Book Review: The Storm Runner (Book #1) by J.C. Cervantes

Title: Storm Runner
Author: J.C. Cervantes
Series: Storm Runner: Book 1
Page Count: 449 pages
Genre: MG/YA Mythology Fiction
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Release Date: September 18, 2018

Publisher’s Summary: A contemporary adventure based on Maya mythology from Rick Riordan Presents and New York Times bestselling author J. C. Cervantes! Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He’d much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno–for his one good leg. What Zane doesn’t know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy. A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he’s destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in–unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can’t even walk well without a cane?

My Thoughts: This is a “Rick Riordan Presents” book, following the theme of Riordan’s numerous series about children and teenagers grappling with ancient mythological gods. Storm Runner centers on Ancient Maya mythology and its pantheon. I’m glad this book exists because, while there’s a plethora of Greek- and Norse-themed mythology stories, Maya gods don’t seem to get as much attention.

Zane of New Mexico is an instantly lovable hero. He has a bad leg and is made fun of at school for his limp. Another score for Cervantes by writing an ability-diverse hero, and one of Mesoamerican descent. A fantastic twist is that Zane’s disability is actually part of his superpower in the spirit world. There’s a volcano, a prophecy, and a hot bitchy girl named Brooks who can transform into a hawk. (I’ll admit, I kept waiting to grow sympathetic toward Brooks and learn why she has such an attitude…but a sufficient explanation never comes.) The rest is a little fuzzy to me after a year since reading it. Storm Runner is a fun ride with some entertaining side characters/quests and cool scenes when Zane is in the spirit world. I’d recommend it to mythology lovers and fans of Riordan & his crew.

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