, especially when the Underground, a network of vampires, humans, and others that is supposed to protect vampires, is in a state of turmoil and disarray. Then a mysterious werewolflike creature launches an attack on vampires and is compared to the beast of the Apocalypse. Looking for answers and the means to stop it, Zach and his friend Charlie stumble upon an ancient prophecy that references the End of Days. As events begin to spin out of control, Zach realizes that he is the "chosen one" in the prophecy-possible destroyer or savior. With the support and courage of his friends, he must discover the path of righteousness at a time when he is surrounded by darkness and the unknown. The well-developed characters add dimension to the story line, and Zack's witty and sarcastic humor makes this a truly enjoyable read. Fans will be left anxiously waiting to sink their teeth in the next installment.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Night Runner Novels , #2
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File size:
313 KB
Age Range:
13 - 17 Years

Read an Excerpt

I’m told vampires are popular in books these days. I’m not surprised. The perks of infection are pretty sick. Awesome physical power. Highly tuned senses. The ability to recover from almost any injury. Good dental hygiene. A simple diet. And that immortality thing—very impressive on a résumé.
My name is Daniel Zachariah Thomson and I’m living the dream. I have been for over nine years. Having said that—the first eight of them weren’t what you might imagine. I was orphaned, living in a mental ward, and sick all the time from medications that would never cure me. Then I found out what I was, met a girl, fell in love, and died.
For a while afterward, I’d say life was almost perfect. Then I discovered that every silver lining has a cloud. Does this sound like a complaint? I guess it does. But being a vampire isn’t a free ticket to Boardwalk. Those perks I mentioned earlier come with a heavy price tag. If you don’t believe me, just think of all the wonderful things you did growing up. How many of them were outside on a beautiful day? For a vampire, the UV index never drops below deep-fry, and they don’t make sunscreen for that, so once you get infected—no more warm, tingly skin on the beach, no more ocean sunsets, no more afternoon road hockey games, and no more sneaking into your mother’s room to look at her Victoria’s Secret catalogs. Actually, I guess you could still do that, but it would have to be at night. Still, you get the point. Life without the sunshine is tough. Just look what it did to Gollum.
And the sun is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure you’ve seen the movies. There are lots of ways for us to die, and some are pretty nasty. Forget about holy water and silver bullets. Water of the regular kind scares me, and bullets don’t need to be silver, they just need to be airborne.
Then there’s the angry mob. Scores of people armed with sticks and pitchforks and torches. They got the Werewolf. And Frankenstein’s monster. And the Phantom of the Opera. They almost got Homer Simpson, too. For a vampire, fear of discovery, fear of the mob, is constant. It’s why we work so hard to stay hidden. Vampire hunters are another reason. And they aren’t all as cute as Buffy. In fact, most of them aren’t human. They’re vampires, which means most of us are killed by our own kind. Does this seem wrong? It certainly does to me. But if I understand it correctly, it’s a matter of necessity.
Imagine a berserk gorilla. Now take off some of the hair and give it rabies. That’s the future of every vampire in a nutshell. My father called it Endpoint Psychosis. The stuff of horror movies. No one really understands it. Some vampires get it right away, and others put it off for centuries. But eventually the stress of change, of hunger, of fear, and the loss of light and normal relationships—it unhinges us. Death is never far behind. A small number choose suicide, but as I said before, most are murdered by other vampires. Older ones who’ve lived for centuries and want our existence to remain a secret. They can be ruthlessly efficient at removing those who might give them away—or who might spread the infection carelessly. To top it off, they really have it in for child vampires: at least, they did before The End of Days. I guess the theory was, a young vampire was pretty much guaranteed to do something stupid and give himself away. And young vampires had a history of spreading the infection too quickly. Given that I turned my friend Charlie last year, and he did the same to a girl named Luna on the same night—well, it would have been hard to argue our case.
Everyone imagines being a vampire would be cooler than joining the Justice League, and it is. You’re practically a superhero. But you have to be able to cope with what you lose. It’s a kind of culture shock. You need lots of support from family and friends. Sadly, when Charlie turned, he didn’t have that. At the time, his father lived in Halifax and his mother was in rehab, his friends were still in school, and his girlfriend, Suki, lived with Luna in New Jersey. Without me, he would have been a hermit. He got angry often and it made him careless about keeping his condition a secret. I had hoped he would keep it together for a few more centuries, or at least until someone invented the jet pack, but at the rate he was going, a ride on the crazy train was just around the corner. Of course, you could argue he was a crackpot even before he turned, but guys can be loo-loo in a lot of different ways. He was giving up fun-loving-reckless for angry-young-man, and it had me worried. If he didn’t get himself under control, someone was going to notice and take the un out of his undead. What he really needed was a Chicken Soup for the Vampire Soul. Something to calm him down and help him come to terms with what he’d given up. The sunshine. Safety. Sports. And school.
