Skip to main content

Storm Runners

Review

Storm Runners

"Always be prepared" is Chase Masters's motto, which he lives and dies by. He already has had a fair amount of uncertainty at his young age of 14, and would rather be over-prepared and ready than relive the horrible feelings of not being able to do anything. This would include only watching as the police dug the family SUV out of a ditch with his dead mother and sister inside. And it would also include watching his father, John, get struck by lightning and somehow survive. Since his father's recovery, Chase has had no choice but to be prepared as John decided to pack up, hit the road and chase storms.

John has a simple little business scheme. After the lightning strike, he has been able to accurately track down storms by nothing more than a gut feeling. Once in the area, he offers repair services to people in homes devastated by Mother Nature. He has slowly made a small fortune despite the toll it's taken on Chase. Chase enters a new school every few months and has little to no stability --- but at least he's always prepared. Both John and Chase carry around packs that contain extra food, tarps, first-aid kits, satellite phones, etc., just in case a storm gets out of hand. The new storm they're chasing, a category-five hurricane, has the potential to be one for the record books.

When they first arrive in Florida, both John and Chase settle into the usual routine. They set up shop at a winter haven for a traveling circus. John enters town and offers his services, while Chase checks out the school. All goes according to plan until the hurricane hits and Chase is thrown on a school bus to try and get home. Just when there's hope that the bus will break through the storm, the unthinkable happens: it veers off course and is thrown into a levee. Chase, two of his classmates, and the bus driver plunge headfirst into the water. Thankfully, Chase and his peers managed to get ashore, but the driver wasn't so lucky.

What unfolds is a parallel story of survival. John is roaming around town surveying the damage and figuring out the best way to get home to his supplies. He's completely unaware that his son is out in the hurricane struggling to live. Chase is tasked with taking care of his classmates and surviving a category-five hurricane. Danger lurks at every corner, and this includes wild alligators, crumbling roads, rushing water, and the possibility that not everyone will make it.

STORM RUNNERS is an action-packed start to a promising series. I've always thought the people who went and chased after storms were a bit crazy, and this book proves me right. They are also incredibly brave and resourceful people, and Chase keeps his wits about him through all the havoc and chaos. Despite an epic bus crash and all the fury of Mother Nature, Roland Smith promises even more craziness in the next installment. Just when you think it can't get any worse, you reach the end of the book and realize it's only just begun.

Reviewed by Benjamin Boche on March 1, 2001

Storm Runners
by Roland Smith

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2011
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • ISBN-10: 0545081750
  • ISBN-13: 9780545081757