I absolutely adore reading - my love for books has had a huge impact on my life! I'm going to grad school to be a children's/YA librarian.
Sam Dryden, retired special forces, lives a quiet life in a small town on the coast of Southern California. While out on a run in the middle of the night, a young girl runs into him on the seaside boardwalk. Barefoot and terrified, she's running from a group of heavily armed men with one clear goal—to kill the fleeing child. After Dryden helps her evade her pursuers, he learns that the eleven year old, for as long as she can remember, has been kept in a secret prison by forces within the government. But she doesn't know much beyond her own name, Rachel. She only remembers the past two months of her life—and that she has a skill that makes her very dangerous to these men and the hidden men in charge.
Dryden, who lost his wife and young daughter in an accident five years ago, agrees to help her try to unravel her own past and make sense of it, to protect her from the people who are moving heaven and earth to find them both. Although Dryden is only one man, he's a man with the extraordinary skills and experience—as a Ranger, a Delta, and five years doing off-the-book black ops with an elite team. But, as he slowly begins to discover, the highly trained paramilitary forces on their heels is the only part of the danger they must face. Will Rachel's own unremembered past be the most deadly of them all? (source)
Wow. This book is fantastic. And because of that, I'm going to preface this review by saying that this was one of those books where I liked it so much that I don't even know where to start with reviewing, so it might be kind of scattered. If that's the case, sorry!
When I read the description on NetGalley, I thought Runner sounded promising, even though it wasn't something I would usually pick up. Even so, I never expected to love this book as much as I did. As I've said time and time again, thrillers aren't usually my thing - they tend to be super plot-driven and don't focus enough on character development for my taste. This book had the perfect blend, which meant that I couldn't put it down and was totally invested in reading it.
Part of the reason why I was so invested in this book was that the plot was so very unique, and Lee did an amazing job of hiding information from the reader until it was time for that knowledge to be revealed. I kept trying to figure out what was going on, and with the exception of(show spoiler)
, I never could guess the plot twists. There was actually one point where something almost happened and I was like "whoa, this is totally out of character and random, what the heck is going on?" - and then the exact opposite thing ended up happening, completely blind siding me. So exciting! Additionally, although the plot was complex, Lee didn't info dump. I was so excited about this, which was probably at least partially because of how much info dumping was done in Legacy, the last book that I read. Instead, information was revealed subtly and effortlessly, strictly on a need-to-know basis. Even when characters would discuss something that Lee wasn't ready for the reader to know, he'd say something like "So-and-so told him the plan. He reacted in such-and-such a way," rather than spelling out exactly what was going to happen. This, of course, left me dying to know what the big secret was, giving me further encouragement to keep reading.
This book could be really graphically violent at points. For the most part, it was pretty tame - not really much swearing, not too many sexual references - but when it was violent, it was really violent. Like, it made me want to physically look away from the book like I would if I were watching it on tv, because it was that violent. And speaking of which - I really hope that this gets turned into a movie! With the right cast and a good screenwriter, I really think it would be fantastic.
So, basically, this book is awesome and I highly recommend that you go get yourself a copy when it's released in 3 days. Heck, go pre-order it now so you don't forget! Because this book is so good, even if you're like me and thrillers usually leave you wanting a little more substance and a little less action. This book definitely had a whole lot of action, but it also had just about everything else that I like to see in a book. And even better - it's the first in a series. You'd better believe I plan on continuing future installments! So glad that I had the opportunity to read this!
Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley, but in no way did this influence my review of the book.