I know what you’re thinking. He had to give up school? What a heartbreaker! What could be worse, winning the lottery maybe? Well, he didn’t exactly love the place, it’s true. But he was popular there. He was a great athlete, so he got to be in the spotlight often. He’d given that up for the shadows. And so Charlie Rutherford, Detention King of Adam Scott Collegiate, now talked about school as if it were the Land of Chocolate. If that’s not a sign a guy’s gone mental, what is?
I wasn’t sure what to do to help him. Fortunately, I still had Ophelia in my corner. She was a vampire, too, and for nine years after my father died, she was the closest thing I had to a family. The night this story started, she was leaving to meet someone. I didn’t ask whom. With Ophelia, if she wanted you to know, she told you up front.
Before she headed out the door, she reached up, pinched my cheek, and smiled. “You can’t fix his problems overnight. Just try to help him reconnect with people. Take his mind off of things. But don’t put yourselves at risk. If you sense he’s getting a bit hot under the collar, get him home. I’ll be out for a while, but I need to talk to you both before sunrise. It’s very important.”
I understood, so after I said good-bye, I wandered down to Char-lie’s room in the basement so we could work out a plan. Right after that, things started to go haywire, although as I look back, our problems really began long before that—with two murders in Toronto. Like a pair of dominoes, they set off a sequence of events that led to Peterborough and pretty much flattened everything in sight. But we didn’t know that was coming so, for us, the End of Days started with a rave.
Charlie was on his cell when I knocked on the door and stepped into our room. He’d been living with Ophelia and me for a few weeks now, ever since his mother checked into the clinic. She’d been fighting with the bottle and losing. After drinking herself into the drunk tank for the upteenth time, Children’s Aid had given her two choices—quit the drink or lose custody of your son. She made the right decision and entered a rehab program. While she was away, Charlie was rooming with me.
“Sounds great,” he said into his phone. He looked at me and quickly pointed to his bed. A black T-shirt was lying there, so I tossed it over. He slipped it over his head, then said, “Yeah … See you later,” and hung up.
“What’s going on?” I asked.
He turned and started sifting through his clothes. Like mine, they were in mixed piles all over the floor. I caught the smell of leather and looked up as he slipped his coat over his shoulders.
“There’s a rave on River Road out past Trent,” he said. “You feel like taking in some local wildlife?”
“You wouldn’t rather go later? A Fistful of Dollars is starting in a few minutes.” It was a Clint Eastwood duster. One of Charlie’s favorites.
“Those old spaghetti westerns are on all the time. You’ll like this better. You can work on your dance moves.”
I’d never been out dancing before. My best move would have been to find the closest chair. “I don’t know how to dance, Charlie. You know that.”
“Then it’s a perfect night to learn.” He smiled and headed for the stairs. “And you’re going to love the scenery.”
“Um … okay.”
“You don’t sound too keen.”
I guess I didn’t. I was worried that if he lost his temper, he’d have a fairly large audience. And I wasn’t exactly thrilled at the prospect of dancing for the first time with a bunch of people watching. But this was what he needed—to get out and mingle.
“Come on, chowderhead. Fortune favors the bold. Get your boogie shoes on. This will be fun.”
Well, it would be for him, and that was the main thing. I followed him upstairs and through the kitchen.
“Where’s Ophelia?”
“She’s gone to meet someone.” “Who?”
I shrugged. “She didn’t say.”
He didn’t look surprised to hear it. Ophelia was a private person, and I wasn’t one to pry.
We slipped out the front door and took off down Hunter Street. It was where we were living now—one of Peterborough’s old west-end neighborhoods with huge trees and houses that were each different from the next. Some big. Some small. Some palatial. Some set back so far from the sidewalk it was a workout just getting to the door. Our place was a modest brick bungalow, the house on the block you were least likely to notice. Not too large or too tiny. Nothing fancy, but not uncommonly plain, either—or its plainness would have made it stand out. Around here, it was all about blending in.
“How far is it?” I asked.
