Monday, April 29, 2013

Reader's Diary #995- Drew Hayden Taylor: The Night Wanderer


A couple months back I was talking to (new friend) Rik Leaf about the Twilight series. While I stopped after the first book, Rik read them all and didn't hold back on his disappointment about the anti-climactic ending. Having been let down time and time again by other vampire lit, for similar reasons, I wasn't particularly surprised by his assessment.

What did surprise me was that despite what could also be considered an anti-climactic ending in Drew Hayden Taylor's The Night Wanderer, I enjoyed this particular vampire novel.

The Night Wanderer is a vampire novel with a First Nations perspective. It centers around Tiffany, an Anishinabe teenager living on the fictional Ontario reserve of Otter Lake and Pierre L'Errant, a mysterious house guest from Europe. Tiffany's life, which takes a while to intersect with Pierre's, is filled with mostly typical teenage drama, coping with divorced parents, getting poor grades, and dealing with boyfriend problems. (Though her boyfriend issues are complicated by racial issues.) Pierre's drama on the other hand is anything but typical. Though it takes a while for Taylor to come right out and say it, by the time he does you've already concluded that Pierre is a vampire. Originally from the Anishinabe nation himself, why he is now visiting from Europe and the story of his origins are the questions that held my interest, as I suppose would hold the interest of most adults who read the book.

I would hope that Tiffany's story would be hook enough for the teens at whom the book is aimed. I'm somewhat skeptical, and maybe selling them a little short, that the lack of a lot of action might turn them off. I myself could have used more, but I'm going to hold out for another book, in hopes that Taylor is considering turning it into a series. I certainly thought L'Errant compelling enough to warrant a second book. Trying not to give too much away, I'm not sure how a sequel would work, but there's certainly enough fodder for several prequels. If he does though, just a tad more action would be nice.

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