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Reviewed by:
  • Night Road
  • April Spisak
Jenkins, A. M.; Night Road. HarperTeen, 2008; 361p Library ed. ISBN 978-0-06-054605-2 $17.89 Trade ed. ISBN 978-0-06-054604-5 $16.99 R Gr. 9-12

Cole's preference for solitude perfectly suits his existence as a vampire. He mostly avoids the social gatherings of vampires, where the feeding is easy (blood-giving groupies are as anxious for the rush as the vamps are for blood) and the same topics are discussed decade after decade, but he knows that he must come when called by the leader. He is asked to act as mentor to a newly turned vampire, and though he accepts, the sting of his most recent failure with a turned human (his girlfriend from over a century ago attempted suicide in the most gruesome way possible for vampires—death by sunlight) keeps him uneasy about the company and anxious for this assignment to be over. What follows is a cross-country road trip during which Cole finds much of his soul that he believed to be lost forever, and his charge comes to accept his new status with more grace than initially anticipated. Brooding Cole is not always an easy protagonist to like, but Jenkins adds enough layers of [End Page 476] complexity and depth to his character to make him intriguing. The flighty, spoiled vampires who surround him are ideal foils to his asceticism, highlighting Cole's reliance on experience rather than material goods as markers of his own self-worth and growth. Lest it all become a bit too heady or solemn, Cole's old friend Sandor, a vampire with a good heart but nearly nonexistent attention span, adds levity to the road trip, softening the intense introspection of Cole and the adolescent sulk of his protégé. Vampire fans will certainly flock to this novel, though Jenkins fans may also see hints of her usual solemn boys reflected in these protagonists, even if they are bloodsucking immortals instead of human adolescents.



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pp. 476-477
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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