Charlie set out at an easy jog. I let him set the pace so he’d be comfortable. “Close,” he answered. He was right. Sort of. Maybe you know this, maybe you don’t. Vampires are a lot stronger than normal people. We see better, hear better, move faster, heal faster. We do everything better except suntan. So the two of us were across town and past Trent University faster than a Greyhound bus. About four miles. For us, it was barely a warm-up.
The rave wasn’t quite what I expected. Speakers, lights, artificial smoke, the air so thick with body spray it was a wonder anyone could move. But people did. Perhaps a hundred. Maybe more. They jumped and danced and collided to music that thumped right through my chest. So much energy was in the place, even my hair was tingling.
I wasn’t used to crowds, so I stood off to the side and watched for a few minutes while Charlie disappeared into the writhing mass of dancers. He was smooth. No herky-jerky. Like a normal person caught with a slow-motion camera, only he was moving at regular speed. Other people around me noticed, too, those on the periphery who were resting, or refueling, or looking for friends. A girl a few feet away was staring so intently I wondered if she’d forgotten how to blink. This happened often. It was the same way with Ophelia. When we went out shopping at night, even the blind gawked.
In little time, Charlie was surrounded by a group of people, mostly girls that I guessed were either friends or hopefuls. He looked at me and waved me over. I shook my head. I wasn’t ready to brave the dance floor. Not yet, even though it didn’t seem all that difficult. By the looks of things, the music and the crowd sort of pushed you around. Still, if there was a way to look ridiculous, I was sure I’d find it.
I pressed the charm of my necklace between a finger and thumb. It was a full moon fashioned of silver, etched and polished to a perfect shine. My father gave it to me when I was seven. I could still picture him bending down to fasten it around my neck. He pressed it against my chest, messed my hair, and stood. Then he left. And died. It was the day I became an orphan. And a vampire. Aside from a few old photographs, the necklace was the only thing of his I still had. There was another piece to it, a golden crescent that fit along one side, but that part was with Luna.
I thought of her and felt a smile creep up my cheek. Pretty soon my whole face was involved. I’d say I thought of her often, but it was more like I thought of her constantly and just got interrupted by other things. I wondered what she was doing, and if she was thinking of me. I pictured the two of us dancing. Would she have liked it here? I wasn’t sure. Like me, she was comfortable when other people took the spotlight. It was even more true now that she was a vampire. Sadly, she was in New Jersey. A million miles away.
My smile faded. Then someone touched my arm, a tall woman with dark hair and black lipstick. She was carrying a tray of drinks. Her eyes wandered over me, then she offered me one. I raised my hand and shook my head. My drinking habits stayed at home. She wasn’t gone a second when a strange feeling came over me. An absurd amount of body heat was being generated in the room, but for all that, I felt a chill. I was being watched.
I quickly located Charlie and his friends. They were in a tight circle, each taking turns dancing through the center. The guy in the middle, who might have been a lineman from Charlie’s old football team, was doing something that I could only describe as the Cyborg Chicken. I scanned the rest of the floor. A guy with blue hair was jumping up and down like a spawning salmon. In another corner, a group of girls were dancing so close together it was a wonder their jewelry wasn’t tangled. Farther on were a bunch of guys, some with spiked hair, others with shaved heads, who were all jumping up and slamming into one another. It was all alien to me. But certainly no cause for concern.
Then my eyes drifted upward. I thought I saw something in the lights. It was hard to tell. Even if you’re from the planet Krypton, your eyes aren’t much good with strobes flashing in them. But my instincts told me I was getting warm, so I made my way onto the dance floor to get a better look. I was staring up at the ceiling, not watching where I was going, when I bumped into a girl. Her red hair was cut like a lampshade and she was wearing high-heeled boots that went right up past her knees. Before I could reach out, her drink spilled. I started to apologize.
“That’s fine,” she said. She moved closer so we were almost touching. “Don’t worry about it.”
I offered to get her another drink, but she smiled and shook her head. She seemed cool with things. Her boyfriend wasn’t. I hadn’t noticed him at first. He stepped toward me with a scowl on his face. His hair was gelled down the center like a giant fan and he was wearing a Ramones T-shirt. The people around us backed away just enough that I could tell there was going to be trouble. Then Charlie slid in beside me. His eyes had the same look I imagine Roman gladiators wore when they went into the Colosseum. A kind of focused intensity that was a three parts anger and one part crazy.
“Back off, Romeo,” he said. His teeth were starting to drop.
I felt the bottom fall out of my stomach. This was the last thing we needed. A free-for-all that would make the National Enquirer. Teen Vampire Starts Riot at Small-Town Rave.
“It’s fine, Charlie,” I shouted in his ear. “It was my mistake.”
