Having read and enjoyed the first book in the series, Children of the Knight, I was very interested in the sequel, Running Through a Dark Place. It picks up literally five minutes after Book 1 ends, with the aftermath of a death of one of King Arthur’s “knights.”
I was a little turned off by the first two chapters. I don’t want to give away too much, but some events take place which serve to make Lance, Arthur’s first knight, a bit of a celebrity. I thought that the development of these first two chapters felt a little contrived.
After that, though, the story picked up in intensity and emotion and I felt pulled in, just as I had with its predecessor. Again, I must warn that there are some seriously dark themes running throughout the story. Since these are mostly street kids, they have been abused, molested and otherwise taken advantage of. The story does not go into a lot of detail, but young teenagers might be disturbed.
My favorite part of Running Through a Dark Place was Lance attempting to come to terms with his new found fame as well as with his sexuality (although what that might be has yet to be determined, as with many of his age).
Running Through a Dark Place is a strong story that will appeal to young people who enjoy a story with adventure and danger. Parents will appreciate the message of self-respect and responsibility. I give this book 3 1/2 stars.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of review through Innovative Online Book Tours. All opinions are 100 % my own.
About the Author:
Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of four previous novels––A Boy and His Dragon,A Matter of Time (Reader’s Favorite Silver Medalist), Children of the Knight (Wishing Shelf Book Awards Gold Medalist) and Running Through A Dark Place––who grew up in San Rafael, California. He majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University and earned a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master’s in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills.
He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.
He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook.
He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to seven different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. He is a passionate advocate for the fair treatment of children and teens in California, something that is sorely lacking in this state.
He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The “National” honor allowed he and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office.
He has already written the final installments that complete The Knight Cycle and all will be released in 2014.