Book Review: Night Speed by Chris Howard

Night Speed
Author: Chris Howard
Reading Level: Young Adult
Genre: Sci-Fi
Released: May 03, 2016
Review Source: Katherine Tegen Books

Only those young enough can survive the pulse-pounding rush of tetra, a dangerous and addictive new drug that fuels a nine-minute burst of superhuman strength and speed. Alana West has been trained to use the drug so she can pursue the young criminals who abuse its power—criminals like the breakneck who nearly killed her kid brother.

On tetra, Alana is unstoppable. The rush makes her an explosive blur as she surges through New York City, battling to bring down breaknecks before they leave more people dead or injured in their wake. But with the clock ticking down to her eighteenth birthday, Alana will soon be too old for the rush...when just one more dose will prove deadly.

Supported only by her strong and steady handler, Tucker, Alana goes undercover, infiltrating an elite gang of breaknecks to stop the supply of their drug. But when Alana gets trapped on the wrong side of the law, she learns the breaknecks are not quite what they seem—especially Ethan, the artistic boy whose bottomless brown eyes seem to see the truth inside her. With her own dependency on tetra increasing, Alana must decide where her loyalties lie before the rush ends. Forever.

If you’re a fan of fast-paced action, adrenaline, the struggles and moments of weakness that come with great power, mild government conspiracies, and just a dash of romance on the side, then this book is totally for you. Night Speed is a standalone novel that focuses on our main protagonist Alana, a girl who works for the government to stop criminals from terrorizing the city, causing damage to property and hurting innocent civilians. But it’s not your typical hero-villain story, if you can even call it that.

One of the main arcs of the story is this drug that they call Tetra. For exactly nine minutes, Tetra gives you a rush unlike any other. It hits your body and gives you super speed and super strength, making you feel like you’re more than human; you’re bigger and better and you feel invincible; the ones who take the drug see the world in the 4th dimension which means that they see everything clearer and brighter. Here is where the great power comes with grave consequences. One too many doses of the drug incapacitates those who take it, and after a certain age the drug under no circumstances can be taken again. It’s an addictive drug that when taken under strict, controlled, directions can be used to stop the breacknecks, those who take a synthetic and less stable version of the drug, from wreaking havoc and going on crime sprees. However, Alana, for reasons I won’t delve into because spoilers, is thrown into this world of breacknecks and the line between duty and addiction is one she is going to battle with.

Overall, this is a great and in my opinion original read full of the things that make great action movies, except it’s a book and you get to direct the movie as you read.

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