I think we could have made it out cleanly at that point if the girl I’d bumped into hadn’t been staring at Charlie with a look of dazed euphoria. What ever cologne he was wearing, it was working overtime. Charlie smiled at her. She smiled back. Then her boyfriend stepped closer so the two of them were chest to chest. Here we go, I thought. Charlie’s eyes were like two black disks. I hadn’t seen anything like it since Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.
Then something bizarre happened. A shadow fell to the floor on the far side of the hall. It happened quickly. With the lights doing a kooky flash dance above, I wasn’t sure if I’d actually seen anything, but then the people on that side of the floor began to part. They were staring at a man who was moving toward us. With the light behind him, all I could see was a tall silhouette, but it was enough. His movements were fluid. Effortless. Perfectly balanced. Driven by tremendous strength. There was none of the stiffness you see with normal people. It was another vampire. He’d obviously spotted us. If he was one of those elders who didn’t like kids, we were going to go straight from rave to grave.
I wasn’t about to take any chances. “Charlie, we’ve gotta go.” I grabbed the sleeve of his jacket and started pulling him to the door.
“That’s right, pretty boy, take a walk,” the guy with the fan-shaped hair said.
I’d hoped Charlie would just fall in step, but I should have known better. He resisted. Fortunately, I was a lot stronger and jerked his shoulder back. He shot me an angry look, but when he noticed I was staring past the guy with the fan-shaped hair, he turned and saw what I did. Right in front of him, the girl with the red lampshade hair was smiling and waving. Her boyfriend was smirking. Then the tall vampire, little more than a shadow, shouldered past a guy just behind them, spinning him like a turnstile.
Charlie looked back at me, panic all over his face. “Zack, that’s a vampire.”
“I know!”
We raced for the door.
“How did he know we were here?”
I had no idea. But it didn’t matter. We’d been spotted. So we ran.
Excerpted from End Of Days by Max Turner.
Copyright © 2010 by Max Turner.
Published in 2010 by St. Martin'S Griffin.
All rights reserved. This work is protected under copyright laws and reproduction is strictly prohibited. Permission to reproduce the material in any manner or medium must be secured from the Publisher.

Meet the Author

Max Turner is the author of the young adult vampire novel Night Runner. He is a high school science teacher and lives in Ottawa with his wife and children.

Max Turner is the author of the young adult vampire novels Night Runner and End of Days. He is a high school science teacher and lives in Ottawa with his wife and children.

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End of Days 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Vampires exist in the world hiding in the shadows and protected by the Underground, which consists of humans, vamps and Others who look out for the Undead trying to live a normal life. Dracula using an iron fist controls all vampires and insures the underground was serving its purpose. With his death, his minions are fighting for control with everyone concerned only with their personal well-being. Dracula turned the child Zack Thomson because he believed he was the vampiric Messiah who would bring a new order to the species. The Elders detest child-vampires like Zack, his friend Charlie and his girlfriend Luna. At a rave, the vampires come to kill the trio, but a huge werewolf like creature, who kills vampires, chases them away and then goes after them. Zach and his friends search for the beast so they can kill it before the humans learn of its existence. In the latest Night Runner teen urban fantasy thriller (see Night Runner), Zach must delay his alleged destiny of bringing order to the Underground by dealing with the creature they call Hyde. The heroic lead characters bring youthful courage as they try to do the right thing re the chosen one Zach, but prophecies are just visions lacking action plans with steps so the teen titans must fill the gap. Max Turner brings a fascinating premise to the vampire mythos that grips readers who root for Zach and his BFFs while anxiously waiting for the next entry in the saga. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I think i am in love with these books..haha..but seriously, both of the night runner books are awsome..hehe. i completely recommend this book to teens. Good book.
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BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
I will go right into and say I did not enjoy this book as much as I enjoyed the first book. I found myself struggling to keep into it and I felt like it wasn't written the same as the first book. I felt like something is missing and that upset me. Zack learns many new things about himself in this book. He is having a hard time being away from his girlfriend and dealing with the fact that he is a vampire. Zack in this book seems to confused on what he should do. In the last book he was much stronger and was good at facing unknown facts. Zack here struggles and seems more cowardly. The love interest in the book is heart breaking. Zack is kept away from the one thing he holds most dear. I knew that Zack draws his strength from her but he seem too weak without her. I wanted Zack to stop being a pansy and grow up. I wanted him to take charge and not be afraid. Sadly, this book ended on something I did not like and well I just don't think I will be reading the next book if there is going to be one.
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